Tuesday, 16 September 2014

REVIEW - BLIND (ESKIL VOGT)


Swirling around and spinning in on itself, like a mind deprived of its principal sense of stability, navigating new territory with a freedom that is rejuvenating but a carelessness that is bewildering. Eskil Vogt imagines creativity as experienced by one who has had to reassess her perception of the world, and Blind marvellously depicts the frightening uncertainty she feels alongside the strange, heady pleasures she encounters in her new state. She begins an exploration of her mind, a landscape far more vast than the visible world around her, and what she recounts from her journeys is complex and bold. Vogt forces us to invest in his disjointed film not only by presenting reality and fantasy as potentially interchangeable narratives but by combining them into the one, and intimating the deep roots of this fictional fantasy in that mundane reality. As sterile and bleak as it may often be, Blind is an optimistic film, brightened further by Vogt's typically-Scandinavian flippancy (how many American directors would indulge in pornographic montages quite this long or explicit?) and frequent droll humour. Vogt's touch is perhaps too typically-Scandinavian, however. Though he has good purpose for his interlocking storylines, Blind can't shake off the sensation of airless, slightly frigid melodrama by its end, as its psychological ruminations are a bit too haughtily and obviously manifested. When the film loses its sense of humour, it somewhat begins to slip into fat-free, white-washed IKEA-chic - much too straightforward a summation for such a promising film, but an appropriate one nonetheless, if only at times. The more new territory Eskil Vogt can navigate, the better. And the more bewildering carelessness too.