Poetically fragile, Paul Tunge’s second feature film Demning is a complex psychological exploration. After engaging in a one night stand, the film follows J (Jørgen Hausberg Nilsen) and Jo (Joachim Kvamme) as they go hiking in the mountains in an effort to get to know one another. As tensions rise, however, and the two realise their incompatibility, violence becomes the prime act of release.
The forced focus on J and Jo — them being the sole characters in a lifeless aesthetic — allows you to fully understand them, making the film so fragile by exposing the cryptic nature of the human psyche. As the men say one thing and think another, tension is built to the very height of awkwardness, leading to a climax that would ordinarily seem unorthodox, but works perfectly in context of the film.
With scenes of wrestling, reluctant kissing and furious masturbation, the film does not hide the fact that it seeks to defy repression. However, combining this with Tunge’s masterful cinematography which uses symbolism to its full potential — a prime example shot uses a tree to segregate the silhouettes of J and Jo — the solution becomes confusing and uncertain. Yet, once the climax is acted out, it seems so painfully obvious.
Whilst the film could be condensed into a short, it works positively better as a feature, illustrating characters with great depth in a visually pleasing style of indie filmmaking. Here, to not mention the incredible performances by Jørgen Hausberg Nilsen and Joachim Kvamme would be an insult. They truly carry the simple narrative to exceed expectation, making an impact that goes beyond the duration.
Demning combines brutal honesty with a picturesque view, creating a film that will leave you frustratedly mesmerised.
Demning will be screened at Indie-Lincs 2016 on Saturday 12 March; between 13.00 and 15.00 in a screening with Yohet Xia’s Black Dream, Rhys Wheeler’s Suds and Mike Callaghan’s Hole.
The film has been nominated for 3 awards: the BIG IMP for Best Feature Film, the ANGRY IMP for Most Challenging Film, and the THESPIAN IMP for Best Actor (Jørgen Hausberg Nilsen).
For more information on Indie-Lincs 2016, including information on scheduled screenings, special events, film descriptions, awards, and tickets; check out our Indie-Lincs article or visit the Indie-Lincs website.
- Reviewed by Daniel Sheppard