Updated: Mar 8, 2020
Directed by: #MartinSandin
Written by: #MartinSandin
Social media has had an enormous effect on our lives, and, in particular, our perception of how life should be. When we look online and see our friends starting families, or buying a new car, or starting a new job, or jetting off to some exotic locale on holiday, it’s hard not to feel a little inferior. But of course, anyone’s life can look perfect when viewed only through short interludes or on social media in general. In reality, we’re all of us hypocrites, and our leads are no different. It’s this thoroughly modern, technology-infused hypocrisy that Writer/Director, Martin Sandin, so expertly picks apart in his superb Swedish-language short film, Foggy Days (Dimmiga Dar).
Peter (Filip Berg) and Clara’s (Alida Morberg) long-standing, casual relationship seems to be based around little more than their recurring sexual encounters. The two obviously enjoy this type of relationship and have been used to it for quite some time. For the usually confident Peter, however, this particular relationship brings a stark dynamic shift; he’s no longer in control. Indeed, Peter is entirely subservient to the wholly charismatic Clara: she messages—and he reports for duty. For Peter, this feels special, he’s finally found an equal; somebody he actually enjoys spending time with - “You know what happiness is for me? It’s being here with you. Listening to you when you speak.” But does Clara, who covets her friends “incredible” social media fronted lives, feel the same way?
Sandin’s superlative writing and direction take centre stage in a movie that gets practically everything right. The characters are rich and exciting – with wholly believable performances from Berg and Morberg – and the character development, particularly for a 17-minute long film, is fantastic. The dialogue, too, glows with naturalistic vigour, and always drives the story and/or characters forward with depth and potency. While small, seemingly inconsequential lines of dialogue (“I don’t want to be one in the crowd”) carry great weight and pack a real punch once their significance has become manifest. Indeed, at differing points during the film, both leads assuredly give relationship advice to a friend, only to realise it’s also relevant to themselves. These are fantastic and pertinent moments of drama which are easy to miss if you’re not fully engaged.
But you will be. Because, as well as being utterly compelling, Foggy Days is a gorgeously shot movie. Cinematographer Zoe Que nails every aspect of the visuals here and is unrelenting with the unalloyed beauty she puts to screen. Whether it’s the framing, lighting, the movements of the camera itself, or the way all these different elements come together, it’s stunning. In fact, Foggy Days is just a superbly well-put-together film...full stop. Everything works in tandem to create something thoroughly enthralling and unreservedly unique. A will they, won’t they for the modern age—one the filmmakers should be enormously proud of.