Running for just two minutes and 53 seconds, Bromance might seem like a challenge to write about, but it’s not.
This strange film from photographer-cum-director Bertil Nilsson is packed with ideas and style.
The piece opens with three male friends meeting in a grey East London street. They shake hands and proceed to wrap themselves around one another, entwining their arms and tangling their bodies together.
This obscure warm-up routine sees the characters exploring each other’s personal space with complete trust and comfort, both of which are pivotal to what follows.
With the thump of ‘One Loopy Beat’ by Mikaël Bres rising from the hushed sounds of city traffic, we join the half-naked trio in a brilliantly lit and high-ceilinged kitchen as they practise daring acrobatic feats, boldly reimagining the limits of domestic space.
Played by members of the Barely Methodical Troupe – an experimental circus group – the artists communicate their closeness through movement and contact; Nilsson notches up the volume as flesh slaps against flesh so that every contact is heard and felt.
As the pace increases, the camera returns to the streets where the leads come tumbling in twists and somersaults along the pavement, helped along by each other’s physical gestures of friendship and support.
Amongst all the fun of the high-energy tricks and manoeuvres, a poetic thread runs throughout. Nilsson’s work looks at the body and what it can do and say in unfamiliar environments. The shots are gorgeous and the emotional delivery utterly unique.
Half music video and half abstract documentary, Bromance is a cool, sensitive short film about friendship and intimacy – it’s like nothing before it.