Posts Tagged ‘2nd Nordic Film Festival 2013’

NWR (2012) | Nicolas Winding Refn | 2nd Nordic Film Festival 2013 | DVD release

Director/Writer : Laurent Duroche

With Mads Mikkelsen, Peter Peter, Ryan Gosling, Mads Brugger, Alejandro Jodorowsky, Gaspar Noe, Zlatko Buric, Mat Newman

65min     Biopic on NICOLAS WINDING REFN     France

An informative  ‘behind the scenes’  insight into the world of Nicolas Winding Refn who is revealed here as a visionary filmmaker who relies on sound, Tarot readings (from Alejandro Jodorowsky) and guidance from omens and the stars for before starting work on his films.  Interviews with his mother and stepfather reveal that, as a boy, he was obsessed by television and focussed on their facial expressions during emotional outbursts to help him visualise his future film ideas.

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Two of his biggest collaborators give absorbing commentary: Mads Mikkelsen tells how they never talk between movies as their interests are completely different (Sport and Filmmaking respectively). Ryan Gosling is fascinated by the director’s focus on listening to music during rehearsals, often ignoring his cast, dissolving into tears and wearing headphones during onset conversations.

Born in 1n Copenhagen in 1970, Nicolas Winding Refn grew up in New York with his mother and stepfather only moving back to Copenhagen in his late teens.  In his heart, he claims to be a New Yorker. The move back to Denmark was a negative in his life and he subsequently rejected places offered at prestigious film schools preferring to ‘go it alone’.  Initially finding success with the breakout hit BLEEDER, his xenophobic urban love story, he later went bankrupt and his wife tells of their moments of poverty until eventually finding fame on the international stage, winning Best Director at Cannes 2011 for DRIVE.  Obsessed with robots and toys, he still claims that apart from filmmaking, the most important things in his life are family.  For fans of this inventive director, and for film buffs interested in the craft of filmmaking, this is an engaging and entertaining documentary. MT

DVD AVAILABLE ON AMAZON.COM

 

 

You and Me Forever (2013)

Dir.: Kaspar Munk    Writers: Kaspar Munk, Jannik Tai Mosholt

Cast: Julie Andersen, Frederikke Dahl Hansen, Emilie Kruse, Benjamin Wandschenider

Denmark 2012, 82 min.  Drama

Kaspar Munk’s coming-of-age drama looks at teenage friendship. Laura and Christine have been friends forever, but when you are only sixteen everything suddenly changes. When Laura meets Maria she’s awestruck by this new sophisticated girl who puts her down: ‘You are boring, but have nice eyes” and has lived in New York. Hesitantly she follows her into the world of parties, drugs and drinking. But when it comes to sex, she is diffident about Maria’s experience with boys, especially Jonas, who lives in a condemned building and seems suicidal. But when Maria pays a boy to sleep with Laura for 500 kroner, she is forced to evaluate not only her new friendship but also her own sexuality.

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Munk revolutionises the genre with his subtle approach in this well-paced drama with its stand-out performance from Julie Andersen as the melancholic Laura, who seems unable to make up her mind about anything, particularly when it comes to her own life. A dreamer, she’s held back by doting parents who panic at the slightest threat of their daughter becoming independent. Laura dreams her way through life and she is drawn to Maria (Frederikke Dahl Hansen) as the polar opposite to her. Maria plays the adult, it’s an strong and alluring performance – but when it comes to the crunch, she’s very much a teenager: promising a couple of boys a blow job if they pay for a taxi, but running away with the overwhelmed Laura in tow and the money – then missing the last train. Laura puts herself out for Maria – whose response to boys is always “don’t touch me”. Maria makes the mistake of using money to soften-up Laura.

A “Sturm und Drang” feel dominates permeates this dark and downbeat piece with lightning, storms and heavy rain predominating. The murky interiors are never fully lit, going in tandem with Laura’s dreamy demeanour. The strongest scenes are close-ups between the three girls: Christine pleading in vain, Laura evasive at the beginning, than alienating her childhood friend; whilst Maria stays in the background, pretending to be the adult. Laura captures the imagination of the viewer because she is living in slow-motion, dragged forward by Maria, but never loosing her subdued hesitancy. Andersen’s Laura is moody, evoking insecurity and self-doubt, yet carrying the film with consummate ease. AS

YOU AND ME FOREVER is on general release in selected cinemas from 25 April 2014

 

2nd Nordic Film Festival 2013 Now in Glasgow

Fans of Nordic cinema will be excited to hear that the festival returns this winter with a vibrant array of films from Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark and Iceland.  Opening in London and taking the film highlights further afield: a music strand will also feature in this year’s celebrations in the shape of the seminal Icelandic band Sigur Ros1234655_171092483082741_1211452240_n.

The programme includes various strands: ‘New Nordic Features’, ‘Other Side of the Docs’ and ‘Arctic’ and focuses on Nicholas Winding Refn with a new film NWR by French doc helmer Laurent Duroche, which looks at the life of the director and his regular collaborators Ryan Gosling and Mads Mikkelsen with another chance to see Winding Refn’s 1999 Cult Classic BLEEDER, a love story set in Copenhagen.

The festival kicks off on 25 November with the UK premiere screening of short noir animation series ODBOY & ERORDOG SUITE (Marcus Fjellström, Sweden/Germany 2013) with live soundtrack performed by Swedish quartet, The Pearls Before Swine Experience. This 22-minute piece, screened/performed earlier this year at International Film Festival Rotterdam, presents the eerie twilight escapades of a boy and his dog: inspired by nightmares, retro computer games and a pet dog.

Icelandic director Baltasar Kormakur has been prominent in the London film scene this summer with his docudrama THE DEEP and crime caper 2 GUNS.  The festival offers a chance to see his debut feature 101 REYKJAVIK, a romcom starring Spanish actress Victoria Abril.
Unknown-5Finnish films are always quirky and fascinating CONCRETE NIGHT is no different. It’s the latest outing from Finnish maverick director: Pirjo Honkasalo. Set in the backstreets of Helsinki, it  follows two brothers in the 24 hours before the eldest goes into prison.

My Stuff

In the doc strand, another Finnish director Petri Luukkainen will be in town to talk about MY STUFF, a documentary comedy that examines our attachment to possessions and asks the question: what do we really need in life?.  Also on the documentary front, Mia Engberg’s BELLEVILLE BABY, a meta-textual memoir that examines the director’s relationship with her ex through visuals, photos and feelings evoked by their past conversations heard in voice-over.

Ingen riktig finne Finnish Blood Swedish Heart - Dragon Award for Best Doc - GIFF 2013

Mika Ronkainen’s is attending to talk about his road-doc: FINNISH BLOOD, SWEDISH HEART that looks at the unresolved issues of a Finnish father and son forced to grow up in Sweden, before returning to their homeland.

From Norway, NORTH OF THE SUN and THE DEVIL’S BALLROOM  looks at the harsh beauty of life in the magnetic North.

The festival closes with the premiere of Kaspar Munk’s YOU & ME FOREVER, a drama focusing on teenage angst from a female perspective exploring sensitive issues of nascent sexuality, vulnerability and idolisation at this very formative stage in a girl’s life. MT

THE PROGRAMME IN DETAIL
London: 25 November - 4 December 2013

25 Nov

6.45pm

Opening Gala: Odboy & Erordog Suite + live soundtrack performance
+ opening gala party

Republic of Fritz HansenTM

29 Nov

6.30pm

101 Reykjavik

Riverside Studios

8.45pm

Chasing the Wind

Riverside Studios

30 Nov

6pm

NWR

Ciné Lumière

9pm

Concrete Night

ICA

1 Dec

1pm

The Hidden Child

ICA

3.30pm

Bleeder

Riverside Studios

6pm

Kidd Life

Riverside Studios

8.30pm

Finnish Blood, Swedish Heart + Q&A

Riverside Studios

2 Dec

6.45pm 8.45pm

Sigur Rós double bill: Inni Valtari Mystery Film Experiment

Riverside Studios

7pm

Directors’ Talk: Finnish Docs

Republic of Fritz HansenTM

3 Dec

6.45pm

North of the Sun + The Devil’s Ballroom

Riverside Studios

8.30pm

My Stuff + Q&A

Riverside Studios

4 Dec

8.20pm

Closing Gala: You & Me Forever + Q&A

Ciné Lumière

Edinburgh: 6 – 11 December 2013

6 Dec

6.15pm

Chasing the Wind

Edinburgh Filmhouse

7 Dec

6.15pm

My Stuff

Edinburgh Filmhouse

8 Dec

6.15pm

Kidd Life

Edinburgh Filmhouse

9 Dec

6.15pm

NWR

Edinburgh Filmhouse

10 Dec

6.15pm

Finnish Blood, Swedish Heart

Edinburgh Filmhouse

11 Dec

6.15pm

You & Me Forever

Edinburgh Filmhouse

Glasgow: 8 December 2013 – 2 January 2014

8 Dec

5.30pm

Chasing the Wind

Glasgow Film Theatre

10 Dec

6.45pm

Finnish Blood, Swedish Heart

Glasgow Film Theatre

15 Dec

6.50pm

You & Me Forever

Glasgow Film Theatre

17 Dec

9.00pm

NWR

Glasgow Film Theatre

22 Dec

6.40pm

Kidd Life

Glasgow Film Theatre

29 Dec

6.30pm

My Stuff

Glasgow Film Theatre

2 Jan

6.30pm

Belleville Baby

Glasgow Film Theatre

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Chasing the Wind (2013) Jag etter Vind 2nd Nordic Film Festival 2013

Director and Writer: Rune Denstad Langlo

Cast: Marie Blokhus, Anders Baasmo Christiansen, Frederik Meldal Norgaard,  Sven Bertil Taube, Tobias Santelmann

91min   NORWAY   Drama

CHASING THE WIND is an intimate family drama, small in scale yet far-reaching in its themes of human communication and the difficulties of family ties.  Set in an idyllic part of Norway on the Western archipelago of Afjord, this melancholy piece of filmmaking is rendered even more so by the poignantly delicate occasional score composed by Ola Kvernberg, The gentle seascapes and verdant summer landscapes are imaginatively lensed by cinematographer Phillip Ogaard’s on the widescreen and in gorgeously framed close-ups, shot through with muted shades of aqua, taupe and blond reflecting its marine location.

Anna hasn’t seen her family for almost ten years. When her grandmother dies, she returns home to face her grandfather (Sven-Bertil Taube) and the ones she left behind. In the week leading up to the funeral, as numerous setbacks confound proceedings, Anna is forced to reconsider how she lives her life.  The narrative is driven forward purely by the simple often troubled conversations between Anna, her grandfather  and  her ex-boyfriend Lundgren (Anders Baasmo Christiansen). Occasional chats with locals help to add texture and context, reflecting the insular prejudice of communities all over the world.

Chasing the Wind is a lightly bittersweet love story that shows how communicating with family is the most difficult engagement of all. The film’ s humour emerges from the frustration and anger felt by the characters when they can neither reach or comprehend each other. The melancholy is connected to their realization that the longer they wait to tell the truth to more it hurts all concerned. MT

SCREENING AS PART OF THE 2ND NORDIC FILM FESTIVAL

Concrete Night (2013) 2nd Nordic Film Festival 2013

Dir.: Pirjo Honkasalo; Cast: Johannes Brotherus, Jari Virman, Annelie Karpinnen

Finland 2013, 92 min.

Teenager Simo lives with his much older brother Ilkka and his alcoholic mother in a cramped high rise block flat in the outskirts of Helsinki. The film starts with a dream: he sits in a train, driving over a bridge which collapses, leaving him drowning in his bed. Simo has an ambivalent relationship with both: on the one hand he admires his tough brother (who is going to prison for a drug offence), on the other hand Simo fears that he will end up like him.  His love for his mother is offset by her neglect and near permanent drunkenness. Simo is slim, and his movements are effeminate;  he is well aware of this and fears he will be mistaken for a homosexual.

In the opposite block lives a man who the brothers call ‘poof’, even though they have nothing but their prejudice to determine his sexual orientation. Illka has a bad influence on his younger brother, telling him “that women liked to be hit”.  Later we see Illka abusing and degrading his girl friend Vera. Their mother is afraid (seemingly without reason), that Illka might commit suicide – but it turns out that it is Simo who needed her help. When he is visiting the neighbour they called a homosexual.  Simo’s fear of being mistaken for one leads to violence, his dream becoming reality.

The Hidden Child

This is the first feature for fifteen years of 66-year-old Pirjo Honkasalo, who is well known in her homeland for her documentaries. The film is based on a novel by Pirko Saisio, who also wrote the script for Honkasalo’s last feature. CONCRETE NIGHT is shot in black and white and is stunning to look at. F W Murnau would be proud to have directed it, had he still been alive. The characters live in shadows, the only light trying to get in is artificial and deflected. Even when the brothers make the trip into central Helsinki, it never gets properly light. The acting is sparse, reminding us of the early films of British realism of the 60s.

The landscape surrounding the estate is gloomy, reassembling some giant tip where everything has been dumped and discarded, including the people. The weather is harsh and unforgiving like everything else this film. Honkasalo’s use of restrictive dialogue strongly evokes the characters mistrust of feelings; their fear is couched in latent violence. In spite of this, there are moments when he camera shows Simo in a poetic, even lyrical way. Although these moments are short, they give us an idea of what could have been. A small masterpiece, but utterly depressing. AS

 

Kidd Life (2012) 2nd Nordic Film Festival 2013

KIDD LIFE

Dir.: Andreas Johnsen, Cast: Nicholas Westwood aka Kidd;

Denmark 2012, 97 min.  Music Documentary

Denmark, a country of reason and rationality, seems an unlikely place for a music phenomenon like Kidd (alias Nicholas Westwood), whose 2011 Hip-Hop song on the internet became an overnight sensation and paved the way for a short but meteoric career for him and his group. Born 1989 in Dundee, Scotland, to an alcohol-loving father (with whom Kidd still has issues), Westwood struggles to make the transition from boy to adult – his anarchic life style has no place for responsibility – a girlfriend complains that he made her pregnant against her will, but this message does not reach him, like everything else in his life – he can only take himself seriously.

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After March 2011, when  ‘Kysset med Jamel’ went viral on the internet, the group was invited to many festivals, including the prestigious Roskilde festival. Their (only) LP “Greatest Hits” reached No. 10 in the Danish charts. On New Years Eve 2011, after having performed at the Danish Music awards, Kidd announced that he was finished with music. True to his word, only one more single -‘Fetterlein’- followed in February 2012, reaching No. 15 in the Danish charts.

After one LP and four singles Kidd and his group fell back into total obscurity and Johnsen shows why: in diary-like scenes, we see the inability to connect with anybody: this permanent play-acting becomes a stylised life form, which becomes a substitute for the interactions of real life. We watch bewildered that Kidd can take himself so seriously, that he believes that all his comments really matter – even though he forgets them immediately, together with his outspoken provocation that leaders of the right-wing “Danish People’s Party”, according to him, deserve to be killed.

The film is shot mostly with a hand-held camera producing a particularly suitable mode of aesthetics, since the waving and sometimes out-of-focus images represent Kidd and his chaotic life style. Often we are reminded of the b/w slapsticks of the early cinema: Kidd lurches through space like one of the early silent stars on the run from their enemies. Hectic and without any sort of continuity, the film tries to catch the essence of Kidd, but he is always racing to another event, into another mood, needing another drug to speed up his life even further. The music of the group is secondary, but this is only right, since it is near accidental. The question of an identity for the rapper can’t be answered: this is a life in transit, fuelled by immaturity and self-centred monomania, which makes him more of a child than the adult he should be. He is not so much a shooting star, but a falling star. AS

KIDD LIFE SCREENS AT THE RIVERSIDE STUDIOS LONDON ON 1ST DECEMBER 2013.  FOR FULL DETAILS SEE OUR PREVIEW

The Hidden Child (2013) 2nd Nordic Film Festival 2013

Director: Per Hanefjord   Writer: Maria Karlsson

Claudia Galli Concha, Inga Landgré, Jan Malmsjö and Jakob Oftebro.

The Nordic thriller is turning out to be one of Sweden’s finest exports and THE HIDDEN CHILD is no exception. Based on a true story  adapted from Camilla Läckberg’s Fjällbacka novels, this is Swedish helmer Per Hanefjord’s second feature finely shot in the bleak seascape of  Västra Götelands Iän. Marek Wieser’s atmospheric widescreen visuals and strong performances from leads Claudia Galli Concha (Erica) and Jan Malmsjo (Axel) will appeal to fans of ‘Borgen’ and ‘Wallander’.

It opens with a cosy family scene where young writer Erica Falck has just given birth to her first child surrounded by her policer officer husband Patrick and loving parents. Minutes later they are killed in a tragic car crash leaving the couple free to move into their Ikea-furnished home with its attractive seaside setting.  But not everything in this garden is rosy:  a middle-aged man named Göran turns up claiming to be her brother. Erica later discovers a Nazi medallion in the attic, along with wartime newspaper cuttings prompting her to investigate her mother’s mysterious past and a group of wartime friends who may have also been enemies.

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Per Hanefjord’s good-looking but sombre thriller moves along as speedily as a SAAB; almost losing control of its pacing but confidently handling a fractured narrative told from various viewpoints with well-crafted wartime flashbacks punctuated by Magnus Jarlbo’s suspenseful, original score.

Enfused with popular themes of Nazism and the Holocaust, THE HIDDEN CHILD is a gripping and immersive insight into Swedish and Norwegian wartime history and the concentration camps of Grini and Sachsenhausen, set against the life of a modern couple in current-day Sweden. MT

THE HIDDEN CHILD IS SCREENING DURING THE 2ND NORDIC FILM FESTIVAL

 

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