It is therefore consistent if nonetheless surprising that the third part of the trilogy,The Meadow, was filmed in Germany – without making explicit the exact location. Together with his bodyguard and a huge American road cruiser an older Jimmy now drives to the forest to look for the characters from his childhood world of film – and also in the meantime from the work cycle of Bjørn Melhus. Audio quotes are drawn from James Dean films, Rebel Without a Cause and East of Eden, and the dramatic world war Disney film, Bambi. The colourful figures of American screen mythology from Weit Weit Weg and Auto Center Drive have now grown pale in the dim light of a German forest. They stutter something about the open, free world, about the meadow it is imperative to reach and which they will, however, never reach. Captured in long, patient takes, even the chic American road cruiser seems to acquire a monstrous inner life; it looks like a wicked, prowling beast. Promises conveyed by the media in childhood not only remain unfulfilled but become somehow threatening. All the comical, light-hearted elements of Bjørn Melhus’ early works are missing in The Meadow: there remains only an undisguised view of the abyss.
Bjørn Melhus, DE 2007, 30 Min., engl. OF m. dt. UT