Sex on the brain

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - FILM REVIEWS - TARA BRADY


Di­rected by Jan­nicke Sys­tad Ja­cob­sen. Star­ring He­lene Bergsholm, Hen­ri­ette Steen­strup, Ju­lia Schacht, Ma­tias Myren

Club, Light House, Dublin, 76 mins Hell is boys and lip­gloss. In the sleepy fic­tional Nor­we­gian bor­ough of Skod­de­heimen, 15-yearold Alma is grap­pling with om­niv­o­rous hor­mones and pol­y­sex­ual day­dreams. When mom is on shift at the lo­cal turnip fac­tory, our young, peren­ni­ally horny hero­ine takes to sex chat lines.

Ev­ery­one Alma meets – really, ev­ery­one – is fod­der for sex­ual fan­tasies, none more so than Ar­tur, the tall, mono­syl­labic boy from down the street.

When Ar­tur ex­poses him­self to Alma, how­ever, her friends are not in­clined to be­lieve her ac­count of events. He de­nies it, of course, and Alma sud­denly finds her­self out of favour in the school­yard.

Never mind the sex; di­rec­tor Jan­nicke Sys­tad Ja­cob­sen’s sharp, bit­ter­sweet com­edy is mostly about the mean kids and the shoe-gaz­ing.

Alma’s in­ner-life, once a riot, is soon played out in stark black and white im­ages. Re­peated shots of dreary small-town av­enues deaden her ex­is­tence even fur­ther.

Mar­i­anne Bakke’s bleached cine­matog­ra­phy dove­tails per­fectly with a tart, dead­pan script and He­lene Bergsholm’s un­flinch­ing per­for­mance.

Hi­lar­i­ously, the film has been reti­tled since its Amer­i­can re­lease when the US dis­trib­u­tor re­moved “God” from the poster so as not to de­ter de­cent Chris­tian folk from watch­ing a Scan­di­na­vian teen mas­tur­ba­tion film. We doubt the same de­mo­graphic would warm to the film’s frank girl talk.

At its best and most beau­ti­ful, Turn Me On, Go­dammit! boasts the bluntest, realest girls we’ve seen all year. The fem-speak more than jus­ti­fies the clipped run­ning time.

She’s gotta have it: He­lene Bergsholm as Alma

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