SCANDINAVIAN FILM FESTIVAL
This year’s VOLVO Scandinavian Film Festival (in Sydney from 10 to 29 July, with other states running more or less in tandem until 5 August) once again promises to be a treat for cinephiles. There are 21 features from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden and they include comedies, dramas, thrillers, fantasy films and a music bio-pic.
Kicking off with a very black comedy from Iceland, Under the Tree, directed by Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurðsson, is a story about disgruntled neighbours battling over the shade cast by a large tree on the terrace of the sun-loving neighbour; a very First World problem of life in the ‘burbs! It was Iceland’s official selection for the 2018 US Academy Awards and won a slew of awards at the 2018 Iceland Academy Awards.
Some other titles to consider are: U - July 22, directed by Erik Poppe, a dramatic re-enactment of the infamous right-wing extremist attack on 500 youths at a political summer camp on an island near Oslo in 2011; What Will People Say, directed by Iram Haq, which follows the distressing real-life story of a Norwegian teenager sent to Pakistan against her will by her immigrant parents; Border, directed by Ali Abbasi and straight from Cannes where it won the Un Certain Regard side-bar, is a genre-defying movie from Sweden about a strange woman with a strange skill – she can sniff out all sorts of contraband; A Horrible Woman, directed by Denmark’s Christian Tafdrup, in which a weak-willed guy begins to question whether his dream woman is in fact a nightmare; and Winter Brothers, directed by Hlynur Pálmason, winner of nine Danish Academy Awards including Best Film and Best Director, which is set in an eerie, industrial landscape and tells the story of two brothers whose lives are upended when they sell a dodgy batch of moonshine. Another multi-Danish Academy Award-winning film is While We Live, the debut feature of Mehdi Avaz, which stars Julie Christiansen and relates the tragic tale of four people whose lives intersect because of a terrible accident. Both the director and star will be in Sydney and Melbourne to attend the screenings.
This is just a taste of the many features on offer and there are plenty to choose from. Your selection, of course, will depend on what appeals to you but whatever you pick you’re bound to find high-quality cinema. So, rug up and enjoy this terrific mid-winter session at the movies - and enjoy a mulled wine between sessions.
For full details of the program in each state, click here.