Acts of remembering, acts of forgetting: Architecture, memory and recovery in Oslo, August 31st

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This article examines the ways Joachim Trier represents memory in Oslo, 31. august (Oslo, August 31st) (2011), arguing that the film depicts a conflict between an individual’s attempt to forget (through addiction recovery) and the persistence of cultural memory. The film centres on Anders’s inability to move on from his addiction and imagine a future for himself in the face of an overabundant archive of cultural memory that situates him as an addict. One of the techniques Trier uses to represent the omnipresence of this ‘mnemonic energy’ on-screen is to visually associate memory with Oslo’s urban landscape, revealing the ways architecture ‘frames’ and circumscribes Anders’s attempt at constructing a new self through recovery. By depicting the individual’s interface with cultural memory as an immersive experience of wandering through a modern cityscape dominated by architectural structures, Trier shows how difficult recovery can be for an individual embedded within them.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7-24
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Scandinavian Cinema
Volume10
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Architecture and memory
  • Cultural memory
  • Drug addiction
  • Film and memory
  • Joachim Trier
  • Recovery

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