Tuesday November 25, 2014INDEX
We Are The Best (at editing?)

Lukas Moodysson's We Are the Best, allegedly based on his wife Coco's semi autobiographical writing, is that rarest of all things, a film about pre-teens learning to cope with adult issues (specifically sex and disappointing family relationships) that is none the less rather jolly and life affirming.

Although it is billed as a late (and presumably doomed) flowering of punk music in Stockholm, the musical content is remarkably similar to the prevailing heavy metal the three girls in the band are presumably rebelling against. And the lyrics of the punk songs performed by the girl group (not an expression the young ladies in question would countenance) are (at least in translation) far too polished and professional to be acceptable by any punk band, at any time, anywhere.

Stylistically the film is (to my eyes anyway) very strange and jarring. Quite a lot of it is shot in the same style used by one or two of those American cop programs a couple of decades ago: That is to say a kind of highly organised hand held camera effect. The camera shakes wildly but you soon realise that the shaking is done to what seems like a pattern almost as if the effect has been created by software in post production. It's really hard to get professional camera operators to shake their cameras: they usually just can not do it in a convincing fashion.

Much of the film seems to have been made as Improv with more McGuffins than a season of Hitchcock films run back to back. To explain, a McGuffin is a piece of plot, or a character, seemingly highly significant but subsequently petering out so having little or no impact on the plot. In We Are the Best we have the seriously cut hand bandaged with what looks like an old piece of toilet roll, yet the so called 'adults' do not even ask how it happened and far from the hand actually detaching as a gangrenous waste product, nothing happens at all. Quite what the point of it is remains a mystery: but a lot of the film is like that.

Moodysson may say 'life's like that' and of course it is. This is not a great film but it is a surprisingly enjoyable piece of work. And it's also an extremely well put together piece of film making considering that it is hard to believe it was scripted or story boarded in anything but the most rudimentary fashion. Fundamentally a great piece of editing.

Tuesday November 25, 2014INDEX