Gregor Schmidinger’s debut feature ‘Nevrland’ provides us with a complex and intoxicating mix of themes. Ranging from modern masculinity to mental health and sexuality. At the same time, taking us on a journey into adulthood, unlike anything else within the LGBTQ genre. In effect combining stark visual imagery and exceptional sound design in creating a film that wraps you in a void of reality and fantasy. Creating the aesthetic of entering the very thoughts and emotions of its young male lead, Jakob (Simon Frühwirth).
Nevrland cleverly plays with themes of family, suppressed desire and fantasy, while equally never allowing for simple answers on the journey Jakob takes. In turn, allowing the audience to decide the outcomes and messages attached to the story. While weaving sexual desire with scenes of animal slaughter, as the young male body becomes a motif for ‘fresh meat’ in an online community of instant desire.
However, the film is at its most fascinating when exploring mental health, desire and self-identity. Using a kaleidoscope of powerful imagery to convey the inner turmoil and conflict of teenage life. Particularly for those exploring their sexuality and identity in limited social circles. Confidently and artistically using its CinemaScope vista and full dynamic sound to create an inner world of adolescent thoughts. That not only plays to dream-like feelings of fear and desire but also reflects the unconscious need for action.
Meanwhile, newcomer Simon Frühwirth writhes with energy and mystery. Alongside the enigmatic figure of Kristjan Paul Forman. Both men adding to a sense of uncontrollable action as the narrative takes us the edges of the human mind. Creating a film that burns with energy and colour, providing a fascinating and intoxicating mix of pressure and anxiety. In what can only be described as a truly unique vision of self-discovery, mental health and sexuality.
Director: Gregor Schmidinger