Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Alice och Jag

Alice och Jag
Directed by: Rebecka Rasmusson, Sweden, 2006

Documentary, 74min

Distributed by: Folkets Bio

Documentary filmmaker Rebecka Rasmusson sets out to portray the enigmatic Swedish queen of the red carpet Alice Timander as she prepares for her ninetieth birthday. Timander who actually is a dentist is one of Sweden’s most know personalities, and even though she’s not know for anything else but just always being at the grand openings bet it film, theatre or like wise, she never misses an photo opportunity. During the making of the documentary, director Rasmusson finds out that she is pregnant and the guy she thought she was going to spend the rest of her life with leaves her for his ex-wife. Rasmusson soon sees the ironic similarities between her life and Timanders as they together take a philosophical look at life, love, parenthood and family values.

A fascinating tale which shifts focus very subtly and after a while recaptures my interest. The first ten minutes of just being a straight forward documentary on Timander works fine for the curiosa base, but when Rasmusson starts interweaving her own tale it at first feels pretentious, but she manages to pull it off and my interest for the two women’s lives picks back up. There’s a sombre and melancholic tone throughout the movie as Rasmusson has Timander tell her tale of guilt and lost acknowledgement from her children. Timader systematically retells how she was never really accepted no matter what she took upon herself. So she decided that she’d become the centre of attraction in her own way, and she managed. Like I said, she’s always on the red carpet full of spark even at the ripe age of ninety. Timander tells how her first husband left her to pursue an acting career and her dubious feelings for her second and third husbands. How she fells that her children have alienated her for trying to achieve her goals. Two of her children refuse to take part in the documentary, but her oldest, Annika talks emotionally about her mother and their childhood. At the same time Rasmusson shares her own parallel narrative about the child growing within her, and the lover that left her all of a sudden. She asks Timander for advice and takes learning from her tale. Sometimes a bit sad, sometimes happy, but for the most of the time she keeps it in a philosophical and melancholic tone. Rasmusson doesn’t take any definite side, she relates to Timander through her own life as an ambitious woman, and at the same time relates to Timander’s children through her own relationship to her own mother who shares many of Timander's alienating features. It’s a very warm tale even though it has a dark undertone to it, and I found it very fascinating that Rasmusson manages to interweave two strong female personalities into one tale and tells there and well worth checking out.


Full screen 4:3. Rasmussen uses a wide variety of formats to tell her and Alice’s joint venture Blending super 8, and Dv cam before blowing it all up to a 35mm print.

This screener; Stereo 2.0

Being a journalistic screener there was no extras on this edition. I can’t see much more than an original trailer and perhaps a few deleted scenes on an eventual official DVD release.

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