Joachim Trier, bridgehead of a new Norwegian cinema

(AFP) – Maestro of melancholy in the cinema and beachhead of a new Norwegian cinema, the director Joachim Trier, whose latest film “Julie (in 12 chapters)” comes out on Wednesday, began filming even before knowing how to read and to write.

A director grandfather – Erik Løchen – competing for the Palme d’Or in 1960 alongside the Fellini, Bergman, Antonioni and others Bunuel, a sound engineer father, a documentary author mother … The destiny of Joachim Trier , also distant relative of the Dane Lars von Trier, seems all drawn.

At five, he tinkered with his father animated films with a Super 8 camera, before making skateboard videos a few years later, his teenage passion.

A graduate of a London film school, the director, born March 1, 1974, in his first films portrayed discomfort, self-discovery and disillusionment carrying a suicidal spleen.

The atmosphere, the use of amateur or unknown actors … Critics note the influence of the French New Wave in him.

“I have in all my films explored this incredible idea that you can meet someone at the wrong time, that they are not the right person (when they have to) and that in the end a relationship does not work” for this reason, explained Joachim Trier in Cannes, during the presentation of “Julie (in 12 chapters)”. “There is an existential potential when we approach the evolution of a romantic relationship.”

With this film, the director, who claims to work in a group, punctuates a trilogy started, without knowing it, 15 years ago. He brilliantly recounts the torments of a young woman today, played by Renate Reinsve, torn between her career, her love life and the role of an adult.

– Impossible happiness –

Before that, his first feature film “Nouvelle Donne” (2006) had explored the pangs of a beginning author who is trying to rebuild himself after a stay in the psychiatric hospital.

In “Oslo, August 31”, adaptation of the novel “Le feu follet” by Pierre Drieu La Rochelle, selected in Cannes in the section “Un Certain Regard” in 2011, it is a drug addict at the end of his treatment who fails to find a place in society.

The three works have in common that they were filmed in Norwegian, in Oslo, with the same actor – Anders Danielsen Lie – in the leading male role and the feeling of exclusion as a haunting theme.

As if their characters were struck with a sort of curse, that of staying at the dock, incapable of knowing happiness in a society which, statistically, swims in it.

“It is often in misfortune that there are many interesting things”, decrypts Camilla Laache, film critic at TV2.

Joachim Trier “is good at painting human portraits”, she says. “He makes films about human beings and human beings, there are all kinds of them, even in the happiest country in the world.”

The director is not himself monotonous.

With “Louder than Bombs”, he leaves his exclusively Norwegian universe: shooting in English and French in New York, eclectic casting with the French Isabelle Huppert, the Irish Gabriel Byrne and the American Jesse Eisenberg, multinational production … This family drama was also in the running for the Palme d’Or the year it was released, in 2015.

Two years later, the Scandinavian tackles the romantic thriller enhanced with a touch of fantasy, with “Thelma”.