There is a scene in Oslo, August 31st where two girls ride bicycles, each with a fellow hitching a lift on the back (a ‘backie’ in my world). The ride takes place just before dawn after a night of partying. One of the fellows, the one on the bike in front, has a fire extinguisher which he releases sporadically behind him. The effect is to leave a static miniature cloud in his wake for his following friends to cycle through or around. It’s a deeply beautiful and captivating sequence.
And the film as whole has these qualities too, easily engaging the audience as it simultaneously suffocates with an unbearable weight of existential melancholy. The film stylistically and tonally is french new wave, but never feels less than supremely relevant.