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Haugesund Burnt by Frost

Telling a story from a mostly unknown period in modern Norwegian history, "Burnt by Frost" is an accomplished piece of art-movie-making. Complex narrative will make it a hard sell at the box office, but pic will be a natural on the fest circuit and is another sign of the current strength of the Norwegian film industry. Director Knut Erik Jensen, who previously made the critically laureled "Stella Polaris" (1993), sets his tale in the north of Norway during and after WWII, in regions liberated by the Soviet Red Army. As a result of that turn of events, and Norwegian-Russian anti-Nazi solidarity during the war, young fisherman Simon (Stig Henrik Hoff) is persuaded to enroll as a spy for the KGB.

With:
Simon ..... Stig Henrik Hoff Lilian ..... Gorild Mauseth Lasov ..... Yevgeny Sidikhin Harder ..... Reidar Sorensen Hedvik ..... Iris Johansen Mother ..... Katja Medboe Vera ..... Julia Moreva Intelligence Officer ..... Morten Andresen KGB Officer ..... Yuri Orlov Galina ..... Irina Osnovina Einar ..... Ketil Hoegh

After training in Russia, he’s sent back home, where he becomes very good at his work. (He gets credit for the downing of the American U2 plane.) But rumors of his secret occupation start to spread, and Simon finds it more and more difficult to deal with his friends and his beloved, Lilian (Gorild Mauseth).

“Burnt by Frost” is told in several layers, jumping backward and forward in time. Jensen’s mingling realism and surrealism do not make the narrative any easier to follow; instead the viewer is constantly on the alert to grasp what is happening. Pic’s first 10 minutes are almost incomprehensible; but gradually the film becomes more fascinating, telling an exciting story as well as taking us into the mind of the troubled Simon.

Lenser Svein Krovel deserves major kudos for the look of the film: The beauty of the harsh landscapes of northern Scandinavia has never before been depicted quite this way. Praise is also due editor Trygve Hagen and composer Olga Petrova.

As Simon and Lilian, Hoff and Mauseth are excellent in emotionally varied roles that require their characters to age. They also enact a striking scene in which they make love in a small boat, stark naked on a mattress of freshly caught, still quivering fish.

Haugesund Burnt by Frost

Norwegian

Production: An SF Norge release (in Norway) of a Barentsfilm production, in association with Norsk Film, Nordnorsk Filmsenter, NRK Troms, Nordkappfilm. (International sales: Swedish Film Institute, Stockholm.) Produced by Tom Remlov. Executive producer, Jan Erik Gammleng. Directed by Knut Erik Jensen. Screenplay, Jensen, Alf R. Jacobsen

Crew: Camera (color/B&W), Svein Krovel; editor, Trygve Hagen; music, Olga Petrova; art direction, Egil Storeide, Vladimir Svetozarov, Sergei Shemyakin; costume design, Kari Elfstedt; sound, Dolby SR. Reviewed at Haugesund Film Festival, Norway, Aug. 15, 1997. Running time: 97 MIN. (Norwegian, Russian, German and English dialogue

With: Simon ..... Stig Henrik Hoff Lilian ..... Gorild Mauseth Lasov ..... Yevgeny Sidikhin Harder ..... Reidar Sorensen Hedvik ..... Iris Johansen Mother ..... Katja Medboe Vera ..... Julia Moreva Intelligence Officer ..... Morten Andresen KGB Officer ..... Yuri Orlov Galina ..... Irina Osnovina Einar ..... Ketil Hoegh

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