The last of my Berlinale screenings, Avalon was a surprisingly pleasing, unconventional thriller.
In an attempt to cling on to his forgotten youth, Janne opens a nightclub in provincial town Båstad, Sweden. Sniffing coke, drinking booze and sleazing his way to the top, its only after a tragic accident that he suddenly has to ditch the debauchery and find a means of escape.
First and foremost, the central performance from Johannes Brost is fantastic; not only resembling pop pioneer Bryan Ferry, he emanates the ceaseless cool veneer of the new wave generation. The other star of the film is the setting itself, which is both tranquilly beautiful, but ultimately vacuous just like Janne himself.
Marketed as a thriller, the film plays out more like a delicate character analysis. It may not be an edge of the seat ride but, just like latter day Roxy Music and the Ferret’s solo career, it’s enjoyable enough, but could be bettered by a bit of Brian Eno evolvement. Like everything, really.