BETTER THAN THEIR REPUTATION
(Bedre enn sitt rykyte)
Dir. Edith Carlmar, 1955
87 mins. Norway.
In Norwegian with English subtitles.
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 2nd – 7:30pm
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 20th – 7:30pm
A high school story every bit akin to DAZED AND CONFUSED or CAN'T HARDLY WAIT, BETTER THAN THEIR REPUTATION follows a sweet-natured French student named Dag in love with his 20-something teacher Tone. But Dag’s love is complicated by his hard-charging overachiever ex, Karin – and her ongoing liaison with Roald, Dag’s best friend. Dag’s classmates are quick to tease, but the film explores the ins and outs of the concept that their skepticism might have more to do with jealousy.
The screenplay (written by Carlmar and her husband Otto) doesn’t miss a step, giving every character just enough gravity to make every class period and Friday night get-together loaded with the potential for an emotional – or comedic – blowout. Encircling the exam-obsessed final month of senior year, Carlmar paints a tender portrait of solidarity among friends nevertheless subject to change. Her teenagers are neither monsters nor squeaky-clean; just, the boys are boorish, and the girls are bored.