Janne is a 60 year old party promoter who never grew up. After serving time with an ankle tag for a minor crime, he teams up with his equally irresponsible sister Jackie and friend Klas to open an exclusive nightclub at the annual tennis week in the small coastal town of Båstad.
There’s plenty of work involved in opening the club, and instead Janne and Jackie play at being tourists: going to the beach, driving around the countryside, and leaving Klas and his hired help to get the place open.
Blasé attitudes and bad behaviour run riot in Avalon, coming to a head when an accident thwarts Janne’s grand plans. One mistake turns into another as he desperately seeks a way out.
Set in Båstad, the seaside holiday town in Western Sweden, where director Axel Petersen grew up, the film’s setting is stunning and the intensity of the club beautifully juxtaposed with naturalistic shots of the coastline. Avalon is said to be partly a commentary on the lifestyle of his parents’ friends, who continue to party there into old age. Petersen’s mother still lives there, and his aunt Léonore Ekstrand is superb as Janne’s sister Jackie.
This blackly wry drama is a first feature for Petersen, whose background is in fine art and video installation work. His efforts resulted in two Guldbagge awards and the winner of the Fipresci Prize for First Feature at Toronto International Film Festival.
“Bona-fide scoundrels are seldom a movie's centerpiece, but the baggy-eyed ex-party boy, ex-felon, club promoter and general reprobate is a longshot for sympathy, which makes Petersen's moral juggling act seem all the more impressive”.
– John Anderson, Variety
Axel Petersén, born 1979, is the director of several acclaimed short films, with The Tracks of My Tears 2 premiering in Venice Orizzonti 2011. Last year Axel was Guldbagge-nominated for his short A Good Friend of Mr. World. Axel is trained at the Czech film school FAMU and the Royal Swedish Academy of Arts. Avalon is Axel's first feature and took shape after he made a filmed pilot study with his aunt and several of the actors. The film was shot in Västra Götaland and in the summer resort of Båstad in Sweden over the course of five weeks in the summer of 2010.
How to Choose
Cecilia Stenbom | UK | 2012 | 4min
A short, humorous “instruction video” about small, seemingly insignificant everyday choices, such as what to wear or what to bring with you for the day. Guided by a female narrator who is flawed with anxieties around illness, death and other bad outcomes, How to Choose is about the desire to remove the agony of decision- making in a world constantly bombarded with endless possibilities, in the quest for a less anxious existence.
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