Watched it again; blown away again.
Yes, work with the guy who did the sound design again. The quality of the sound and how it works in this movie is so incredibly effective. Upon re-watching, when Arvid first walks out into daylight and the wind picks up and you see the leaves rustle on the trees... at that point I'm already starting to feel so many feelings and the movie just arrests you in those feelings all the way through. And the feelings keep changing, and you don't know whether you're watching a horror film or a drama or a surreal Lynchian thing and you don't know what's going to happen. The title gives you no clue as to what's going to happen or how you're supposed to feel, and I like that.
And when the boys are playing in the foresty area, the cracks of the tree branches as Arvid walks through the trees... the intensity of the sound plays against the soothing nature of the images, and the whole movie has this kind of unsettling quality, but not in a way where I ever felt like it was disturbing or interested in being disturbing... just... that it was a world where it's hard to get a solid footing and feel comfortable with where you are in the narrative or the characters or the world. It forces you to have to trust the film, to go with it and sink in, and that's where the masterful filmmaking really helps, because there is not a single moment where I didn't feel like I was in the best possible hands. I could give my heart over and ride this ride, and that's what I look for in any movie. That's the ideal.
And every new scene has its own kind of beauty that's different from before. Every new scene introduces a wave of feelings upon the very first shot, just because of the aesthetics. Maybe it's because of the nostalgic quality of the overall look of the movie, but yeah, it's like, upon the first second of seeing Arvid on the bed with his brother playing with his face, that's a feeling, then CUT to Arvid's POV of his list of ages, and that's another feeling (and I love how you included the half-second of camera jostling before you cut away from that shot). And then CUT to oh my god the one-shot tableau scene of Arvid mashing the keyboards with the brother running around shouting bang bang and the father (step-dad maybe?) ironing and the mother just staring off...
Dude, believe me that I'd love to find some criticism to give because I don't want you to think that I'm at all coddling you or worrying about hurting your feelings. I know what it's like to want real criticism, but sometimes a movie is so beautiful that there's really nothing to do but bask in its glory. I'd do that with this movie even if I didn't know you... I'd just go and tell friends how great I think it is (which I already have, sort of... just telling friends how I saw this amazing short film and can't stop thinking about it). The fact that you are a person that I can call my friend is just nuts because I think this movie is like a blast of light upon a giant billboard that says you are a great filmmaker and certainly on your way to becoming a major figure in cinema. I almost feel like I shouldn't say that because I don't want to blow your head up too big and I know you're a humble guy, but goddamnit, there are filmmakers worth celebrating and you're not only on your way to having that happen, I'm sure, but you've already made a movie that demands to be celebrated. Like I want to have a party for your movie.
Please keep making movies. I know you are, but please, just... keep doing it. If you ever get depressed and start thinking about quitting for any reason, I would fucking fly to Norway or Germany or where ever you are at the time and buy you your favorite food and tell you that we all need you to keep making movies. It would bankrupt me probably, but I would do it.