Original title: Verdens verste menneske
Directed by Joachim Trier
Written by Eskil Vogt, Joachim Trier
Starring Renate Reinsve (Julie), Anders Danielsen Lie (Askel), Herbert Nordrum (Eivind)
Cinematography Kasper Tuxen
Edited by Olivier Bugge Coutté
Music by Ola Fløttum
Release dates: 8 July 2021 (Cannes), 13 October 2021 (France), 15 October 2021 (Norway), 19 November 2021 (Sweden)
Running time: 128 minutes
Countries: Norway, France, Denmark, Sweden
The chronicles of four years in the life of Julie, a young woman who navigates the troubled waters of her love life and struggles to find her career path, leading her to take a realistic look at who she really is.
* * *
THE WORST PERSON IN THE WORLD
A film in 12 chapters, a prologue and an epilogue
You’ve been through the epidermis, derma and muscles.
Julie disappointed herself. This used to be easy.
She was still among the top students, but there were too many interruptions, updates, feeds, unsolvable global problems.
She sensed a gnawing unease she had tried to suppress by cramming by drowning it in digital interference.
This was wrong. This wasn’t her.
She’d chosen medicine because it was so hard to gain admission.
Where her excellent grades actually meant something.
But then she had a revelation.
Her passion had always been the soul.
The mind, not the body.
Surgery is like, so concrete.
It’s almost like being a carpenter.
My passion has always been what goes on inside, thoughts and feelings.
It was like a window had opened.
If psychology will make you happy, then do it.
I think you’re really brave.
I can’t take it anymore. I don’t want to.
She left him.
Though he was devastated, he had to respect the way she took control of her life.
She observed her fellow students.
Norway’s future spiritual advisers.
Mostly girls with borderline eating disorders.
Say you’re at a party.
She still felt trapped in the role of model student.
All this cramming.
When was life supposed to start?
What’s your name?
The person’s name is Julie.
Let’s say Julie and I meet at a party, and we feel a mutual attraction.
Actually, she was a visual person.
Now I know.
I want to be a photographer.
Julie spent her student loan on cameras and lenses.
As long as you’re serious about it.
No safety net. No holding back.
She took a temp job in a bookstore.
Started a photography course.
She made new friends.
It felt like coming home.
Suddenly Oslo was a different city.
New places. New faces.
You’re the comic book artist?
She’d heard he was the creator of Bobcat.
Sorry, I’m a wild animal.
Have you read it?
She pretended she’d read it.
She only remembered one strip she’d found vaguely sexist.
I know what you mean.
Nothing’s ever good enough.
The only thing worse than all the idiots is yourself.
If we go on, I’ll fall in love with you. Then it’ll be too late.
Maybe we should agree to… stop seeing each other.
The problem is our age difference.
I’m just afraid we’ll fall into a vicious circle.
You’re much younger than I am.
You’ll start to question who you are.
I’m past 40. I’ve entered a new phase.
Whereas you still need time to find yourself.
You don’t need me waiting.
You need to be completely free.
I’m just afraid we’ll hurt each other.
Later she said that was the precise moment she fell in love with him.
Shall I put your bag in the bedroom?
I have two copies of a book!
I’ll throw one away.
Can I have two shelves?
How many closets do you need?
How many can I have?
No, that’s not how it works.
This is antique glass. All wavy and stuff.
No, don’t do that. Not like that.
Lift this catch here.
I’m terrified it’ll break.
I gaze out this window.
I’m not kidding.
Hey, that’s how relationships work.
She’s a bit frosty towards me. That’s new.
Yeah? Why do you think that is?
It’s embarrassing to say.
We’ve been single together.
Lived that life.
Then suddenly I move in with you.
And you’re happy?
No, no, no…
Did you date this guy?
Yeah, just a fling.
You’re so predictable!
Let’s just fuck.
Chapter 1 THE OTHERS
Happy to see you!
Thanks for coming.
Dad designed it.
We should renovate, but don’t want to change anything.
Yeah, but there’s stuff like that. Damp.
We get this room because we’re childless.
Dibs on the top bunk.
I always feel that Tone doesn’t like me.
She’s just shy.
That’s what you say about boring people.
It’s my turn now.
Vin de blanc?
Do you have any friends with kids yet?
No. Only one.
guess this feels unfamiliar.
They’re very sweet.
So what are you doing now, Julie?
Aksel says you’ve started writing?
Well, I wouldn’t exactly call it writing.
Is there anything you’d like to do, as a career?
Questions, questions, Karianne.
That question was vulgar when we were students.
Yeah, we were.
True, we had a lot of freedom.
Being young today is different.
The pressure is heart-breaking.
There’s no time to think.
Always something on the screen.
If we don’t set limits, he spends his life on screens.
No, it’s not your turn.
It’s Martin’s turn.
Julie’s still the closest.
I don’t want to go to bed!
I don’t want to!
Eva, don’t make another scene. Come here!
No! I don’t want to!
You silly girl!
I don’t want to!
But I want you to!
I don’t want to!
Kids can be intense.
Well, it’s okay.
Fun with kids.
Can’t we just enjoy it?
Please. No fights.
There are kids here, and it’s chaos.
Try playing with them or something, okay?
Spare me the kid talk.
Sorry, but I wasn’t the one who started.
You’re with someone who’s younger than you. There’s a gap.
You’re almost 30. Not a bad age to have kids.
I’m 44. I want to go to the next level. With you.
It has nothing to do with my friends.
You seem to be waiting for something. I don’t know what.
I didn’t want to get into this.
Everything’s on your terms.
You have time off, so we’re on holiday.
After you publish, you get bored.
And start talking about kids.
The others here have kids, so it’s an issue.
It is true.
And then… you get a new idea at some point, and disappear into your drawing board.
What are you saying?
Don’t start. It’s not cool.
Shut up. Please.
Of course I’d be there if we had kids.
You know that. You know I want children.
Sure, and I’ll also want kids at some point.
But I don’t know…
I have no maternal instinct, right?
No, you’d make a great mom.
I’m sure of it.
I want to have children too.
At some point.
So what are we waiting for? What has to happen first?
I don’t know what exactly.
I just want to do more first.
Okay, like what?
What’s the obstacle?
I don’t know! Why do you ask?
Your concept is flawed.
Most people have kids without sorting out their life first.
They figure it out.
That’s how most people do it.
But I don’t want everything to happen on your terms, based on what you want.
Fine. I got it. But what do you want?
Oh, please! We have to stop.
I need sleep to put up with those people.
I know a guy who has a theory about that.
He says we have a limited number of sperm.
Say… three trillion in your lifetime.
Jerk off too much and you run out. Could be true.
Easy now, Portnoy.
Personally, I feel like I know everything about male problems.
Erectile dysfunction, morning wood, infatuation with young women… premature ejaculation…
Nice work, Aksel.
It’s in all the books and movies.
Where’s the menstrual period?
Female orgasm and desire? Where?
Good question. Tell us. In juicy detail.
No, the point is it shouldn’t be taboo.
If men had periods, that’s all we’d hear about.
Can you womansplain it a bit better?
What do you mean?
Like mansplaining, but womansplaining.
When a 45-year-old man explains how things really are to a younger woman.
How’s the senior citizen club doing?
Look who’s here!
Are you okay?
Let me see…
We’ll laugh about it later. It’s just a scratch.
Karianne’s such a drama queen.
It’s my fault.
Not at all, Julie.
It is. I always overdo it.
I know being here isn’t easy for you.
I’m not into this whole “happy family” thing either.
I’m glad it turned into a party tonight.
I hope you had fun!
What the hell’s wrong with you?
What’s wrong with having a little fun?
I didn’t have any fun!
Sorry that happened.
You don’t care!
Shut up! Just shut up!
You don’t give a shit about me!
Shall we make a baby?
There’s coffee. And cups.
Chapter 2 CHEATING
Sorry, I forgot.
What’s your line of work?
I work in a bookstore.
Norli, by the university.
Could you excuse me for a moment?
Could you sign?
Sure, I’ll just finish this.
Any new Bobcat in the pipeline?
I’ve moved on.
Do you work full-time there,
or are you just temping on weekends?
Hey, I think I’ll head home.
Yeah, I’m fine.
I can stay if you like.
But I have to stay a bit longer.
Okay. See you at home.
Hi. Can I have a smoke?
I had my second child ten years later.
Now we’re supposed to introduce solids at 4 months.
What made the pediatricians change their minds?
Do you cuddle your kids?
Sure, a lot.
They’ll be drug addicts.
They’ll be addicts because I cuddle them?
Yeah, according to new research.
New research says you shouldn’t cuddle your kids?
I realise it must be counterintuitive for a mother.
But motherhood upsets your limbic system.
So my kids are going to be drug addicts?
That’s ridiculous. Do you have children?
No, but I’m a doctor. I have a medical perspective.
Babies express themselves by crying.
It’s normal for a mother or a father to comfort them.
Not asking me the usual questions?
Who I am, what I do.
Who are you? What do you do?
I hate those questions.
They’re especially bad when you’re a doctor.
Are you a doctor?
No, you are.
Which questions should I ask?
Ask me who I know here.
Who do you know here?
I crashed the party.
You just waltzed in?
Nothing’s gonna happen.
Of course not.
I’m with someone I love.
And I can’t stand cheating. I’ve been there. Never again.
Right, cheating is…
But where do you draw the line?
You can feel it.
If I do this…
Is that cheating?
What about this?
No, that’s permissible.
And hurting someone who’s not your partner?
You hurt your partner?
Is that cheating?
Did that hurt?
Yeah, it did.
Let me smell your sweat.
Yes, that’s allowed.
The kind of smell you never forget.
My turn to smell you.
No, please. I regret it now.
Let me smell.
I think you smell nice.
I don’t know if…
this is permissible.
You start, then I’ll go next.
I actually think sex is best
when the dick isn’t too hard.
in a way, then I’m the one
who makes it hard, you know?
My secret will be dumb now.
I guess I misunderstood.
I was going to say I like the Barcode Project.
It looks pretty from the bridge when I go to work.
I expose my darkest secrets, and you…
You said “secrets”, not “darkest”.
So why is that a secret?
Because everyone thinks it’s ugly.
Can I whisper it?
Sorry, I seem to be sitting on everything.
There’s nothing sexual about that.
Not at all.
Although you do like soft dicks.
Okay. Your turn.
I can’t pee.
I’m going this way.
What’s your name?
I’m Eivind. Eivind…
Don’t say it.
I’ll find you on Facebook, and…
We didn’t cheat.
Not at all.
Chapter 3 ORAL SEX IN THE AGE OF #METOO
Aksel, I need to tell you something.
“A friend told me she had sex with a man who pumped his dick into her mouth while he held her head. She was confused because she enjoyed it. It really turned her on. Can you be a feminist and still enjoy being mouth-fucked? Most women I know are ambivalent about performing oral sex. They must act as if they like… …the pathetic expectation that it’ll turn them on… I like it flaccid. So I create the stiffness instead of having it thrust upon me.”
This is good.
It’s over the top.
I don’t agree with everything, but it’s very well written.
Original. Very good.
What will you do with it?
I don’t know.
You really think it’s good?
Yeah, I’m not lying.
Are you sure?
Don’t you dare doubt it.
It’s pretty cerebral.
But it turns me on too.
Is that why you wrote it?
Her piece “Oral Sex in the Age of #MeToo” was published on jubel.no.
It was widely shared and set off a lively Facebook debate.
With the strong painkillers I’m on, I can’t drive.
I hoped I could come, but… I can’t spend an hour on a bus with this back.
Could you come to Hønefoss next weekend?
So we can celebrate together.
Nathalie says happy birthday too.
Say hello from me.
How nice to see you.
It’s been too long.
Way too long.
Anyway, have a nice birthday.
I’m too skinny?
You work too much.
We’ll talk later.
Why do I always have to go see him?
He’s not coming?
Well, he’s got a backache.
There’s always something wrong with him.
So, he’s not coming.
That’s not nice.
He wanted to, but he has a backache.
Does he realise how it makes you feel?
It’s a backache, Mom.
Please help yourself.
Thank you. It looks delicious.
I hope you like it.
Hurray and happy birthday today!
It’s time to celebrate you!
At 30, Julie’s mom, Eva, had been divorced for two years. A single mom and accountant in a publishing house.
Let us dance, hop, jump and turn
Wishing you the very happiest returns
For now it’s time for celebration!
Have you read Julie’s article?
Have you read it, Mom?
Julie’s article. It’s excellent.
At 30, Julie’s grandmother had three children.
She played Rebecca West in Rosmersholm at the National Theatre.
At 30, Julie’s great-grandmother, Astrid, was a widow, alone with four children.
Julie’s great-great-grandmother had seven children.
Two died of tuberculosis.
Julie’s great-great-great-grandmother, Herta, was a merchant’s wife with six children in a loveless marriage.
Julie’s great-great-great-greatgrandmother never turned 30.
The life expectancy for women at the time was 35 years.
I don’t want to bother you with it, but…
It’s getting harder and harder to pee.
I was scared it was prostate cancer, but it wasn’t.
Well, that’s good.
I go to the toilet all the time.
Thanks for the cool jacket. Good timing.
I want to get into hiking.
Sorry we’re late.
You didn’t make them coffee?
I’ll fix something.
How’d it go?
How many saves?
Happy belated birthday.
30 is pretty major.
Too bad we missed it.
The tournament lasted all day.
So we couldn’t come.
No problem. That’s okay.
She’s the goalkeeper. You should see her play.
No, she doesn’t have to.
I’ll let you know next time.
Yeah, please do.
Did you get the article I sent you?
Yeah, I was about to ask you. I couldn’t get the link to work.
My PC acts up.
Know anything about computers?
I can take a look.
But can’t she just resend the email?
Wasn’t there a…
Did she send it in an email?
An attachment to an email.
No, I pressed the button on the mouse.
Then I put the arrow on the square.
I tried twice, then it vanished.
It could be my fault.
Maybe I sent the wrong version.
We’ll fix it. You have to read that article.
It’s really good.
Very… Very well written, and…
When are you coming to see us, Per Harald?
We’d love it. Come see where your daughter lives.
Sure, of course.
But it’s hard to park in Central Oslo.
They’ve got that… resident… resident parking there.
It’s made it much easier to find a space.
You just have to pay.
And move the car every half hour?
Is that the reason you don’t come to see us?
Because it’s hard to drive in town?
That’s not it.
Then what is it?
Well, you know… with my painkillers, I’m not allowed to drive.
There’s that too.
The good thing is, he’s open about it.
His pains. His prostate.
You have to make your own family.
Chapter 5 BAD TIMING
Do you have Green Yoga?
Let me check.
Which book again?
Published last year.
No, I’ll have to order it. It’s not in stock.
How long will it take?
Okay. No thanks.
They don’t have it either.
We can try at Ark.
I told her I forgot my sunglasses.
I just had to say that I know what we said.
But I think about you a lot.
And… I don’t want to bug you if you’re happy.
I don’t know what to say.
I’d like to see you again. Just to talk.
I mean, I’m not going to…
But I’d like to see you again. Just to…
I’m at Åpent Bakeri in Barcode nearly every day.
I work there, I mean. If you want to.
Oh, right. Fuck.
Language opens the door to the subconscious.
Freud was a great writer.
He could be self-critical.
He never hesitated to revise his theories.
He viewed each individual patient as a research subject.
Freud didn’t distinguish between therapy and research.
I find that very compelling.
Especially these days, when scientific methodology is applied even in the humanities.
Enough about Freud. How’s the movie coming along?
Isn’t it almost done?
Yeah, I’ve seen it, but…
It’s no longer mine at all.
Is it as bad as you feared?
The worst thing is how they’ve housetrained Bobcat.
It’s all very sanitised and safe.
I’ll show you something.
A mock-up of the movie poster.
I have to admit… I’m embarrassed my name’s on it.
You must be kidding. No way.
That’s the poster. For real.
Looks like Chip and Dale.
Should I laugh or cry?
Everything was butchered. The story. All the details.
They removed the starfish.
Sorry, I’m lost.
It’s, you know… the butthole. The anus.
His butt is smooth in the movie.
This thing is gone.
That’s bad in my book.
In underground comics you shit, you puke, you fuck and all that stuff.
Bobcat is a wild cat in a world of domestic cats.
He’s a rebel against the bourgeoisie.
One of the most iconic buttholes ever.
I don’t know what we should do.
I have to go.
Aksel, we need to talk.
Yeah, of course.
Julie said she’d been thinking.
It wasn’t his fault. Nothing he could have changed.
It’s not anything you’ve done.
It’s not your fault. But I feel…
It was about all their old arguments.
Things they both knew.
It was bad timing.
They’d met in different phases of life.
They wanted different things.
We want different things.
Are you leaving me?
I want it to be over.
Are you sure you’re yourself right now?
What do you mean?
Do you realise…
Do you realise what you’re doing?
What you’re destroying?
Yes, of course.
That’s why it’s so hard.
Where will you live?
I don’t know.
You don’t know?
No. With Mom.
Move home to Mom?
Yeah. Until I find a place.
No, come on…
I’ve had it. What else can I say?
Is something else bothering you and you’re venting on me?
I’ve thought about it for a long time.
It feels right.
Have you met someone?
I’m so sick of all this, Julie. Dammit.
Sick to death of it.
Just leave. If that’s what you want.
I’ll take a walk while you pack.
Julie said he deserved a more grounded woman.
Ready for children.
Who was dependable, didn’t flake out every six months.
But I like you flaky.
Aksel said he liked her flaky.
That he needed someone like that.
Who could draw him out of his drawing board.
And as for having kids…
He said he’d rather be childless with her than have kids with anyone else.
You know that’s not the only problem.
So what is the problem?
It’s a combination of things, not just that.
I can see you’re in a crisis right now.
I can understand that.
But if you love me, we’ll sort it all out.
Yes, I do love you.
And I don’t love you.
Julie felt that this sentence, the way she said it, her emphasis on certain words, summed up the impossibility of it all.
I feel like a spectator in my own life.
Like I’m playing a supporting role in my own life.
I get that you feel stuck.
You need a change.
But is this the solution?
This is exactly my point.
I’m trying to tell you how I feel, and you’re defining my feelings.
I see what you’re doing.
What am I doing? Tell me what I’m doing.
Shut up, and I’ll tell you.
You’re acting out the confrontation you never dared have with your father.
You’re taking it out on me.
Is that so?
What do you know about it?
This is the crux of our relationship.
Everything we feel, we have to put into words.
Sometimes, I just want to feel things.
You insist on being so damn strong all the time.
For you, being strong is about formulating things.
If you analyse things at every psychological level, you think you’re strong.
Because I’m less analytical, you think I’m weaker.
She said she was terrified of being alone.
Terrified of living without him.
That when she left, she’d be like Bambi on the ice.
And that was precisely why she had to do it.
Aksel mumbled soothing words she didn’t hear.
She was thinking about how, at the age of 30, she’d just compared herself to Bambi.
No, you’re not.
I didn’t mean what I said.
I said plenty of things too.
Stay a little longer.
You’ll regret it.
I’m sure I will.
The saddest thing, is one day, you’ll want kids.
In any case, you’ll have other relationships.
And you’ll realise that what we had was unique.
You don’t. But I do. I’ve had many relationships.
I know how hard it is.
Nobody communicates like we do. Laughs like we do.
Who knows? Maybe we’ll get back together someday.
Then and there she meant it.
I mean it.
Chapter 6 FINNMARK HIGHLANDS
Are you cold.
It looked easier on YouTube.
I told you we should practice.
This one first.
Are you sure?
Yes, this goes on top.
Right, but is it first?
Isn’t the other one first?
No, that’s the top.
Eivind turned it into a funny story he told everyone.
But it touched something deeper in her.
Awoke something in her.
She googled her family name.
Her grandfather came from the Far North.
The DNA sample she sent to America confirmed it.
Eivind didn’t see how her newfound identity as 3.1% Sami connected to mind-expanding substances and unrelated exotic rituals, but tried to be supportive.
As she became increasingly militant, she saw how climate change was hurting indigenous people.
Inuit starving as seals vanish.
Melting ice ruining reindeer pastures.
Aborigines dying of skin cancer from the hole in the ozone.
Eivind could forget about flying to New York.
Breathe in. All the way up.
She made them live more sustainably.
He could always do better.
Study the ingredients more closely.
Consider the environmental impact of his purchases.
Plastic is killing the oceans.
Norwegian cod was ferried to China and back.
Cobalt mining was destroying the Congo.
Batteries had blood on their hands.
The sum of Western guilt sat beside him on the couch.
Went to bed with him at night.
Everything was weighed against the greater cause.
He felt he was betraying Sunniva. Betraying the Sami people.
Felt like the world’s worst person, but couldn’t resist.
I forgot my sunglasses inside.
Be right back.
Chapter 7 A NEW CHAPTER
Eivind didn’t want kids either.
Climate researchers foresaw hard times for future generations.
Overpopulation was the reason everything was falling apart.
Julie liked how this pessimism added depth to his cheerful nature.
But she could tell he had other reasons too.
Eivind’s father, like Julie’s, tended to forget birthdays.
Eivind would often say, “According to my father’s calendar…” I’m 12 years old.
They’re all hard. No ripe ones.
People die of thirst in Chile because avocados need so much water.
Still following Sunniva on Instagram?
Yeah, she posts interesting links about the environment.
We don’t message or anything.
She’s got over 30,000 followers.
For showing off her ass?
She’s not showing off her ass, she’s doing yoga.
Okay, she shows it off a bit.
I don’t mind you following her.
It’s not a problem, but…
I don’t want to be the sensible choice while she’s the sexy one.
There’s nothing sensible about you.
The angle of her pelvis…
That’s not yoga.
It is yoga.
You liked it!
Oh my god!
That’s not cool!
I had to like it!
So, that’s why…
Chapter 8 JULIE’S NARCISSISTIC CIRCUS
…want people to watch me dance.
It’s annoying as hell.
You can make a fool of yourself on the dance floor and still be cool.
So true! I’ve noticed that. When we dance, you take up all the space.
Yeah, but it’s also like, “Everyone look at me!”
Yeah, that’s my point. You’re always so mysterious.
You still have your stash?
Where’d you find it?
What is it?
Have you tried it?
Why’d you do that?
Tastes like dirt.
I don’t feel anything. They’re probably too old.
I gotta go.
Are you sure? Could be risky.
Come on, man.
We’ve done this before.
We’ll talk tomorrow.
Can you speak?
It’s kicking in for him.
Is it starting to kick in?
You need water.
You have to drink lots of water.
Drink it all.
You’ll be okay.
You know I’m here for you.
Drink the water.
It’s okay! I’m here!
Julie, are you okay?
I thought I’d make it.
Are you okay?
Thought we could use some coffee.
We won’t be doing that again.
You should take a shower.
Do I smell bad?
Oh my god.
Oh my god. I need to take a shower.
Don’t worry, it’s not urgent.
Shall I make breakfast?
I feel I can be myself with you.
You weren’t yourself before?
I was, but I felt like I had to be a bit… like I was when we first met.
Thanks for putting up with me.
I love you.
Chapter 9 BOBCAT WRECKS XMAS
Bobcat Wrecks Xmas
Have you read your old Bobcat comics since you grew up?
Because in our day and age, they seem so inappropriate and murky that we feel almost sick reading them.
It’s unpleasant to realize you created a character who gained popularity at the expense of women.
Okay, I get it.
You’re saying art should be pleasant?
Do you think it’s art?
I brought along some of your early comics.
Bobcat is one thing, but then there’s Dick Wolf Dick, Pedo the Parrot…
Right, I don’t really think this is the right medium to explain comic book humour.
Have you ever considered that some of your readers may have been victims of incest or rape?
Do we stop creating because some people might feel bad?
Artists get killed for drawing things others find offensive. They’re shot.
Are you comparing Mohammed caricatures with drawings of women with big tits?
Or with incest?
What’s your point?
Well, yes and no.
It’s a bit of a cop-out to claim freedom of speech when people criticise you.
We’re discussing your work right now, so nobody’s censoring you.
As a woman, I’m upset.
I’m offended, though we’re not supposed to say that.
You have a chaise. You don’t have to feel offered.
It’s not a choice.
This is very generational.
One author cannot be held solely responsible.
I think art has to be messy and free.
It has to be a bit dangerous to be fun.
I want art to be a form of therapy where I can express and work through all my unacceptable thoughts, all my darkest impulses.
But you’re using your male privilege to mock people weaker than you.
It’s hardly art or even humour.
Sorry, it’s not smart enough to be satire.
But this isn’t about me.
Like, when I create something, it’s not just-me talking.
I know that much.
Let’s say I draw this interview as a cartoon.
The comic version of me might call you a whore.
It doesn’t mean I think that.
It could be a parody of a certain type of insecure male…
You used the word “whore”?
Yes, I said “whore”.
You’re not interested in what I mean.
Can’t you see that’s crass sexualisation?
I think we’re on a slippery slope here.
All you post-feminists are so fucking self righteous!
Thank you, Marthe Refstad and Aksel Willmann.
The term is sex worker now, by the way.
Chapter 10 FIRST PERSON SINGULAR
I’m happy to help!
Long time no see!
How are you?
Okay. And you?
Do you ever talk to Aksel?
Is he okay?
I heard the radio interview.
He went a bit far.
He’s not doing that well.
Did you know he’s sick?
Haven’t you heard?
He has cancer.
Sorry, I thought you knew.
It spread quickly.
They discovered it too late.
How is he coping?
Pretty well, under the circumstances.
But it’s hard.
is not good.
Thanks for letting me know.
I thought you knew.
No, I hadn’t heard anything.
I didn’t know.
When did you write this?
Have you read it?
I was moving it to paper recycling.
It’s very good.
Yeah, it sucked me right in.
It’s really, really great.
I have to say, it’s really nice to read about you.
But it’s not about me.
But the Christmas scene is your family, right?
Yeah, but it’s fiction. You didn’t get that?
I made it up.
Okay, it’s fiction. In any case…
Because it’s me?
No, because it’s nice.
Yeah, nice. Good. Well written.
The way you write is really great.
Like here: “Too many memories overlapping, blending into a blur.”
That resonates with me. It’s well written. Truly good.
It’s not well written.
Suddenly you’re into literature?
What was the last book you read?
Are you okay? What’s up?
You criticise everything I do these days.
Sorry, but going through my trash is pretty invasive.
Can’t you see that?
Relaxing is your specialty!
You don’t mind serving coffee till you’re 50.
But I want more!
That’s hurtful. I don’t know what to say.
Chapter 11 POSITIVE
Have you eaten?
Yeah, but I can make pasta if you like.
No, I don’t need any if you’ve eaten.
It started with a backache.
I’ve had backaches before. I didn’t worry.
Then my skin turned almost golden.
I thought I looked good.
It turned out to be jaundice.
Mom said I was born jaundiced. They put me in a light box.
Is it painful?
No, not really.
They block selected neural pathways with Botox.
Yeah, it keeps me from taking too many painkillers.
How’s your family doing?
Fine, I guess.
Mom still follows your every move.
And your dad?
I’ve basically cut him off.
He can chase me if he likes.
No, not really.
They thought it was hilarious.
In some circumstances, morbid humour can be funny.
Even anal sex at a bar mitzvah?
It makes me laugh. But I’m an old guy now.
Well, you know… I kind of expected this.
I’d given up long before I got sick.
Really. I just watch my favourite old movies over and over.
Lynch, The Godfather Part II…
How many times can you watch Dog Day Afternoon?
Sometimes I listen to music
I haven’t heard before.
It’s old as well.
Music I didn’t know about, but from when I grew up.
It felt as though I’d already given up.
I grew up in an age without Internet and mobile phones.
No, but honestly… I sound like an old fart. But I think about it a lot.
The world that I knew… has disappeared.
For me it was all about going to stores.
I’d take the tram to Voices in Grünerløkka.
Leaf through used comics at Pretty Price.
I can close my eyes and see the aisles at Video Nova in Majorstua.
I grew up in a time when culture was passed along through objects.
They were interesting because we could live among them.
We could pick them up. Hold them in our hands.
A bit like books?
Yeah, a bit like books.
That’s all I have. I spent my life doing that.
Collecting all that stuff, comics, books…
And… I just continued, even when it stopped giving me the powerful emotions I felt in my early 20s.
I continued anyway.
And… now it’s all I have left.
Knowledge and memories of stupid, futile things nobody cares about.
Don’t say that.
You’ve got the comics you created.
I wish I’d had what you had.
To be able to draw without doubting that you’re doing what you’re supposed to do.
I really wish I had that.
Yeah, but… I’ve got cancer. I’m dying.
Of course I’m being retrospective.
You said you’ve done that for ages.
Not for that long.
In recent years. I reached a point in life when suddenly…
It just happened.
I began to worship what had been.
And now I have nothing else. I have no future.
I can only look back.
It’s not even nostalgia. It’s…
Fear of death.
It’s because I’m scared.
It has nothing to do with art.
I’m just trying to process…
I have surgery tomorrow at 9.
I felt I could tell you anything.
You wouldn’t judge me.
You’re the least judgemental person I know.
I don’t have anyone I can talk to… the way we used to talk.
Can you tell me what you used to tell me?
I hated hearing it at the time, but can you tell me… I’ll be a good mother?
Are you pregnant?
How do you feel? Good or bad?
I don’t know.
I’m not sure.
It was an accident.
I must’ve been careless. I mean, clearly I was.
Were you really sure?
Sure you wanted kids?
I was scared too. I had doubts, of course.
But I didn’t want to show them, to keep you from…
I never doubted you’d make a good mother.
I saw that you doubted it.
If I regret one thing, it’s that I never managed to make you see how wonderful you are.
What are you thinking?
This is hard to hear.
But… will you keep it?
I don’t know.
I wasted so much time worrying about what could go wrong.
But what did go wrong, was never the things I worried about.
If he’s a kind man, then go for it.
With a kind father, and you as the mother, everything will be fine.
Your voice has stayed in my head.
We still have great conversations.
Mostly about comics.
I have imaginary conversations with you.
I’m sure I remember things about you that you’ve forgotten.
And the other way round.
When I’m gone, all that stuff about you will go with me.
May I ask you a question?
Had you already met him when you broke up with me?
Why didn’t you tell me?
I don’t know.
I didn’t dare.
And now you’re breaking up with him?
No, why do you say that?
Maybe because you don’t seem happy about the baby.
And that’s what you do when things get tough.
I’m glad I’m pregnant.
You were the most important relationship in my life.
You don’t have to say anything.
I know it’s not the same for you.
That’s normal. You have many years left to live.
But I know, I feel it.
And I want you to know.
You were the love of my life.
You’re a damn good person.
I should’ve told you before.
But I couldn’t.
How long have you known?
I know we don’t want kids.
I don’t know if I do.
I feel like never see anything through.
I go from one thing to another.
I need time to think about all this.
Chapter 12 EVERYTHING COMES TO AN END
That’s where I lived.
We moved there when I was 8.
Shall we knock?
No. I don’t think so.
What do you remember from here?
I remember these colours.
They were always my reference when I drew my comics.
And I remember the local drunk, who was super nice.
I’m so tired of pretending everything is okay.
It sucks being in so much pain. It sucks.
I don’t want to be a memory for you.
I don’t want to be a voice in your head.
I don’t want to live on through my art.
I want to live in my flat.
I want to live… I want to live in my flat with you.
I want to be happy together.
Aksel’s condition has suddenly worsened.
He’s too ill for his planned treatment.
He may not make it through the night.
His family is with him, but I thought you should know.
There’s nothing more to say.
One more quick take. Slight adjustment.
But he gets up so quickly.
Ok, camera ready.
There’s nothing more to say.
Let’s move on.
Sorry, I need some shots of you.
Are you okay?
But I think I was pretty terrible.
Then use that. Hold on to that feeling.
Act like you’re looking at him.