Wednesday, July 18, 2012 – 7:30pm
Norway 2001. Director: Petter Naess
Cast: Per Christian Ellefsen, Sven Nordin, Per Christensen, Jorgen Langhelle, Marit Pia Jacobsen
A foreign-film Oscar nominee in 2002, and one of Norway’s highest grossing movies of all time, Elling is a winning Odd Couple comedy with an interesting twist: Felix and Oscar’s Norse counterparts are both outpatients from a state-run mental health facility. Deeply neurotic, 40-year-old Elling (Per Christian Ellefsen) is sent to the facility after his mother’s death. His roommate there is Kjell Bjarne (Sven Nordin), a lumbering gentle giant with two things on his mind: food and sex — despite the fact he’s still a virgin at age 40. After two years of peaceful cohabitation, the unthinkable happens: Elling and Kjell Bjarne are deemed fit to rejoin the world at large, and are set up in a state-funded apartment in Oslo. For the first time in their lives, they’re expected to take care of themselves, but even the smallest tasks, like answering the phone, prove terrifying. As the two become accustomed to life on their own, their friendship is strained when Kjell Bjarne falls in love with the pregnant single woman upstairs. Laugh-out-loud funny, Elling deftly manages to avoid many of the condescending stereotypes that so often plague films about the mentally ill. “Genuinely moving … Elling is guaranteed to leave you feeling happy, spiritually cleansed, and with a strange yearning to go to Norway” (Tim Smedley, kamera.co.uk). Colour, 35mm, 89 mins.
Post-screening discussion with Dr. Peter Gibson, Head, Department of Psychiatry, Richmond Hospital; Medical Director, Mental Health & Addictions, Richmond; and Associate Clinical Professor, UBC Department of Psychiatry.
Moderated by Dr. Harry Karlinsky, Clinical Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia.