FILM

DVD review: Eskil Vogt's Blind a study of isolation and perception

Vogt has produced a slick exploration of how perceptions can be altered, and on how people react when they feel themselves being distanced from society

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 25 July, 2015, 11:22pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 25 July, 2015, 11:22pm

Norwegian writer-director Eskil Vogt's stunning debut feature will do little to cast off the cliche that Scandinavian films are all to do with icy cold exteriors and simmering (sometimes sinister) inner passions.

His story revolves around Ingrid (Ellen Dorrit Petersen) who has recently lost her sight and is learning to cope with how it affects her day-to-day life as well as the fiction she turns to in her occupation as a writer.

The challenge - and the brilliance from the filmmaker in the way he frames his narrative - is having to work out what parts of this life are real and what parts are imagined.

Ingrid has cut herself off from the world, retreating into the safety of her flat and keeping everything - apart from her partner Morten (Henrik Rafaelsen) - at arm's length. And Vogt is able to fully realise this sense of isolation, with the help of muted sounds from outside and the muted colours that surround the characters inside.

Petersen's ethereal qualities add to the sense that she has become removed almost from life itself, as she ghosts around the flat and by its windows. The world as she knew it has vanished and in one telling scene Ingrid presses herself against the glass, naked and almost demanding the world sees, even proves, her existence.

Threaded into Ingrid's tale are those of two neighbours, both also seemingly removed from society, both looking for some kind of connection and both in their own ways screaming out to be seen by someone, or indeed anyone. The lives of all these characters start to twist and turn around each other and Vogt demands his audience pays attention to every detail.

As well as the purely physical nature of Ingrid's affliction, the director sets out to explore this sense of isolation - felt also by his representation of a modern society that itself has forgotten how to connect physically and spiritually.

Vogt has produced a slick exploration of how perceptions can be altered, and on how people react when they feel themselves being distanced from society.

Blind  Ellen Dorrit Petersen, Henrik Rafaelsen  Director: Eskil Vogt

Extras: interview with director; Blind at the Sundance Film Festival featurette; music video; trailers.