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55th San Francisco International Film Festival @ BAM/PFA

Friday, April 20, 2012
8:50 p.m. Oslo, August 31
Joachim Trier (Norway, 2011)

“I always thought that happy people must be morons,” observes Anders, a recovering drug addict on day leave from rehab, in this nuanced character study by the maker of Reprise (SFIFF 2077). Abiding by his truism, Anders is smart and self-aware but in despair. A self-professed “spoiled brat who fucked up,” he is now in his mid-thirties and doing his best to stay clean but also alienated from his more settled peers and worrisomely fixated on shuffling off this mortal coil. His long day’s journey into the picturesque Norwegian capital’s night is thus steeped in suspense. Opening with a montage of home movies and snippets of city life over which unseen voices reminisce about lost childhood, writer/director Joachim Trier guides actors and viewers alike through a series of finely rendered set pieces: Anders and an old pal sizing up one another’s achievements and foibles; a brilliantly designed sequence in which Anders eavesdrops on the revealing conversations of strangers in an airy café. Loosely based on Pierre Drieu La Rochelle’s 1931 novel, Le feu follet, previously adapted by Louis Malle in 1963 as The Fire Within, Trier’s portrait of addiction is both intoxicating and sobering.

—Steven Jenkins

• Written by Eskil Vogt, Trier. Photographed by Jakob Ihre. With Anders Danielsen Lie, Malin Crépin, Aksel M. Thanke, Hans Olav Brenner. (96 mins)

Tickets on sale March 30. Online tickets are available through the SFFS ticketing system. Follow the link below and select "buy tickets." BAM/PFA members receive a discount online by using a special promo code. If you are a member and did not receive the code by email, please call (510) 642-1412.

Buy Tickets

Advance tickets March 27–30. BAM/PFA members may purchase advance tickets online between March 27 and 30 by clicking the link below and entering a special promo code. If you are a member and did not receive the code by email, please call (510) 642-1412.

Purchase Advance Member Tickets