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Michael A. Martinez
C. Alan Ploegsma,
Two young people stand on a street corner in a run-down part of New York, kissing. Despite the lawlessness of the district they are left unmolested. A short distance away walk Maria and Andreas. They are on their first date. In an episodic style the film tells of encounters and love among young people. The stories are set in Cairo, Paris, on the coast of Normandy and in New York. Written by
The Bergen (Norway) Cinema director in 1995 had the sense - at the time when this ghastly film was first (and never again!) sprung upon unsuspecting audiences in Oslo and other major Norwegian towns - to refuse to show it in Bergen cinemas. He stated when interviewed that to show this to an audience of adults would be adding insults to the injuries already inflicted on other unsuspecting cinema goers.
How right he was! Of course, in a country like ours, this one-hour-and ten-(???!!!)-minute piece of pure rubbish was immediately given its (undeserved) cult status. Whether it has ever been shown again - in cinema clubs or on late evening trash programs during film festivals, one does not know. I was lucky to be spared the embarrassment of walking into a cinema, paying the exorbitant price for a seat there, only to walk out again after 10 - 15 minutes of sheer and utter boredom.
Instead, I cunningly waited until the "director" (who was hot news for the usual "5 day wonder-story" during the newspapers' silly season in July) came to this town where his (hrrrmmm!!!) masterpiece was not to be shown, to sell and sign video versions of "DIS". I couldn't resist the temptation (who would?!) - and collected enough money from friends and colleagues (the equivalent of a bus ticket from each) to be able to queue up and buy a copy. The price of the video then was approximately the equivalent of two cinema tickets. The video was duly signed (and perhaps blessed?!) by Mr. Aune Sand himself) since I was about 40 years older (then) than the very young female teen-agers who had lined up to buy their copies.
Some weeks later, the donators were invited for dinner, and a showing of Mr. Sand's masterpiece. My wife - who had entered the wrong cinema in another town and already struggled through it - gracefully left the group after dinner, and went to do something useful elsewhere.
We, then, were left to watch it. None of us had seen it before - and as we gathered courage, refilled glasses, had some coffee and lit a few cigars and candles - we finally sat down to watch it towards midnight.
To cut a long story and an even longer stretch of boredom short: those of us who did not fall asleep (it was after a 5-course meal) or made frequent trips to the "bathroom", or went out for a quick, quiet smoke on the balcony, valiantly sat through it - all trying to stay awake during an hour where time really dragged its leaden feet through the mires of an amateur production that ideally belongs to, and should never have left, the wastepaper-basket where it should have been thrown together with the parts and scenes which were (one hopes!) discarded. One has, though, a feeling that nothing has been discarded, the way the film appears to work its way through its four endless scenes!
The video has "a bonus"... A short film (lasting 8 or 9 minutes, I think) called "Kysset" ("The Kiss"). Anyone who can sit through that without yawning 5 or 6 times or more may have a chance to sit through the first one or two sections of DIS without getting fidgety. Others, though, may feel that 60+ minutes of one's life could be spent in a better way than watching this - which is about as exciting as looking at a glass of cold water becoming lukewarm - such as, for example, sleeping comfortably in one's bed as opposed to dozing off in a chair in front of a TV-screen.
I hardly ever do the latter - life is too short and too exciting for that! - but watching this film is the closest I've come to do so.
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