Director: Martin Sandin
Starring: Filip Berg, Alida Morberg
Review Author: Tony
Once again we are delighted to present a new Spotlight for a wonderful short film, Foggy Days (Dimmiga Dar), by the talented filmmaker and writer, Martin Sandin. This is our second Spotlight this year and interestingly it also hails from Sweden, so after two back to back Swedish short films I’ve concluded these may be the most attractive people I’ve ever seen. Foggy Days is about romance and expectations, it’s a familiar story with a modern twist despite the subject matters historical relevance. A shared physical attachment might be a mutual arrangement between two people, but the emotions and feelings of each party can be vastly different. Sandin explores this theme with a simple premise but layers it in a far more complex and intriguing manner.
The story opens with Peter in the midst of a conversation with his sister. She is ranting about the state of her current relationship while Peter can barely feign interest as he’s wrapped up in a text exchange. Peter cuts the gathering short and leaves abruptly. Soon Peter is at the doorway of Clara, an attractive woman who has been the focus of his attention. Later, Peter and Clara lie together in bed, the topic of their relationship arises and both are at odds on what it is they want out of their fling. Peter wants love and Clara is happy to keep things light and casual. As they leave for a party, both are faced with the question of what this relationship means and who is playing a game.
The relationship dynamic at play is fascinating, on the surface level it’s easy to fall into the trap of feeling sorry for Peter as he wants more from Clara and professes his desire for their fling to be more, while Clara is dismissive and has her own lifestyle she enjoys and wants to keep. Love is a word I’m avoiding here because everything presented never quite falls into the category of such a strong emotion. Both have wants and needs but must be on their own terms. Clara is not the enemy, she is clear in how she wants the relationship to remain and is enjoying the life she’s living. It becomes apparent that Peter is not willing to invest in her interests as he acts like a spoiled child at the party amongst her friends and leaves to pursue his own interests. It is a credit to Sandin’s writing to have such an unfolding narrative in just 17 minutes.
The Cinematography is a revelation with a fine mix of personal close ups to capture every character’s reaction and emotion to the events. Zoe Que does a brilliant job, the standout is the party where quick cuts and uncomfortable close ups creates this dizzying perspective from Peter’s point of view. He is lost amongst this crowd and has no interest in what they have to say. Alternatively, the scene also looks lively and filled with various interesting characters, all with their own personalities; a cool crowd that clearly Clara likes to keep company.
Foggy Days is sharply written and poignant in its message. There may not be a clear conclusion to this story but you get a great feel for each characters position on the relationship. It’s a complex study of what one is willing to invest in a mutual entanglement, and is it fair to expect a return that only benefits you?