Halvveis til Haugesund. Regi: Harald Østgaard Lund, Norway, 1997. Manus: Erling Dokk Holm and Harald Østgaard Lund. Foto: Runar Hodne. Musikk: Russian Amcar Club, Ottos Speedway Action Organ, Motorpsycho m.fl. Medv: Geir Birk, Nilsen, Yasmin Syed, Peter Garden et al. Norwegian language, English subtitles. 35mm, colour, 1 h 11 min.

Halfway to Haugesund
Uncompromising organ fuzzpunk musician Otto is experiencing something of a lull in his career. And the lull has lasted a long time. So long, in fact, that many would claim there is no career to speak of at all any more. However, when he is offered to play in a wedding in the city of Haugesund on the western coast of Norway, Otto goes to his pawn broker to get his 1969 Opel Diplomat out of hock and sets off on a journey from Oslo across the mountains to the other side of the country. Otto's Speedway Action Organ rides again!

In Telemark county, Otto picks up a hitchhiker in the form of a female genealogist who persuades him that the route he had planned to take across the mountain is closed. But when Otto's car breaks down, both of them are stranded in rural Telemark, at the mercy of a gang of menacing locals whose great passion is American cars. And when they discover the Chevrolet engine hiding in Otto's Opel, the journey is put on hold indefinitely.

Halfway to Haugesund is at times reminiscent of the Kaurismäki brothers, and Otto himself can be seen as a distant cousin of the title character from Mika's Zombie and the Ghost Train (1991). However, director Harald Østgaard Lund replaces the vodka-fueled fatalism of the Fins with a more warm and quirky sensibility, making the film an unmistakably Norwegian roadmovie.


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