While Trylon microcinema has steadily built its movie revering reputation on a consistently enticing slate of classic films (ranging from the widely celebrated to the criminally overlooked), the inclusion of Trylon Premiere Tuesdays expands the theater’s programming to encompass contemporary works from around the globe. Tomorrow’s classics, today? Stop by the Trylon on Tuesdays to find out.
Playing 04.19 & 04.26: The Anchorage
Landscape paintings have always possessed a mysterious quality to captivate. Whether depicting the unfathomable depths of an endless ocean or the impenetrable seclusion of an ancient forest, landscapes hold the remarkable ability to elicit emotional responses that defy rationalization. Such appeal resides at the core of The Anchorage, a Swedish film co-directed by Anders Edström and C.W. Winter that attempts pathos through an uncompromising study of the rugged and remote title location. But be warned; while the film’s conviction is admirable, the spell is dependent upon audiences willing to endure the absence of a conventional narrative.
Eschewing standard storytelling techniques including character development, dramatic dialogue, and plot complexity, The Anchorage initially feels as impassive as the Stockholm Archipelago setting wherein a middle-aged woman named Ulla lives alone in a remote forest home. Though visited early in the film by her daughter and a friend, Ulla spends the majority of her time in solitude, busied with routine preparations for the coming winter. With only the radio and magazines to keep her connected to the outside world, Ulla’s life consists of ascetic responsibilities like cutting wood, catching fish, and shoring up her home against the harsh climate.
Co-directors Edström and Winter (the latter of whom is credited with the minimalist script) deviate from any structured storytelling. Though the appearance of an unknown moose hunter implies potential danger, the suggestion is predicated largely on viewer expectation rather than implicit prompting. Throughout the film, character interaction is superseded by the domineering presence of nature.
Most striking is the unnerving sense of isolation that slowly builds to a wholly enveloping atmosphere, culminating in the film’s heartrending admission of Ulla’s alienation. Portrayed by Ulla Edström, the character of Ulla breathes with a cathartic credibility that is entirely free of affected artifice. In many ways Ulla’s personality is as inscrutable as her surroundings, even as glimpses of her inner life allow for a pronounced empathy.
The imposing landscape pervades every frame of the film through the stark cinematography of Anders Edström. Coupled with a soundtrack of stirring winds and lashing waves, The Anchorage profiles an unforgiving terrain, one in which the very presence of humanity seems trivial and transitory.
Rendered with enough intimacy to pass for a documentary, The Anchorage achieves a rare authenticity that refuses dramatic diversions. Impatient audiences will undoubtedly grow restless with the passive pacing and the lack of narrative relief. Those willing to abandon such standardized cinematic expectations, however, are likely to be awed by The Anchorage’s primal power.
The Anchorage plays at the Trylon microcinema at 7 p.m. & 9 p.m. on April 19th and April 26th. For ticket information, see Take-Up Productions or call 612-424-5468.
The Anchorage(Official Site)
Take-Up Productions (Trylon microcinema)