STABFORD DEATHRAGE’S NETFLIX NASTIES – Slow TV: Train Ride Bergen To Oslo
To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Bergen Train Line, the entire journey from Bergen to Oslo is filmed by a static camera placed in the front car of a passenger train, as it makes its way through hilly, scenic Norway. The journey takes 7 and a half hours.
The train travels through rural areas, over bridges, and through tunnels, where the screen goes completely dark for a minute or two at a time.
At about the one hour mark, the train stops at Voss, where several passengers board. The train waits here, and the screen is dedicated to the image of some sort of storage building, a loading platform, and a parking lot. This takes a while.
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The train continues on, past barns, houses, rivers, mountains, forests, and valleys, and the train stops are superimposed on the screen with the names of the towns the train travels by. It’s not as interesting as one would hope.
Suddenly, there’s an announcement on the train that there’s a sale on coffee and cinnamon buns in the cafeteria compartment.
A single drip of water hits the train’s windshield. It stays there for a while. Meanwhile, the train travels through a wooden bridge and past snowy mountaintops.
At 1:58, the train stops at Myrdal Station, where it sits for about 3 minutes in front of a mountain, a tunnel, and snow covered train tracks. Someone takes a photo of the train.
The train continues on its way to Oslo. I get up from my chair and make myself some lunch. Meanwhile, Norway has more than a passing resemblance to Pennsylvania.
Suddenly, at the 4:37 mark, a freight train appears on the tracks ahead, but it diverts. It’s not very interesting.
At 5:39, after passing a stationary passenger train, the Bergen train really puts the pedal to the metal. It zips past lakes, factories, silos, and residential areas. The conductor announces the train is running about 5 minutes behind schedule.
Just outside Oslo, the train makes a stop in the shiny, brightly-lit National Theatre Station. It then moves ahead into a dark, creepy tunnel, where it sits for a while due to a switch problem, making the train about 10 minutes late. I get up from my chair to make some dinner, which took me a bit longer than I had hoped, and when I get back, the train has already arrived in Oslo, forcing me to rewind and rewatch the last 20 minutes or so. It’s not very interesting.
Hypnotic and intensely boring, the train in Slow TV: Train Ride Bergen To Oslo never crashes, and a masked killer never murders any of the passengers aboard it. I assume people ate cinnamon buns and drank their coffee, but it’s never shown onscreen. It’s exactly what the title says, the entire 7+ hour trip between the two cities is documented in all its tedious glory. It’s almost like you’re in Norway, but you’re not. You’re at home on your couch covered in Cheeto dust and drool, snoring in front of it.
FYI, Slow TV specializes in documenting ordinary events in real time, and if that sort of thing floats your boat, there’s a show devoted to 3+ hours of knitting and several programs about firewood.