Junk Mail

Director: Pal Sletaune
Screenwriters: Jonny Halberg, Pal Sletaune

Institute History

  • 1998 Sundance Film Festival


From Norway comes Pål Sletaune’s directorial debut, Junk Mail, an unpredictable and entertaining film about a loser mailman who becomes embroiled in a world of crime and danger. Using inventive direction and a clever script, Sletaune presents an assortment of oddball characters indulging in very offbeat behavior. Roy is a none-too-bright, somewhat mean-spirited postman who invites dislike from coworkers, his few friends, and those on his delivery route. He lives in a dump of an apartment and eats dinner straight out of the can. At work, he opens mail, reads other people’s love letters, dumps what he doesn’t feel like delivering, and steals what he finds most appealing. He even gets beaten up on his route. He may be the world’s worst mailman.

The surly Roy is also lovelorn, but one day he finds the keys to an apartment on his route. Suddenly his dull, boring, and meaningless life gets a lot more exciting. The apartment belongs to Line, an attractive deaf woman. While Ray is nosing around her flat, Line gets a message from a psychopath named Georg. As the film progresses, Roy falls deeper in love with Line while his life is increasingly endangered by Georg.
Junk Mail is also remarkable for its setting: The underbelly of Oslo, with its dingy side streets, dark alleys, and shabby flats, is not part of the city that tourists see. The performances are all first rate, particularly Robert Skjærstad as Roy, who manages to make the unlikable sympathetic.

Pål Sletaune, Director
Pål Sletaune was born in Norway in 1960 and studied literature and art history at Oslo University. He has worked as a photographer and for Norwegian television. He has won international recognition for his short films The Bingo Joint (1992) and Eating Out (1993) as well as his commercials. Junk Mail is Sletaune’s debut as a feature film director.

— Dimitri Eipides, Toronto Film Festival

Screening Details

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