Iceland

Ragnar Bragason – Foreldrar AKA Parents (2007)

Foreldrar was the big winner at the Eddas ceremony (the yearly Icelandic film prize) winning a total of six Eddas.

In modern day Reykjavik, dark secrets come to light when an unhappy dentist, a lovelorn businessman and a young mother fleeing her troubled past meet by chance.

Inspired by the largely improvisational, collaborative methods of Jean-Luc Godard, John Cassavetes and Mike Leigh. In conjunction with actors from the Icelandic theatrical troupe Vesturport, who based their characters on real people, director Ragnar Bragason has produced an unsentimental dramatic study of parenthood in all its potential for fulfillment, suffering and self-discovery. Read More »

Kristín Jóhannesdóttir – Glerbrot AKA Broken Glass (1988)

Here we have a true rarity, an Icelandic WIP exploitation horror love story. Teenage girl (played by the singer Björk at the time when she was on the brink of becoming a world famous musician) is taken against her will from her dysfunctional home by the authorities and moved to an isolated and strict religious institution in the countryside where she and other girls at her age are kept imprisoned and harassed sexually. The film is loosely inspired by a true case involving the Salvation Army that became very controversial in the country two decades earlier. The film score is by Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson, the current Chieftain of the Asa Faith Society in Iceland. Read More »

Loftur Guðmundsson – Ísland í lifandi myndum AKA Iceland in Moving Pictures (1925)

There is very little information available online on this little gem, the first ‘feature-length’ film shot exclusively in Iceland by an Icelandic director, the pioneer Loftur Guðmundsson. Director and crew travelled all around the country with the ambitious goal of documenting all the aspects of the local life at the time. Fishing plays an important role (being then, by far, the number one national industry); one can also witness the humble beginnings of ‘city-life’ in the capital, one of the first (or was it the very first?) cars driving in Iceland, beautiful pastoral shots of farm-lands, ladies posing in the national costume, as well as fighters indulging in the national sport, ‘glyma’. The 21st century traveller will be able to recognize a number of landmarks. The images are often naive, genuine, and captivating. In my opinion one of the most valuable Icelandic films. –Ewolve Read More »

Óskar Jónasson – Sódóma Reykjavík AKA Remote Control (1992)

Since his mother wants to watch TV, Axel, a young auto-mechanic, must recover her remote control, accidentally taken by his punk sister Maja. During his quest, he becomes involved in the conflict between Moli, the liquor smuggler, and Aggi, a night club owner who wants to be Iceland’s first mafia boss. Read More »

Sólveig Anspach – Skrapp út AKA Back Soon (2008)

Quote:
Back Soon is a shift from the serious tone of Solveig Anspach’s previous films to something much more light-hearted. In this off-the-wall comedy, Anna Hallgrimsdottir, in her late thirties, is undergoing an existential crisis. She decides to quit her job, sell her business to the highest bidder, and leave with her two sons… but being a dope dealer, the biggest supplier on the island, complicates things somewhat. Back Soon, an offbeat Scandinavian farce, full of imaginative flights of fancy, reveals a whole new aspect to Solveig Anspach. Following a documentary made in 2001, this is her first fiction feature, a co-production with Iceland, where it was filmed. Read More »

Isold Uggadottir – Andið eðlilega AKA And Breathe Normally (2018)

Two women’s lives will intersect while trapped in circumstances unforeseen. Between a struggling Icelandic mother and an asylum seeker from Guinea-Bissau, a delicate bond will form as both strategize to get their lives back on track. Read More »

Olafur Sveinsson – Hlemmur AKA Last Stop (2002)

Synopsis:
Icelandic filmmaker Olafur Sveinsson takes on the challenge of documenting one of his native country’s social ills by focusing on the homeless people taking shelter in the capital city of Reykjavik’s main bus terminal in his 2002 sociological documentary Hlemmur (Last Stop). Most of the people Sveinsson interviewed were either mentally handicapped or grappling with some sort of debilitating addiction, both conditions which obviously had tremendously negative impacts on the subjects’ personal lives and resulted in their social marginalization. Read More »