Fra Asken (2015) – By Matthew Robinson


“Fra Asken” comes from Kjell and Per Kvanbeck, the short film stars an actress named Madeline Marsh as a woman struggling to come to grips with a traumatic ordeal from her past. Told virtually without any dialogue the film utilizes a tense strings soundtrack from Kjell Kavenbeck, Ed Willet & Ryan Rusch.

It’s hard to review this film without spoiling it but it is definitely worth a watch. Per Kvanbeck shows a lot of promise and craft with his cinematography which meticulously decides what to show and what to keep hidden; his less is more approach has some true impact. Kjell Kvanbeck also demonstrates well thought out direction as every frame and every scene propels the story forward. It’s almost always interesting to look at, even when you aren’t quite sure what’s going on.

Madeline Marsh does a fine job in the lead role. You feel for her, and desperately want to see what she will do next. There is a certain energy about her that’s hard to pinpoint but she has a real screen presence and I’d like to see more projects with her in them.

The weakest part of this film is the script; it raises some interesting topics but doesn’t offer much for discussion. The movie pretty much plays all it’s notes in a fairly predictable way and the screenplay coupled with the visuals telegraph the next move. While I was invested in everything Marsh was doing I also was never really surprised by any of her decisions. The script is very melancholy and it actually may have stood out a bit more with a more fleshed out script that offered a counter weight to it’s heavy subject matter.

Kvanbeck siblings do show promise and as the city of Minneapolis continues to grow I am confident they will bring forth more entertaining products. “Fra Asken” certainly indicated to me that there strength behind this team.

If you’d like to check out their other projects visit their website at: