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Image+Nation XXII: New Wave Love Triangle

Posted by Andrés / October 30, 2009


Norwegian film The Man Who Loved Yngve screens tonight as part of Image+Nation XII and speaks to the complexities of love and infatuation and the barrier (or Wall) in all of us that keeps us from clearly deciphering between the two. While the story of how Jarle decides between his supportive babe and a mysterious blonde stud is of interest, the real draw here is the setting: 1989, after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Just as attractive as the supporting characters is its selection of period New Age/punk music.

Ever since Jean-Marc Vallee's C.R.A.Z.Y., it seems that every coming-of-age film has to be set somewhere in the 1970s and 1980s. One needs only look at the teen-centric Quebecois films of the last few years (Un été sans point ni coup sûr, C'est pas moi, je le jure!, 1981 and so forth) to see a pattern: 1970s was in and 1980s most definitely. The Man Who Loved Yngve is proof of some kind of parallel cultural-influenced globalism. Are the Buzzcocks, Joy Division, The Stone Roses and The Cure seasonal on top of being seminal hits? Can the same be said for woolly striped leggings and aviator sunglasses?

In short, Jarle and his friends start a band known as the Mathias Rust Band, named after the 19 year-old West German who almost single-handedly undermined the perceived power of the Soviet military (no really!). They do this in order for Jarle to woo Kathrin, which goes great up until the time of that slow motion men's shower scene when Jarle first notices Yngve. While the last twenty minutes of the film are played fairly heavy-handed, up to this point it is a wholly entertaining, sometimes comedic, look at the teenage punk scene in Norway. While the story is nothing new, the crux of any film about relationships is the charisma of its players - in this The Man Who Loved Yngve delivers in spades.

Readers of Midnight Poutine who come here for the sound rather than the sight would do well to check out tonight's screening at the Cinema Imperial (1432 de Bleury) at 7pm. The film has a decent love triangle storyline; but moreso, it oozes 1980s New Wave.

Images and film screener courtesy Michael-Oliver Harding. Thanks again!



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