a film by Stian Kristiansen
2008 | 97 mins | Norway
›› The Man Who Loved Yngve - Mannen Som Elsket Yngve
the adolescent feelings of a burgeoning sexuality, ’80s style.
The Man Who Loved Yngve by Stian Kristiansen Alternating between comedy and drama, here director Stian Kristiansen delights in taking you back in time to an era devoid of the advances of modern communications technology, to focus instead on the classic love triangle scenario, ’80s style.

For Norwegian teen Jarle cannot spend time enough with his girlfriend Katrine, that is when he's not out skating. Yet more than anything he loves music, having formed with his newly found friend Helge a punk band set to debut on the local scene. Only it’s 1989 and the fall of the Berlin wall is not the only change on the horizon. For into Jarle’s increasingly confused life arrives new kid on the block Yngve; a blond haired youth of differing musical and cultural background who seemingly has everything going for him, including Jarle given he is soon to be found making eyes in Yngve's direction. In love with two people at the same time, just who does Jarle’s heart truly long for; girlfriend or boyfriend?

The Man Who Loved Yngve by Stian Kristiansen Reverberating with the music of the Buzzcocks, REM and The Cure and laced with wry Scandinavian wit, this energetic feature, more coming-of-age than coming out, nevertheless leaves you with little doubt as to the sexual way this Stavangerian teen swings. Then again, with lustful longing glances, let alone practically changing his music, sport and hairstyle to beckon the affection of the synth pop styled object of his desire, Jarle’s homosexual heart is but apparent to all.

Yet into a mix in which the adolescent feelings of a burgeoning sexuality are beautifully played out for the camera, the ending it has to be said, is somewhat unclear. For whilst screenwriter Tore Renberg stays true to his written work, the closing reel feels under explained, even if the pieces of the jigsaw are all but accounted for. That said, the cast of fresh faces including Rolf Kristian Larsen in the role of Jarle deliver vibrant performances throughout, leaving Kristiansen free to relish in the period feel of the piece, having thankfully kept the direct to camera comments limited to the opening scene.

That Norway produces relatively few gay works, is all but obvious. But of the ones they have, like the ever so rose-tinted feature Sebastian, few do not fail to please and this is no exception, even if this pulsating piece does arrive with an emotional twist in its touching tale.

Gay Visibility - coming-of-age style. 
Nudity - bare-arsed cheek. 
Overall - file under ... 3+ stars. 
DVD available 20.09.2010 as part of the TLA Releasing UK catalogue
screened as part of the 24th London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival 2010
starring: Rolf Kristian Larsen, Arthur Berning, Ida Elise Broch, Ole Christoffer Ertvaag, Jørgen Langhelle,
Trine Wiggen, Knut Sverdrup Kleppestø, Andreas Cappelen, Vegar Hoel, Mari Langfeldt,
Erlend Stene, Lasse Holdhus, Marko Kanic and Frisør Tom.
Copyright 2010 David Hall - www.gaycelluloid.com.
archive reference #323
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