Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Slamdance with Arielle: Hurry Slowly

It’s my pleasure to introduce Arielle, my wife and an eager new contributor who is covering the Slamdance Film Festival in Park City this year, along with a few Sundance selections.

Cinematographer Jeremy Stewart and director Anders Emblem discuss the film

Hurry Slowly
Directed by Anders Emblem
Narrative Features

"Hurry Slowly" is a beautiful expression of the trials, tribulations, and joys that go into caring for a loved one. Fiona (Amalie Ibsen Jensen) has cared for her younger brother, Tom (David Jakobsen), who demonstrates developmental disabilities, since their grandparents passed away, balancing work and her love for songwriting. Tom respects and loves his sister, helping her around the house and following her every direction, turning their sibling relationship into one that resembles a parent and child. Though Fiona does not seem to begrudge her brother or her circumstances, she inquires about extending Tom’s care at the group home, wondering if that might be better for him, and for her. Through Fiona’s vivid expressions, the audience is able to tangibly feel the dilemma she faces within and is intrigued to be on the journey of her decision alongside her.

When asked what sparked his desire to create a film of this nature, Anders Emblem, the film’s director, screenwriter, co-producer, and editor, remarked that he wrote from a place of personal connection and love as he has been a social worker for years. Using slow cinema – a technique which involves reduced camera movement, holding the edit longer, and not necessarily following a story in a shot – Emblem and his cinematographer, Jeremy Stewart, are able to offer painting-like views of scenery and moments. While stunning, I found myself wondering how many of the film’s 68 minutes could have been shaved off by shortening those lengthy shots, but I think it did help to slow the story and agonizing decision-making process down. Being from Norway, Emblem is in communication with Norwegian distributors, though he seemed open to distributing the film himself – possibly for free online – because “since it cost nothing, [he has] nothing to lose.” While he tried to convey a message of personal freedom, Emblem intentionally designed the film to be open to interpretation so that audiences can find their own meanings to take away from it.


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