Iceland

Baldvin Zophoníasson – Vonarstræti AKA Life in a fishbowl (2014)

Three tales of three people who have a lasting effect on one another. A young writer whose career is skyrocketing finds himself in a stormy marriage. He divorces his wife after the death of their daughter, shuts himself from the outside world and drinks himself to death over a twenty-year period. Read More »

Gísli Snær Erlingsson – Ikíngut (2000)

Quote:
Ikingut is not a cartoon, but a live-action children’s film from Iceland, set a few centuries ago in a superstitious little community among the ice floes that finds a child, Ikingut, who has strayed in from Greenland – the first Eskimo the place has seen.

The baddies believe he’s an evil spirit; the minister’s son begs to differ and the two kids form a playful alliance. There are avalanches, a chase across the frozen plains and a faultless lesson in the friendship of strangers. Read More »

Friðrik Þór Friðriksson – Djöflaeyjan AKA Devil’s Island (1996)

Djoflaeyjan takes place in Reykjavik in the years following World War II. The British and American occupation army has left their bunkers behind. They became homes to hundreds of lower-class people who were pouring into the capital during those years. Djoflaeyjan tells the story of the struggle and often humorous life of people in the bunkers in those difficult times. Read More »

Hrafnhildur Gunnarsdóttir – The Vasulka Effect (2019)

The opening of The Vasulka Effect couldn’t be more apt: Steina Vasulka addresses her husband Woody through various TV screens. He does the same and replies. A perfect image of the relationship between the free-spirited, groundbreaking pioneers of video art. After meeting in Prague in the early 1960s, they relocated from Czechoslovakia to New York, where they later founded The Kitchen, their legendary art and performance gallery. Read More »

Guðný Halldórsdóttir – Kristnihald undir Jökli AKA Under the Glacier (1989)

This is the story of a spiritual and physical odyssey, comic and strange, made by a young theological student. Our hero is Umbi (an acronym for emissary of the bishop), sent by him to undertake an important investigation at Snæfell glacier. In particular he is to look into the conduct and behavior of Jón Prímus, the old pastor at Snæfell. Fantastic rumours are rife: amongst other things it is said that a corpse is lodged in the glacier! Armed with his tape recorder and notebook, Umbi embarks upon his mission. He tries to question the weird locals, a weird lot, but gets evasive answers. Slowly he is dragged into a quagmire of strange happenings and his efforts to understand only make him confused. If at the beginning he is a chiper, a mere device, by the end of the story he is inextricably involved, a committed participant in the bizarre events. Read More »

Jóhann Jóhannsson – Last and First Men (2020)

Two billion years ahead of us, a future race of humans finds itself on the verge of extinction. Almost all that is left in the world are lone and surreal monuments, beaming their message into the wilderness.

Based on the cult science fiction novel of the same name by Olaf Stapledon, Jóhann Jóhannsson artfully combines music, film and narrative spoken by Hollywood star Tilda Swinton in his opus Magnum Last and First Men, a poetic meditation on memory and loss. Read More »

Olaf de Fleur Johannesson – Borgríki AKA City State [+extra] (2011)

Set in modern day Iceland, an immigrant vows revenge after losing his unborn child in an attack by a crime syndicate, thereby binding his fate with a troubled policewoman, her corrupt police commander, and a crime lord who’s losing his edge. Read More »