FROM THE BALCONY (FRA BALKONGEN)
A film by Ole Giæver
85 minutes, Norway, 2017
WORLD SALES: MER FILM
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FROM THE BALCONY takes you on a journey through one year in the life of Ole and his family, living in Brochmannsgate 12A, Oslo, Norway, Europe, Earth, Universe. What if you took a break from the rollercoaster called life and just sat and asked yourself: how did I get here? Was this the place I was supposed to be by now? And how do I keep going, even if I know that at some point the sun will burn out and everything around me will be gone forever?
Ole Giæver takes you through a year of everyday life in Western Europe with all its holidays, memories and fantasies, questions big and small. The moment you see your daughter riding her bike on her own the first time can set a train of thoughts in motion that leads you to a place far far away. An attempt to break with your habit of always drinking the same, boring tea can lead you to drink a raw egg. The home videos from your youth remind you of how you thought you would one day be the new lead singer of A-Ha. And when Christmas comes, you gather the family and try try to make new memories using the same old traditions.
FROM THE BALCONY is a time capsule filled with all these moments and feelings. It invites you to think about your own life and choices. What does it mean to be human today? And why do we speak to ourselves on a smartphone rather than socialize with strangers at a work event?
"After his previous fictional voyage of self-discovery, OUT OF NATURE, Ole Giæver trains his gaze on his own universe. Blending brutally honest admissions, meditative reflections and a portion of humour he takes us on an expedition to plumb the depths of human existence. Lightness and charm pervade this mixture of animation, photographs, video clips and documentary footage. As he shapes his vision into a cinematic collage, Giæver manages to enthuse us with his curiosity about the world – and shows us our place within it"
- Berlinale Panorama
FROM THE BALCONY is Ole Giæver's third feature film. His first two also premiered in the Panorama section at the Berlinale: THE MOUNTAIN (2011) and OUT OF NATURE (2014), which won the Europa Cinema Label Award at the Berlinale in 2015. In OUT OF NATURE Ole also played the lead role as Martin.
Ole and his family have been living with his new feature film FROM THE BALCONY since 2015, when the shooting began.
I found myself sitting on my balcony in Oslo on a random day in September, lost in some daydream. From up there, I could see my own neighbourhood, I could see the city centre, the fjord, the forest, and the eternity represented by the deep blue sky. I felt so small and insignificant. But when I turned my head around and saw the dust under the sofa, the mess in my home office, my wife sending a text-message and my two children caught up in some game containing plastic dinosaurs, I got back to the reality of my everyday life.
At the same time, I was wondering why I should even bother going inside and insist that my children eat their vegetables when I know that the sun is going to burn out in five billion years. That was the first of many dilemmas I wanted to understand during the process of making FROM THE BALCONY. I gave myself a year to try to understand how I should lead my life, bringing both trivial as well as existential questions into the picture.
I want to invite the audience on an odyssey through time and space, starting from my own balcony. A journey filled with all the absurd, existential, trivial and sentimental thoughts and fantasies I came up with in a year, to see if it’s possible to grasp nothing more than the meaning of life.
- Ole Giæver, February 2017