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Roger and Lars are family men who live a life as a traveling construction workers on large sites worldwide. They are offered a very generous contract they can't turn down. One-years work for a ten year salary. All they have to do is sign the contract. But they don't know where they are going or what they are supposed to build. Blindfolded they are brought to a place with summer the year round. At this strange place they meet fellow workers. Together, they realize that there is something very in this paradise. Written by
Ulf Kjell Gür
I had the great opportunity to see "The Twelve Months of The Summer" (Swedish Title: Sommarens tolv månader) again. It is not like any other Swedish movie. It is in a category of itself. Even if it is not exactly a science fiction movie, the science fiction fan will find this movie a great contribution. And if one labels it science fiction, it is probably the only Swedish science fiction movie worth the name.
If there is any similarity to anything it may be Philip K. Dick. I don't think that Hobert is directly inspired by him though. The difference is that Dicks worlds are made up explicitly, while Hoberts world is real. Everything could have happened or even is happening....
A number of ordinary people meets to work in a secret project for one year. They don't know where they are or what they actually work with, but the snowy winter they left behind has transformed into hot summer. They get 10 years salary for one year in the camp. All of them have different reasons for taking the job. At the welcome meeting, the foreman explains the conditions: "No questions. Just work. No one is allowed to leave the camp or he looses the job on the spot". The workers start to build odd funny buildings in a holiday setting with blue sky and bright sunshine. But something is terribly wrong in the camp. Something is going on. The camp gradually transforms from a Disneyland of the 80's into a world of paranoia and hallucinations.
A movie that you still remember very well 17 years later can't be bad. Many scenes are unforgettable. One scene sent shivers up my spine 17 years ago. I waited to see if I got them again. I was totally taken by surprise in the preceding scene. It was even worse!
Hobert uses minimal effects and background music. The filming technique is excellent. Hobert doesn't force messages and ideas on us. Rather he invites to contemplation on a theme that can never be outdated. It is about the human being and the reality that it never will understand completely. Because of this, the movie couldn't really have been made in another way.
I remember reading a review of Philip K Dicks book VALIS, where the reviewer was angry because Dick couldn't stick to first or third person writing, but mixed them. The Twelve Months of the Summer may get similar criticism. But OMG what a boring world it would be if such persons ruled art and literature!
Also, if you watch a movie only to escape reality, you may get annoyed. You can't escape reality in The Twelve Months of The Summer. Instead it may follow you the rest of your life. When you finish watching Matrix you are back in the reality. It was only a movie. When you finished The Twelve Months of the Summer you may have the same feeling, but it gets back to you. Later. In your dreams. Even 17 years later. In discussions about this movie all my friends that saw this movie 17 years ago have had the same experience. We have different ideas about what it is about. But that is only an indication of how good this movie is.
The thoughts about reality that this movie produces is extremely powerful. If that is the goal of the director, he succeeded and there is no other conclusion to make than: 10 points out of 10 for this excellent movie
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