Befittingly, Moumblow uses various (found and newly staged) images of trains – interiors and exteriors – to tell the tale of two lovers who have planned to meet somewhere along the railroad. Over the images runs a female voice-over (in Swedish). Gradually, the audio track and the English subtitles – recounting three scenarios of a lover’s meeting, in the future tense – are manifestly separated from each other, thus providing viewers with different accounts of possible worlds. Even for those who don’t understand Swedish. Will their tracks ever cross or forever run parallel, without ever intersecting?
The collected images, the voice of Swedish actrice Ingrid Thulin and the English subtitles written by Moumblow represent alternative narratives, but are combined in the same cinematic space. The five minute film seems to tell us that no matter what form of communication we choose, part of the message is always lost. In a private conversation between two people as well as in a work of art addressing an intended public of strangers. It would seem that viewers who don’t comprehend the Swedish voice-over miss a significant part of the film. Yet, the estrangement plays – equally or perhaps even more effectively (?) – on another level. The barrier that language often imposes on audiences of a ‘foreign film’ takes on unsettling proportions here, as Moumblow willfully targets miscomprehension. From the end credits we learn that the voice-over stems from Ingmar Bergman’s Winter Light (1962), in which the Swedish ‘master of ceremony’ harshly explores the possibility of a meaningful life in a godforsaken world. —zouchmagazine.com