Nevrland – Review

Gregor Schmidinger’s debut feature provides a complex mix of masculinity, mental health and sexuality. Creating a picture of a young mans journey into adulthood unlike many other within the gay genre. Combining stark visual imagery with exceptional sound design. Schmidinger creates the aesthetic of entering the thoughts and emotions of his young male lead, Jakob (Simon Frühwirth).

Nevrland plays with themes of family, trapped desire and fantasy superbly, never offering simple answers to the journey Jakob takes. Allowing the audience to decide the outcomes and intrinsic messages of the images on screen. Male desire is interwoven with scenes of animal slaughter, providing a subtext of the young male body being viewed as ‘fresh meat’ in an online community of instant desire.

This is a film unafraid to challenge concepts of mental health, desire and self identity in a kaleidoscope of powerful imagery.

Nevrland uses its CinemaScope vista and wide dynamic sound to create an inner world of turmoil. Enveloping the audience with simple yet stark cinematography that plays to dream like feelings of fear, desire and unconscious action.

Performances from Simon Frühwirth in his first motion picture and Paul Forman as the enigmatic Kristjan are full of depth and mystery; adding to a sense of uncontrollable action.

Nevrland will not appeal to all audiences, offering no simple answers to the journey Jakob takes; this is a film that provides a fascinating and intoxicating mix of inner thoughts, external pressures and anxieties to create a a truly unique vision of self discovery, mental health and sexuality.

Nevrland is a unique journey into the thoughts, anxieties and fears of a young man. Never seeking to provide the audience with simple conclusions, this is a film that takes you to edges of the human mind.

Country: Austria 🇦🇹

Director: Gregor Schmidinger

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