Film Club goes Swedish next Tuesday

Athlone Film Club will screen We Are the Best! next Tuesday October 21 at 8pm in the Dean Crowe Theatre.

This film set in Stockholm is funny and frank in its observations and is a delightful snapshot of female friendship in the early teens, from the giddy highs to the melancholy funks, from the sustaining bonds to the jealousies and stinging betrayals.

Three early-teen Stockholm girls form a punk band to thrash their way through outsider unease in Swedish writer-director Lukas Moodysson’s latest.

The emotional vitality and warm-hearted view of adolescence that elevated Lukas Moodysson’s 1998 debut feature Show Me Love make a welcome return in We Are the Best! (Vi ar bast! ). Based on a graphic novel by the director’s wife, this is a buoyant account of three awkward-age girls who form an impromptu punk band as an escape from exasperating parents, high school bitches, and solitude. Specific to its 1982 Stockholm setting and yet thematically universal, the film is all the more disarming for its breezy unpretentiousness.

Bobo and Klara form a band as a lark, partly to stick it to the obnoxious guys who dub themselves Iron Fist and monopolise the youth centre rehearsal space with their maximum-volume din. While their ambitions remain too modest and their dedication too erratic to call this a let’s-form-a-band movie, Bobo and Klara soon concede that their lack of musicianship is a drawback. They spot a solution in Hedvig, a shy fledgling beauty who is an accomplished classical guitarist.

The three young leads turn in winning performances, creating nicely individualised characters and revealing a lot in moments of quiet sensitivity. Nimble camerawork, brisk editing, and production design that’s colourful but at the same time understated help wrap up the package, of course along with a raucous soundtrack selection of Scandi punk tunes.

We Are the Best! (cert 15A ) was winner of the Grand Prix, Tokyo International Film Festival 2013.

Please join Athlone Film Club for a pre-film drink from 7.30pm on Tuesday October 21.

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