Arguably one of the year’s best films is the Norwegian film Turn Me On Dammit. Ostensibly a narrative about the sexual awakening of Alma (Helene Bergsholm), a fifteen year-old small-town blonde, the picture is achingly sweet, deeply poignant and undeniably heroic. Mired in small-town boredom, Alma yearns for Artur, a long-time friend and local hunk. But when Arthur makes a sexual pass towards her at a party, Alma can’t contain her enthusiasm and alerts her two best friends: Ingrid and Saralou. Ingrid, who also fancies Artur, immediately turns against Alma and rallies the school against her as well. From there, Alma starts smoking weed and growing comfortable with her unbridled sexual appetite and her newfound outcast status.
Unabashedly realistic, painfully honest and overwhelmingly provocative, the film hits an arsenal of salient points and watershed topics. With scenes depicting bullying, rebellion and first love, it is an all too important film for these modern times. In addition to being skillfully acted, it is also gorgeously shot and practically serves as a tourist brochure for rural Norway. Janiicke Systad Jacobsen’s affecting debut premiered in New York earlier this spring, where it won Best Screenplay at the Tribeca Film Festival. In addition to its accolades in New York, it also won Best Debut Film at the Rome Film Festival. One can’t help but think these two awards are just the start for this film. If anything, it signals the arrival of a slew of fresh new faces in the European film market.
Turn Me On, Dammit opens in Los Angeles tomorrow.