HLYNUR PALMASON | DENMARK/ICELAND | 2017 | 94 MIN
Hlynur Pálmason’s beautiful nightmare of a debut is an immersive, richly textured dive into one young man’s slowly unraveling psyche. With his thin lips, hollow cheeks, and wide-eyed gaze, Emil (Elliott Crosset Hove, winner of Best Actor at the Locarno Film Festival) looks like a scared little boy teetering on the verge of derangement. Like seemingly every other man in their isolated Danish community, Emil and his handsome brother Johan (Simon Sears) work for the local limestone mine. Between shifts, Emil awkwardly tries to get the attention of an attractive young woman and sells home-brewed hooch with chemicals stolen from the mine. When a co-worker gets sick from the toxic moonshine, Emil becomes even more of a pariah in the community and becomes scarily obsessed with his prized rifle. Evocatively filmed on 35MM, the film’s bleached-out landscapes—in which everything seems to be blanketed in either lime dust or snow—have a surreal, menacing beauty. Mixing stark realism with moments of pitch-black comedy and poetic weirdness, Winter Brothers is a singular vision by one of European cinema’s most exciting emerging talents.
Cast: Elliott Crosset Hove, Simon Sears, Victoria Carmen Sonne, Peter Plaugborg
“An impressively original, auspiciously idiosyncratic debut.” –Variety