DVD Review: The Juniper Tree

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Slow-burning Icelandic Folk Horror.

Bleaker than Disney adaptations, this version of a Brothers Grimm fairytale is an overlooked film that viewed from a twenty-first-century perspective is a much-needed antidote to Twilightified narratives.

Director Nietzchka Keene was originally in Iceland on a Fullbright scholarship to make a different film when she decided to jettison the project and bring the dark Grimms story to the screen.

Keene’s melancholic and austere film evokes the story’s unsettling tone without being too slavish in following the original text. Wisely choosing to be free with the source material, the director relocated the story to Iceland. Removing the narrative from its original Germanic setting and placing it in a new historically specific context gave it a grounding which would have been resonated with Icelandic audiences. Trimming the story’s more fantastical elements, the director was committed to communicating a sense of plausibility.

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Recording a then vanishing folklore tradition, the Brothers Grimm fairy tales were originally written for an adult readership. Sanitized by publishers and Disney screen adaptations, the original versions of the tales are dark and disturbing explorations of a society’s social, cultural, psychological, and psychosexual fears. Nietzchka Keene had studied the narratives and wanted to wed their commentary on female sexuality with a study of Icelandic folklore traditions in the period immediately after the nation converted to Christianity.

In Icelandic folk tales, the divide between the worlds of the living and dead is not firm and fixed, deceased family members return to issue warnings or tempt the living into tasting death’s embrace. Nietzchka Keene’s changes to the Grimm’s narrative incorporates this strand of folk literature. Adding the ghost of a deceased mother to the story accentuates the already palpable sense of unease.

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Filmed in the summer of 1986, the film seemed fated to rot in an archive. Lead actor Bjork’s propulsion to internationally successful recording artist resulted in funds to complete editing being made available and the film was released in 1990.

Self-consciously meshing contrasts, the film demands total concentration. Its commitment to historical authenticity is deliberately offset by the decision to get Icelandic actors to record their dialogue in English. Filmed in stark monochrome, the dramatic beauty of an Icelandic summer has never before seemed so menacing on screen.

This Nordic Folk Horror is worthy to be placed alongside The Wicker Man, BBC’s Ghost Stories for Christmas, and Witchfinder General.

The Juniper Tree is available to order from Amazon.

Film Review: The Homecoming

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An author of self-help books is in denial about his own problems.

Bestselling author Gunnar ((Hilmar Jónsson) is tired of writing self-help books. Contractually committed to producing another three titles he suggests the publisher repackage earlier books. Success has paid for homes in the city and countryside. Despite the rewards, he is prepared to walk away from a highly profitable career.

Famed for advising people how to reach inner peace, his own life is fracturing. Gestur’s marriage is in trouble and long-forgotten secrets are about to turn his world upside down.

Best known for his performances in Jar City, The Lava Field, Trapped, and Fortitude, writer-director Björn Hlynur Haraldsson is one of the co-founders of Icelandic theatre company Vesturport. Based on his stageplay, The Homecoming is Björn Hlynur’s cinematic directorial debut.

An unpredictable tragi-comedy, it’s treatment of genuinely dark subject matter may unsettle some viewers. On the surface this may appear to be a credulity-stretching Nordic farce but peel back the layers and be rewarded with a humorous take on the dangers of living in a small and interconnected society.

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Gestur’s son has returned from holiday with a new girlfriend. A decades-old secret is about to be exposed as the father is confronted with the daughter he abandoned 25 years ago. The writer of countless self-help books has no idea how to cope with this crisis. Already showing signs of mid-life malaise, Gestur’s behaviour alarms his wife and son as he tries to sabotage the relationship without revealing his youthful infidelity.

While Nordic Noir has crossed over into the mainstream, Icelandic comedies are largely unknown in the UK. The Night Shift and Rams have found an appreciative audience but a wider cycle of darkly humorous films and TV series confronting taboos has yet to be released here.

Will The Homecoming be the film to crossover and introduce Icelandic gallows humour (or gálgahúmor as it’s known in Iceland) to a wider marketplace? In an increasingly anodyne age, the fact that The Homecoming even exists is remarkable.

Undoubtedly an acquired taste, the film confronts  some weighty subject matter head-on and will make you laugh at the darker side of life.

The Homecoming is screening at the Nordic-Baltic Film Festival.

Your Iceland Noir DVD Shopping List

The seven DVDs you must have in your collection.

Trapped was a game-changer. It alerted Nordic Noir fans that some of the most exhilarating TV being produced today hailed from the land of fire and ice. Far from being a one-off, Walter Presents’ forthcoming series Case demonstrates Icelandic is experiencing a creative purple patch. One of the most significant European shows to air in the UK since the initial explosion of interest in all things Nordic, Case is a masterclass in thrilling TV which will get under your skin.

Icelandic production company Sagafilm has recently made Out of Thin Air for Netflix and BBC. Described as Iceland’s Making a Murderer, the documentary is a taut and compelling examination of the nation’s most notorious murder investigation.

Whether Trapped has whetted your appetite for more dark and intense thrillers or you want to discover more classic series before watching Case and Out of Thin Air, here is a selection of DVDs that you’ll want to watch again and again…

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Jar City

Credited with being ushering a new wave of cinematic Icelandic Noirs, Baltasar Kormákur’s adaptation of Arnaldur Indridason’s novel is the nation’s most successful Icelandic crime film at the box office. An energetic novel filled with dense plotting, vivid descriptions, and psychological realism was transformed into an atmospheric and darkly humorous thriller, Far more than just the film with the hero eating a boiled sheep’s head, Jar City is an intricate and haunting mystery.

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Black Angels

Tightly directed adaptation of Ævar Orn Josepsson’s novels. A team of four detectives is investigating an apparent suicide. Researching the deceased’s background the investigators uncover evidence which suggests that he may have been murdered. Presenting a portrait of an increasingly fractured Icelandic society being contaminated by the influence of international criminal organisations, this series has much to recommend. Some impressive stuntwork also marks it out as a DVD well worth tracking down.

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I Hunt Men

Trapped‘s Ólafur Darri Ólafsson plays a dishevelled detective partnered with a by-the-book officer. In the Westfjords of Iceland, a serial killer is targeting goose hunters. Adapted from Viktor Arnar Ingólfsson’s Daybreak, I Hunt Men is a cinematic thriller that showcases the beauty of Iceland’s natural scenery. Packed with twist-and-turns, it grips right up to the unexpected conclusion.

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The Court

Icelandic TV’s first legal drama is a socially charged series that deftly vacillates between moments of intensity and quirky humour. Screenwriters Sigurjón Kjartansson (Trapped), Margrét Örnólfsdóttir, and Kristinn Thordarson intelligently play with expectations throughout the series. Balancing a judicious mix of plot and character driven moments, the writers have delivered an intriguing Nordic Noir filled with insights into the Icelandic legal system’s workings. Even-handed in it’s treatment of the judiciary, The Court focuses on crime’s emotional impact on victims and their families. See this before watching Walter Presents exemplary Case.

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The Cliff

Prequel to Netflix’s The Lava Field. A Reykjavik detective is dispatched to assist the investigation into the death of a construction worker in a remote small town. Tapping into fears about hidden people interfering with building projects, this series plays out like an episode of The X-Files shot by John Ford.

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The Press

A high-profile tabloid newspaper provides the backdrop for a snappily paced series that highlights the dangers journalists face when they expose criminality. Compelling and cautionary, the series takes a realistic approach as it takes the viewer on a frenzied whistle-stop tour of Reykjavik’s criminal underbelly and back to an ego-filled newsroom. Bjarne Henriksen (The Killing, Borgen, and Trapped) delivers a bed-wettingly terrifying performance as the second season’s villain.

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The Night Shift

Icelandic TV’s crown jewel. Filled with pathos, this comedy of three misfits working the late shift in a petrol station is a perfect realisation of crushed dreams and lost souls. Making history as the first Icelandic series to be screened by BBC Four, it introduced British viewers to the man who would one day become Mayor of Reykjavik, Jón Gnarr. Two sequel series and a feature film continued the story of the shift workers. Perfectly cast, The Night Shift is peerless. Ranks alongside Hancock’s Half Hour, Fawlty Towers, and Father Ted as one of European TV’s all-time great comedies.

Nammi.is is the place to visit for all your subtitled Icelandic DVDs

Iceland Noir booking information.

DVD Review: Black’s Game

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A new breed of criminal emerged at the tail end of the twentieth century. Gangsters and drug barons who had operated in Reykjavik since the 1970s were overthrown by a more brutal regime. The more “innocent” era of soft drugs and hobbyist pushers was replaced by one which saw the flourishing of a number of organised crime groups that were more willing to use extreme violence.

Author Stefán Máni’s novel Black’s Curse (Svartur leik á) was based on a detailed investigation he had conducted into Reykjavik’s underworld. A number of real-life events were incorporated into the powerful and eruptive novel’s narrative.

Aside from being encouraged to emphasise violence, screenwriter and director Óskar Thór Axelsson was given a relatively free hand in adapting the novel for the screen. A long time fan of the genre, he saw his first gangster film at the age of eleven. Referencing his favouite films, he throws in moments which will delight fellow aficionados and is committed to honouring the novel’s realist approach.

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Stebbi (Thor Kristjansson – Life in a Fishbowl, Dracula Untold) has spent a night in a police cell. Released from custody on bail, he bumps into old school friend Tóti (Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesson – Game of Thrones, The Press, The Court). Tóti is now an enforcer and debt collector for Iceland’s biggest drug dealer, Jóa Pharaoh. Stebbi is promised an introduction to a lawyer who will ensure all charges against him are dropped if he does one job for Tóti.

Accepted into the gang, Stebbi believes he has hit the big time. The high-life comes at a price, risks intensify as he descends deeper into the gang network.

When Tóti’s gang joins forces with psychotic mob boss Bruno’s (Damon Younger – Dirty Pretty Things, The Girl in the Cafe) outfit they eliminate the old guard and escalate their activities. Fuelled by copious amounts of cocaine and convinced they are somehow invincible the gang unleashes a wave of violence across the city.

Stebbi’s state of sociopathic bliss is shattered when he is raped by Bruno, A life on the edge in a world of bank robberies drug-dealing, extortion, and pimping had until that moment seemed free of personal consequence.

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Indebted to The Godfather, Goodfellas, Trainspotting, and the Pusher trilogy, the film is a pacy hard-edged thriller. Director Óskar Thór Axelsson and producer Nicolas Winding Refn (Drive, Pusher) bring a freshness of touch to the genre and make effective use of the Icelandic setting.

With a knowing wink, the director has delivered a film that ticks all boxes in terms of what viewers want from a drug heist film and tossed a uniquely local message into the mix.

Made for a media-savvy audience, Black’s Game plays with and kicks against assumptions. The script’s subversion of expectations does more than wrong-foot, it offers a commentary on Icelandic society in the late 1990s. Seen through the prism of a post-economic meltdown perspective, the idea that a drug heist might be more profitable than a bank robbery seems all too plausible.

Brutally realistic, Black’s Game is an energised hard-edged glimpse into Reykjavik’s underworld that never feels like a debut film. Referencing of its influences sometimes seems a bit too on the nose but it’s nontheless an enjoyable film filled with enough original moments to make it a memorable movie.

Black’s Game is available to order from Amazon

DVD Review: Cold Trail (Köld slóð)

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Things That Go Norse in the Night: Whodunnit with a supernatural twist

Released in the same year as Jar City, Cold Trail took a very different path and provided further evidence that the nation’s filmmakers were intent on pushing the envelope.

Generously budgeted in comparison to other movies from the period, director Björn Brynjúlfur Björnsson’s first feature film is set in the inhospitable frozen wastelands of Iceland’s north. Equal parts locked room murder mystery, suspense thriller, and ghost story, Cold Trail mashes up familiar generic tropes and somehow produces an utterly idiosyncratic and uniquely Icelandic film experience.

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Reckless journalist Baldur Maríusson (Þröstur Leó Gunnarsson – 101 Reykjavik, Metalhead) is investigating a CEO accused of child molestation. In his eagerness to bag a front page exclusive, he neglects to fact-check the story and the newspaper is forced to issue a retraction when the wrongly accused CEO visits the office in a state of great distress. As he deals with the fallout caused by publication of his hastily written article another story breaks that will have profoundly personal ramifications.

The news that a dam worker has fallen to death is just another headline which will be examined by a colleague and swiftly forgotten about or so he thinks. After learning that the deceased was the father he never knew, Baldur sneaks into a morgue hoping to say goodbye. Discovering a puncture mark on the corpse’s chest he quits his paper and gets a job as a night watchman at the dam in order to unravel the truth about his father’s death.

Infiltrating the dam he finds a murky world of strange behaviour and dark secrets. Supposedly haunted by a worker who died during the building’s construction, he sees a figure in the corner of his vision and is unsure if an intruder has broken in or if his mind is playing tricks on him.

Working alongside his father’s former colleagues he learns unpalatable truths about the mysterious figure who chose to abandon his parental duties and live a booze-soaked life in a remote northern outpost.

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The best locked-room mysteries reward repeated viewings. Cold Trail‘s efficient screenplay pays homage to the genre and is packed with enough quirks to make it stand out as a distinctive film in its own right. Trimmed of fat and layered with a succession of clever setups, reveals, and red herrings, nothing is wasted in the script. Every line of dialogue and character action has added significance that only becomes apparent when the closing credits roll. Watch the film a second, or third, time and take delight in spotting clues and seeing how the film doffs a hat to the genre while successfully throwing other influences into the mix.

Björn Brynjúlfur Björnsson’s direction balances the need to convey intense claustrophobia while exemplifying the beauty and inherent danger of Iceland’s frozen north.

A spine-tingling thriller that will leave you feeling jelly-legged. Cold Trail is one of modern Icelandic screen crime’s foundation stones.

A subtitled DVD is available to order from Nammi.is

DVD Review: Shadow of the Raven (Í skugga hrafnsins)

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One-time enfant terrible of the Icelandic filmmaking community and self-confessed anarchist, Hrafn Gunnlaugsson is an uncompromising auteur. Initially ignored in his homeland, he is now regarded as one of modern Icelandic cinema’s founding fathers.

His previous film, The Raven Flies, made history as the first Icelandic co-production with an international partner. Despite a muted domestic response, the film was positively received overseas. In addition to winning the award for Best Director at the 20th Guldbagge Awards, Hrafn Gunnlaugsson’s creative vision was recognized when the film was voted one of the decade’s most outstanding films by the Tokyo International Film Festival.

Despite a tortuous production which jeopardized the director’s health, his commitment to producing authentic Viking period films remained undimmed. A second film in the trilogy, Shadow of the Raven, was released in 1988.

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During his childhood, Hrafn Gunnlaugsson listened to his grandmother as she retold Sagas. A body of literature possibly unparalleled in European civilization. The Sagas are an intrinsic part of Icelandic society. Influencing modern-day storytelling, they are an early example of frontier literature. Documenting the life of settlers and their descendants in the 10th and 11th centuries, the Sagas are a collection of narratives containing blood-soaked accounts of feuds, doomed love affairs, fights, vengeance, and reconciliation. Passed down orally through successive generations before being preserved in the 13th century by monks using berry-ink and calfskin vellum. A sophisticated literary form, the Sagas predate the emergence of the novel and share many of its characteristics. Renowned as one of the masterpieces of world literature, they have been ranked alongside Homeric epics and the work of William Shakespeare.

During pre-production on The Raven Flies Hrafn Gunnlaugsson explored the possibility of adapting a Saga before deciding to craft an original story that retained the flavour of that impressive body of literature. When beginning work on Shadow of the Raven he once again drew inspiration from the Sagas. Fusing elements from several Sagas, most notably Njal’s saga, he blended an indigenous mythology with an imported legend, Tristan and Isuelt.

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Obscured by the legacy of Hrafn Gunnlaugsson’s previous film, Shadow of the Raven is arguably the trilogy’s standout moment. Boasting more mature direction, greater set pieces, and fatalistic character sketches, the film is a haunting epic.

An avowed enthusiast of John Ford, Sergio Leone, and Akira Kurosawa, Hrafn Gunnlaugsson continues to pay homage to Samurai Films and Spaghetti Westerns while demonstrating an appreciation of Ingmar Bergman. Cine-literate, the director embraces his influences and demonstrates a highly distinct voice.

Returning to Iceland after studying theology in Norway, Trausti (Reine Brynolfsson) find rival clans feuding over a beached whale. The year is 1077, it is a transitional moment in Icelandic history. Christianity has officially replaced the old religion although some of its trappings still exist in Icelandic culture.

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As two clans go to war, Trausti’s mother is mortally wounded. Rival clan leader Erikur is slain and his daughter Isold (Tinna Gunnlaugsdóttir) inherits his property and position. Daughter of a woman who was executed for practicing witchcraft, she is raising an illegitimate child. Promised in marriage to the son of the Bishop of Iceland, the union will create the nation’s biggest clan.

Blaming Trausti for the death of her father Isold vows to kill him. Swayed by his compassion and honesty she plans a marriage that will diminish the Bishop’s power.

Potent and epic, Hrafn Gunnlaugsson’s version of the tale of star-crossed lovers draws from Norwegian and Icelandic versions popular in the 12th and 13th centuries. Set during the period documented by the Sagas, the increased role of the then new Christian religion in Nordic versions differentiated it from English and French variants. In Shadow of the Raven, it is given greater prominence as it is used to underscore the clash between old and new models of Icelandic society. Ravens and white veils are used as visual motifs to symbolize the values and morality of the old paganism and new Christian religion.

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Showcasing Iceland’s spectacular landscapes to great effect, the film uses imposing clifftops, geysers, waterfalls, and coastal regions as backdrop for an authentic recreation of the nation’s commonwealth age.

More than a historical drama, it is a complex tale of doomed love that also explore’s the futility of revenge and religion’s hypocrisies. Relatively unknown in English-speaking territories, the film is the most significant cinematic adaptation of the legend since Jean Delannoy’s L’Éternel retour.

A subtitled DVD is available to order fron Nammi.is

DVD Review: Jitters

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Teenage Kicks: Baldvin Z’s debut feature film is a sympathetically sketched portrait of self-discovery.

Icelandic filmmaker Baldvin Z has rapidly established himself as one of the most exciting directors to emerge on the Nordic scene in recent years. In addition to helming three episodes of Trapped, he wrote and produced the black comedy series Hæ gosi. His feature film Life in a Fishbowl was 2014’s most successful Icelandic film. More recently he directed the gripping Nordic Noir series Case.

Producing films since the age of 11, his early work was screened at local cinemas and on Icelandic TV. Baldvin’s professional career began when he directed a commercial in 2004. He subsequently attended filmmaking workshops in Norway and Denmark. Upon his return to Iceland he directed the short film Planet Earth. The short was screened at the Northern Wave International Film Festival where cinephiles noted that Baldvin was an obvious talent to watch.

Making the transition to feature-length motion pictures, Baldvin released his debut Jitters in 2010. The film is an adaptation of a pair of books by actor, screenwriter, and novelist Ingibjorg Reynisdottir who collaborated on the screenplay with. Baldvin.

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Filmed in Iceland and the UK, Jitters is a coming-of-age story focusing on a group of Reykjavik teenagers as they explore their sexuality, form emotional bonds, and struggle to define their place in contemporary Icelandic society.

Comparisons to E4’s teen comedy drama Skins ignore Nordic cinema’s long history of producing youth related content. Several Icelandic filmmakers have directed rites-of-passage movies including Þorsteinn Jónsson’s Dot, Dot, Comma, Dash and Runar Runarsson’s Sparrows. Baldvin Z’s film fits within a longstanding tradition of using film to dramatize growing pains and the Nordic condition.

An assured feature-length debut, Jitters offers a non-judgemental view of life as a teenager in the aftermath of Iceland’s economic turmoil. The director has crafted a compassionate narrative which wisely resists the all too obvious temptations to patronize and sensationalize the teenage experience. Understated and intimate, Jitters continued relevance is, in part, due to it being a relatively early example of an Icelandic film exploring LGBT-related issues.

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Chaos and confusion of the teenager experience is contrasted with a cynical view of parenthood. Emphasising the narrative’s allegiance to youth, adults are presented as controlling, narrow-minded, and having limited emotional intelligence. Father type figures are shown to be weak, and inefficient. Mothers and grandmothers are represented as suffocating and destructive.

Leading the ensemble cast is Atli Óskar Fjalarsson (Sparrows) who plays Gabriel a student unsure about his place in the world and taking tentative steps on a voyage of self-discovery. Enrolled on a study programme in Manchester by his domineering mother, he shares a dormitory with Markus (Haraldur Ari Stefansson). Two young lives are transformed by three weeks in a foreign land.

Temporarily free from parental influence the pair embrace the opportunity to experience new sensations.

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They return to Reykjavik as very different people and soon friends and family start to notice changes have occurred. Gabriel’s emotional and sexual experimentation has left him in a state of confusion. Unsure about how to reconcile his newly discovered sexuality he is initially in a state of denial. Gabriel busies himself providing a shoulder for his friends to cry on as he tries to reach a state of acceptance.

Baldvin’s ensemble cast is a mixture of new and established actors. Among the faces familiar to UK viewers are Þorsteinn Bachmann (Trapped, Life in a Fishbowl, Case, Volcano), Gísli Örn Garðarsson (Beowulf, City State, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time), and Ingibjörg Reynisdottir (Case, The Day Shift).

Jitters‘ cinematic release revealed the emergence of a fully formed artistic voice. Themes and stylistic techniques the director would return to in Life in a Fishbowl and Case are present in Jitters.

An uncompromising snapshot of young life in Reykjavik. Jitters portrayal of youthful exuberance and confusion meshes universal themes with a distinctly localized perspective. Sharp and brutally honest, the film tells an emotionally powerful story far removed from American teenage comedies overloaded with saccharine humour and quirkiness.

Jitters is available to order from Amazon

DVD Review: The Raven Flies (Hrafninn flýgur )

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 Once Upon a Time in the North: Icelandic sagas reinterpreted as a brutal Spaghetti Western

After directing Iceland’s entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 55th Academy Awards Hrafn Gunnlaugsson approached Swedish film producer Bo Jönsson and discussed the possibility of producing a film set in the Viking age. Disappointed with Hollywood attempts at representing the era the director was determined to present the most authentic depiction to date.

Initially planning to adapt a saga, Hrafn Gunnlaugsson also explored the possibility of bringing Halldór Laxness’ novel The Happy Warriors to the big screen before deciding to write an original story.

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Considered by experts to be one of the most significant Viking era films The Raven Flies is the first instalment in a trilogy set around the time of Iceland’s conversion to Christianity. Despite being critically acclaimed throughout Scandinavia, the film was initially scorned by Iceland’s critics. In recent years it has been re-evaluated and is now regarded as pivotal moment in the“spring of Icelandic filmmaking” that occurred during the early 1980s.

Released when the nation’s film industry was finding its voice Hrafn Gunnlaugsson’s motion picture drew inspiration from the revenge narratives contained within the family sagas and paid homage to Akira Kurosawa, Sergio Leone, and John Ford. This mixture of Icelandic literary heritage and Spaghetti Western tropes found a cult following in America when a re-edited version was released on video as Revenge of the Barbarians.

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Brooding and mythic, The Raven Flies is a ferocious movie that made history as the Icelandic film industry’s first co-production with an international partner. Teaming up with a Swedish production company enabled the film and its director to qualify for the Guldbagge Awards. Hrafn Gunnlaugsson’s award for Best Director and the film’s subsequently being voted one of the decade’s most outstanding films by the Tokyo International Film Festival provided an early indication of Icelandic filmmakers ambitions to become major players in the global marketplace.

Ostensibly a vengeance narrative. Vikings visit Ireland to plunder the lands and capture women. A young boy witnesses the murder of his parents and is unable to prevent his sister’s abduction. Twenty years later Gestur (Jakob Þór Einarsson) arrives on an Icelandic beach after several years searching Scandinavia for information about the raiders and his sister’s whereabouts.

Gestur exploits the raiders suspicions and sets blood-brothers on a path of mutually assured destruction.

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Frequently compared to Kurosawa’s Yojimbo and Leone’s For a Fistful of Dollars, The Raven Flies reprises themes and plot points present in both films. The use of familiar reference points is a Trojan horse which enabled Hrafn Gunnlaugsson to exploit genre conventions and present a Saga inspired narrative in a format appealing to action movie fans.

A thrilling, impeccably researched blood-soaked epic, grittier than Viking age films produced by Hollywood up to that point. Single-minded in his determination to create the definitive Viking screen saga, Hrafn Gunnlaugsson studied artifacts in museums and visited the remains of a township. Costumes and props were intentionally designed to be authentic recreations of items worn and used by people in the late ninth century.

Atypically for the era, attempts to convey a sense of believability extended to action sequences. The director employed a Native American knife thrower to teach cast members how to accurately use the weapons.

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Intensifying the feeling of brutality experienced on set, real blood supplied from a local slaughterhouse was used instead of more commonly applied substitutes.

Demonstrating the level of unshakable commitment to the project Hrafn Gunnlaugsson jeopardized his health by staying awake for six days at a time throughout the production to ensure his vision was successfully captured on celluloid.

Energetic, and visually striking, The Raven Flies brings the sagas to a new audience without philosophizing or excessive exposition. Redefining the screen image of Vikings its influence continues to be felt in Iceland and abroad.

A subtitled DVD is available to order from nammi.is

Trapped: Sigurjón Kjartansson Interviewed

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Trapped’s head writer discusses the breakout hit

Making history as the first Icelandic crime series to air in the UK, Trapped‘s complex web of murder, corruption, and intensely claustrophobic atmosphere instantly captivated Nordic Noir fans.

Head writer Sigurjón Kjartansson kindly agreed to meet in a Reykjavik coffee shop and discuss the series, his career to date, and future plans.

Before embarking on successful writing career Sigurjón was a member of influential hard rock band HAM. Away from music, a comedy partnership with future Mayor of Reykjavik Jon Gnarr kick started a career in television. Sigurjón has created and co-created some of the most successful TV series in Icelandic history: The Press (Pressa), The Court (Réttur). An adaptation of Aevar Orn Josepsson’s noir novels was a ratings smash.

Since 2012 Sigurjón has been Head of Development at RVK Studios. Together with Baltasar Kormákur (Jar City, Everest) and Magnús V. Sigurdsson, Sigurjón shepherded the series that would be a success in Iceland, France, Germany, Norway, and the UK.

Trapped is the first Icelandic drama series to air in the UK. It’s arrived at a time when the Icelandic film and TV industry is flourishing. Some really great stuff is on the way. Case is coming soon from Sagafilm also from your production company The Oath will be released later n the year. Do you feel more confident about the future prospects internationally for Icelandic film and TV?

Definitely. Definitely. Film was actually of ahead of TV there. There have been successes like ten years ago with Jar City in the UK and Europe and other movies. Some of them by Baltasar and others like Of Horses and Men, etc. We kind of when we started Trapped like four years ago. More than four years ago. Then it was like me and Baltasar we were talking about doing television on the same model as he had succeeded in films. We started developing and going round Europe to raise funding for this.

I noticed on the end credits that their are multiple partners. The funding isn’t just from Icelandic Film Fund.

No, no. That was earlier. The Press and The Court series they were mostly just funded locally. It was the TV station and the film and TV fund and also sometimes we got something from the Nordic fund. That was it. That’s how we did the series. It was very cheap. That’s how we did it. OK we could do like six times 45 minutes, shoot for 35 days and just get on with it. But that’s just… You don’t get any further than that, I mean this is just there. With ready made material you don’t get the pressure of selling it abroad . It’s not that impressive, you know. And we kind of knew that of course making Trapped would be much more expensive mostly because we had to shoot it out of town and it was a longer series. It was ten times 50 minutes and that meant we had to have partners in Germany, at least, and preferably France which we did. France television said yes from the board. And then finally when ZDF said yes we knew that we were finally going into production.

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Do you think this is a new form of production that may become commonplace in Icelandic TV? Securing funding from international partners.

I think this is key. We want to make TV comparable to foreign TV. We need to. Icelandic audiences are used to quality television from all over the world. When they see Icelandic television it has to be comparable. And we are competing with with that. So when it’s successful the whole nation is watching and then its very successful. Other than that it also ensures if you just look at from the local point of view it also secures the local station. They know that they would never be able to finance the whole thing altogether but maybe ten percent and maybe they can come up with development fee. That is very good for us. We gain from that. So we can start writing and pitching for the rest of the funding. We kind of quickly realized if it’s not flying, I’m not saying we have never been there, but it’s like we should kind of quickly realise that if it’s not flying abroad it’s not flying., it’s  probably not a good series because… We have, I mean number one as in Trapped, tried to be as local as possible. We never thought OK we are making an international series. It was just.. We just went with it. This is drama. This is a small town. It’s accidentally in Iceland. It could happen everywhere. We’re just making good drama and that travels.

I think you are right in the sense that it could happen anywhere. The isolated village as a concept there are other examples in film and literature. For instance, John Wyndham The Midwych Cuckoos which was filmed as Village of Damned.

That could have happened in Iceland. (laughs)

It’s not a crime story but it’s an example of the isolated community facing external and internal threats. You’ve added Icelandic elements to it. The weather is a character in any Icelandic drama. Having just driven down from from the north I know…

Did you go to Siglufjörður? The place where we shot.

I’m going there in November. I think it’s best to experience it when the weather is at its most extreme.

Of course but actually the most extreme weather scenes we shot they were actually shot in April 2015. It was like crazy. We had this weekend coming. We were editing All the principal photography was finished. We were kind of we need more weather, OK maybe we’ll do it in the fall. In the end this weather forecast came that it would be like crazy this weekend of like the thirteenth of April or something. So I went with a crew there to shoot those crazy scenes.

Fortitude filmed in Iceland. They were unlucky. They had no snow and had to import fake snow.

That’s why we decided not to shoot it in the east. Because Fortitude had such a bad experience there. So we moved the scenario up north to Siglufjörður where we were kind of secure. Snow during the winter. We were very lucky. It was the best weather we could have. It was always changing but kind of always in the right moments in the scripts. It was kind of as if the weather gods had read the script.

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I’ve worked on film sets before and the weather can be a logistical nightmare, Suddenly you’ve got to hire equipment for a couple of extra days due to snow, wind, or rain. How fluid did you have to be when filming in Siglufjörður?

We had some weather covers. All the scenes in Henrika’s apartment are shot north. Most of the interiors we shot here in Reykjavik. So that was our main weather cover. We knew that if it is too good weather or something then we are going to shoot there. There was never a day  We never had a day when we could shoot. We were very lucky there.

In the UK you are primarily known for Trapped. Your CV is more diverse. You’re an actor. I recently saw you in Virgin Mountain. I’ve also seen you in The Night Shift. You’ve had a career in comedy. As a musician you’ve been a member of an influential band. Your scriptwriting CV is quite diverse. You’re not just a crime writer. You work in a number of genres. One thing I’ve noticed in your work is a very strong sense of timing. You know how to pace a scene, how to pace tension. Initially I was thinking this was because of your work in comedy. Successful comedy is all about timing. Also as a musician…

Yeah, music is all about timing. It’s all about musicality. To be musical, to have a musical talent is the ground of so many other things. I think you can’t really be a good writer unless you have some music in you. I’m flattered to hear that you sense timing.

Did you have any formal training in scriptwriting?

No not really. I didn’t have any formal training in scriptwriting. All I learned was from comedy. We started me and Jón Gnarr, the guy who later became Mayor of Reykjavik, it was like us two… When I was kind of getting frustrated with music. It was not going very well. We were old friends and everything we did was kind of funny accidentally. We had this comedic thing between us One thing led to another and we got a shot at RUV, the state TV, and they offered us a slot in a weekly news programme for a comedy slot. It was kind of how to behave. It was not conventional sketches. It was more like some propaganda videos or something. We started writing that on a typewriter. It is in 1995. It got very successful and that winter we became comedians all of a sudden before we planned it. It was funny stuff and then we started on radio. Then we kind of figured out that this could be our bread and butter. And then we we started on Channel Two with with a comedy show called Blood Brothers or whatever you want to call it in English. That was a more conventional sketch show in the vein of Big Train or The Fast Show. Then I really figured out what I like best about doing this kind of work was writing and editing it. And then everything in between was kind of, you know, something that had to be done but it was nuanced for me. I didn’t like being in front of the camera. I didn’t like being on set, it was waiting and stuff like that. But that was something that off course I knew was necessary but I really liked the writing part and also being in the editing room and seeing the final touches. After that show ended, like after five series, then we made another and then I head wrote with other people another sketch show and then another sketch show. In the end it was in like 2005 I had written something around 1000 sketches that were produced on television. I was like the sketch master. I realised if I don’t write another sketch in my life I will be quite happy. It’s fine. I know how to do it. It has to be a beginning, middle and an end and a funny in the beginning and a surprise and everything. So I started with Óskar Jónasson who is the co-creator of Pressa . Channel 2 had requested, “we need crime, we need a crime show.” Me and Óskar we came up with this idea. and I just went with it I just dived into it… Oh writing drama, no problem because it’s mostly scene after scene after scene. Like sketches it’s scenes with a beginning, middle, and an end but they don’t have to be funny so I’m not burdened with that thing. It’s much easier actually. Of course I read some books about how to do it and things like that. I like that. In the first season of Pressa I mastered this.

Your previous series The Press, The Court, Ástríður were written for a domestic audience. With Trapped were you aware from the start that it was going to be international?

Yeah I was aware of it but still I was writing for a domestic audience. It was main thing that it should all be believable and stuff like that. I was in a new territory. I felt like that very early because working with Baltasar was like a step up for me. This was a guy who really knows what he’s doing and I learned a lot from him. This four years of making Trapped is like a university. I feel like I’m graduating now and we have kind of joked about it. So that he is my mentor. He has such a strong vision. We share that vision and it’s very refreshing to really work with someone who really shares your vision and knows so well how to make it happen.

One of Baltasar’s skills is his ability to pitch projects at the right level. He can shoot in a way that’s appealing to international audiences but at the same time he can also be more specific for an Icelandic context. That’s a very rare skill to be able to work simultaneously for two audiences.

Of course he’s like every artist torn between being really himself and being the Hollywood guy who brings in the goods for the studio. And he has done it. I would say Contraband and 2 Guns are like studio films that he made and they did they had to do. The Deep was very much him. His very ice cold realism. I think he brought it into Everest as well. I saw Baltasar’s persona in that film and in Trapped.

I noticed in your writing themes that have appeared in some of your earlier work. The human trafficking and real estate scams were in The Court and you’ve revisited the themes in Trapped.

Terrible to have such a guy who has seen it all. (laughs) So you can read me like an open book.

An English writer Alan Bennett said something to the effect that writers only have a few beans in their tin to rattle. It’s true that themes or passions recur in most writers work.

Human trafficking is my passion. I have to say I really recognise what you are saying.

Until I’d seen your work I wasn’t even aware that human trafficking was even an issue in Iceland.

It’s all over. It’s everywhere. It’s also in Iceland. Maybe that’s the fascinating part in it because we live in this small, peaceful island and all the evils of the world are coming home.

Until the crash people living in the UK may have thought of Iceland as a utopia. After the meltdown cracks started to appear. Your work shows some of those cracks. Season one of The Court takes place a few months after the crash. We see the casualties, corrupt forms of capitalism and this law firm is effectively the white knight stepping in to right this injustices.

Yeah, yeah. This is all there. I remember when we were plotting the third season of The Press we were kind OK where do we go from here? We started to map out all the evils in the world. It was like what is the ultimate evil? What is the high concept evil? Racism, human trafficking, stuff like that. We issued that there and of course drugs and young people disappearing which happens all the time here in Iceland. Young girls who are wanted and of course they come home after two weeks but in the end they have been kind of captured in some party in some suburb.

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You are not strictly a crime writer. You have more strings to your bow. It’s very easy for writers to get typecast whereas you are just a writer full stop. You write comedy and and drama. I’ve noticed a social conscience in your work. Do you recognise that or do just you see yourself as a dramatist first and foremost.

Maybe I’m a kind of old style crime writer in that sense. My favourite crime writer is Henning Mankell for instance. I really like that old school Swedish school that murder and crime is something that is just on the tip of a bigger iceberg. There is a social commentary there. Trapped is all about that. We are very synchronised in that opinion. We were trying to tell a story where greed and short-sightedness is the main evil. That’s the main thing and I think all stories should have a deeper meaning. In that sense you are right. I follow politics. I can be very opinionated when I have had three whiskeys with my friends. (laughs)

Is it opinion or is it passion? There is passion in your work. There is an ideological commitment. One of my favourite pieces of your writing is the fifth episode of The Court’s second season. In many respects it’s unique in so called Nordic Noir. The main plotline has Logi trying to ascertain if he has been framed. Then you have this delightful storyline about an adult with learning disabilities fighting for the right to give birth to a child. Socially committed storyline that because of the way it ended I felt it may have advanced the rights of the learning disability community.

Maybe in some way. This is a story that I mapped out with Margrét Örnólfsdóttir who is a very good writing partner of mine. That was something that came up in the writers room. Yeah I have opinions about those things. Right now I’m not connecting that passionately about it now because I’ve been over it. It’s like six years since we made it. I have passion for lots of things. I try to to to put it in the shows I;’m writing. Still it’s not like I’m going to make a statement here. It’s more like subconscious things.

The American remake of Trapped is happening.

So I hear. There are some negotiations. I’m not sure about how much I will be involved in that.

What are you working on at the moment?

It’s OK to say that we are thinking about series two. That’s safe to say that now. We are in some process there and we hope to be able to bring Trapped back in like two years or so. Of course this all takes time. There’s no way we are going to be ready with a new series in year. Still of course we see how the pacing is in Europe in general. The Bridge II didn’t come until two years later. Two years after that they had The Bridge III. The French series The Returned and even Happy Valley didn’t come back until two years later. I think it’s OK. It’s a lot of work all the time but now we are kind of we kind of in the we are finished but let’s start to think. We are there now. There is also another series I am excited about. I have been developing on the side while I’ve been writing Trapped and stuff like that. It’s called Katla. It’s a whole other thing. It’s not crime. It happens during an eruption in Iceland. A long eruption that has been going on for years. I’m not going to tell too much but we are now in the process of developing that and trying to get in production next year.

Perhaps you can’t answer this but do you see your career from now on balancing shows that have an international flavour with those that are more domestic?

Of course we are doing it at the RVK Studios where I joined. Well we formed it together. Me and Baltasar and Magnus Vidar Sigurdsson. It has been on four years now. Comedy is something we look at as domestic. We have produced a very funny comedy show by Hugleikur Dagsson called Hulli. It’s animation. You could say it’s in the vein of South Park or something. Now we are producing a series with Jon Gnarr. It’s called The Mayor where he plays the Mayor of Reykjavik but it’s a totally different version of the mayor he was. We are going into production this spring with that and I am producing it. We don’t look at that as a big export but still it’s good quality work. We think in terms of exports as well because it serves both purposes. That’s where we are now.

Nobody like ten years ago have thought that BBC would be airing subtitled material on a Saturday night and getting over a million viewers. This is just a cultural development. I ask myself why shouldn’t this happen in America? Of course we have success selling our show to The Weinstein Company but I don’t know what they are going to do. It’s exciting times because if British audiences and Australian audiences are buying and watching our material why shouldn’t American audiences? If you just watch the American box office for the last twenty years there were two movies that were huge. The first was The Passion of the Christ. All subtitled. The second was Inglorious Basterds. At least 40 percent of that film is subtitled. I rest my case.  

Thanks to Sigurjón Kjartansson and Yrsa Sigurðardóttir

Trapped is available to order from Amazon

Icelandic Film Centre: Laufey Gudjonsdottir Interviewed

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Icelandic Film Centre’s Director speaks about the nation’s film industry 

Founded in 2003, the Icelandic Film Centre is an autonomous public body that provides financial support for domestic filmmaking and promotes Icelandic films at home and abroad. Since it’s inception Laufey Gudjonsdottir has been the Icelandic Film Centre’s Director.

There was the Icelandic Film Fund before. That was established in 1979 at a very small scale and then it grew. In 2003 there was the new law and regulation that took over from the previous so it was kind of re-established.

Since its inception in 1906 the Icelandic film industry has had notable successes at home and abroad. The average Icelander visits the cinema more frequently than any other European nation and will happily pay a premium to view domestic films. In the ever competitive international market Icelandic films have frequently struggled to secure widespread distribution despite receiving acclaim at festivals.

In 1991 Children of Nature became the first, and to date only, Icelandic film to be nominated for an Oscar. Signalling that the nation’s industry was enjoying a creative rebirth that would lead to a run of remarkable films (Jar City, Children, Noi the Albino, Life in a Fishbowl) the nomination drew the world-at-large’s attention to a filmmaking tradition that had previously been largely ignored.

I think that’s when the films came on the international map. There had been some like the film by Hrafn Gunnlaugsson, When the Raven Flies. It did really well in Sweden and was shown at the Berlinale. A big success in Sweden. There was some other films as well. The Oscar nomination was really what put it all on the map.’

Aside from  Trapped the only Icelandic show to air on UK screens is The Night Shift. How hard is it to get films and TV series screened in the UK?

We have not had that many film in the UK. Now I’m talking about the major festivals like London or Edinburgh. I suppose UK has been relatively closed for subtitled film in general. That concerns Icelandic films as well as any other. My sense is that UK is opening up a bit more.

The Swedish series Wallander that was remade in the UK with Kenneth Branagh, I think that was the big change. In the years since it was made I think the UK has opened up. We’ve had Forbrydelsen, The Bridge and other Nordic series have broken the walls.

DVD sales are in decline as people turn to online providers for content. Manufacturing costs may no longer be an obstacle. Might this be an opportunity to make Icelandic films available in the UK via a streaming service?

I think so. Eventually. Maybe I’m a bit of a optimist. Obviously it’s a new system of distribution and that affects the financial possibilities so the value chain has changed dramatically. We know how the distribution is already today and will be more or less but we don’t know how to meet financialy with the new model. It’s not paying enough to meet the costs of making new quality films or TV series. That’s the big battle we are, not only in Iceland but internationally we are fighting that.We already have good examples like Spotify with major bands or musicians selling a lot and still they get little in their pockets. That’s what we also see in films. Now when a windows closes there are fewer financial opportunities.

Once a film or series has been made available on an online platform the worry is that someone will crack whatever copy protections are in place and post the content to an illegal fileshare network. Making films available for an English speaking audience involves the added expense of generating subtitles. If a film leaks to a torrent site the loss of revenue may jeopardise future productions.

That’s why it’s so important to have it accessible on legal platforms. Most people understand that they have to pay for it. Making it easily accessible is vital. I think also with this new technologies and platforms it expands the world. For niche films like Icelandic films are generally, or any European art house, the niche gets bigger. We can easily reach Bangladesh or Australia. Everywhere. That’s really a great benefit. You can find your soulmates in an easier or more accessible way. Making your films and TV drama easily accessible is quite an important thing. I think that’s what we will probably be doing in the near future, to try and move track, to be able to have some kind of guide, if you want to see a film from this Iceland here’s where can you find it.

The film centre does not dealing with the public directly. We deal with distributors and producers and festival people. We will be probably be trying to get as much as we can in a streaming format. As soon as we have a digitised version of the older films then we will add them to it as well and then we will share the access. It will be one station in a way. I hope.

The first Icelandic film dates back to 1906. Films from that era were made with nitrate stock and must be kept in a temperature controlled environment to prevent spontaneous combustion. An important part of the nation’s cultural identity could be lost forever if these celluloid fragments are not preserved.

That’s what we are all concerned about. We are working on it and finding ways to restore them. We have separate archives for preserving but our goal is to make it accessible.

For the funding of future film productions what is the centre’s budget?

For the funding we have about four million Euros a year. It was cut down and we are hoping with the national economy recovering we will get some of it back.

With only four million to invest does that mean IFC can only support a limited number of films?

Very small number of films and each film not enough. It’s been a bit of struggle. For the possibility of a sustainable film environment we need three fully produced films per year to keep the people with the experience and know-how on board. Then again we also have to make these minimum three projects in a way they can be financially possible. That’s really the struggle we are in right now are we supporting each project with too little and then it’s a question of whether we increase for each and then we have fewer films. It’s a little like the wall can fall and we don’t know in which direction so it doesn’t matter from which side you to try to support it.

How does the Icelandic Film Centre determine which projects it will finance? What is the X-Factor that gets transforms a submission into a financed production?

There are far more applications than we can ever meet for happy results for the applicants. It’s the script, it’s the overall production set-up, how do we evaluate that it will end up as a successful film, what are the pros and cons, what are the weakness and strengths and so on. We only finance partially each project so you need other people to believe in it as well.

Sometimes it helps when we give the first letter of intent for the producer to go around and try to find co-financers and co-producers. You can never be sure whether you’ve got it right or not. We hope we are picking the right ones.

The Icelandic Film Centre is demonstrably committed to ensuring the artistic element is paramount in decisions regarding the commissioning of projects. A film that is successful internationally could subsidise the domestic industry.

Yes and that’s how we are thinking most of the time because the financing has to come from some other sources. It’s always important to have a good positive CV of Icelandic for the international scene. We also try to be the reliable source of information or whatever is needed for financiers and producers abroad who maybe seek our advice or they have to believe in our letter of intent, how reliable that is. We have to keep all the channels open. We try our best.

In recent years Iceland has become a hub for major international productions. Batman Begins, Die Another Day, Fortitude, Game of Thrones, Noah, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and Thor: The Dark World are among the projects to take advantage of Iceland’s stunning landscapes.

Visiting film productions can apply for reimbursement of 20% of the costs incurred while filming in the country. As Iceland is a a member of the European Economic Area, films and TV series shot in the country usually receive European Content Status which means that they won’t be affected by quotas.

With several incentives in place filming in Iceland is an attractive prospective for filmmakers. shot in the country filmmakers can shoot in Iceland. From the Icelandic Film Centre’s perspective has this benefitted the local economy and filmaking culture? Are people getting access to training and employment opportunities?

Absolutely. I think because Iceland obviously is a small country and there are limited resources we can’t act like a big society because we are very small. There’s never been higher level film education. Film and media literacy is very limited in school.

How filmmaking was built up here in the eighties was because there were some Icelanders who had been studying films abroad and they brought contacts with them to Iceland. Also a little bit of money came, in some cases from Sweden and Germany. I think that’s how it started Even the model of co-production environment as we know it today in Europe it was not only about the money, it was also about the talent pool.

Later in the eighties and nineties the co-production model developed in such a way that Icelandic filmmakers really benefited from it and I think it’s really amazing how much artistic control they’ve had on the projects even though they’ve had so much financial support from abroad.

The people, the filmmakers have built up their infrastructure as a film environment and were used to listening and reasoning with the international community. Based on that it’s been hugely successful in attracting foreign productions because what they find here is not only the nature and the landscape and the accessibility to glaciers or rivers or deserts or whatever but also the infrastructure of the filmmakers that has been built. Even though it’s small it’s very solid.

Alongside it’s creative rebirth, the Icelandic film industry has been given a welcome shot in the arm by the number of international productions. How much of that rejuvenation is down to the work Icelandic Film Centre does? Was the centre actively promoting the country as a location?

No we don’t. We do at the international markets but there is also an Icelandic agency, Promote Iceland, that emphasises introducing Iceland as a location. Of course we are at the major markets and we also do it and Icelandic filmmakers do it themselves. They are very good ambassadors. I think in terms of as you were asking earlier especially for the technical crew the major foreign productions have been very good because we don’t have formal education at a high level but in a way that has been way to train and get yourself in higher positions. You train, learn, update yourself and get inspired.

At present Icelandic universities don’t offer courses in filmaking. Those who want to enter the industry have to study abroad or gain experience on local productions. Icelandic cinema has a distinct quality, it uses western modes of storytelling within a local context. Because the country doesn’t have a formal university programme are filmakers finding a cinematic voice that might otherwise have been quashed if they were exposed to theory?

I don’t know. I think you can always debate about this. There are always pros and cons for film school. Is it training time or is it infiltration time? You can always debate about that.

Prominent director Frederikson did not have a formal education. He was running a film club and he claims that he saw so many films that he got it. It’s probably a mix. I think the mix might be good. I think also that the storytelling tradition you may be referring to that. Icelanders have a certain way of telling a story that we’ve had through history. This oral way of storytelling. The Icelandic sagas are definitely different from most other literature. Maybe we still have this directness or sharpness or short wording. I don’t know.

What’s been the proudest achievement of your time at Icelandic Film Centre?

To be honest I don’t think of it that way. We’re just here to create the framework and try to maintain it. Sometimes we’re a bit like the window to the outer world in a way. People have directors and producers here with very limited resources. They have the maybe the capacity of making a film every fourth year. Our duty is to try and maintain all the channels open so they can step in and be updated on where to go, what to look for, and so on. The filmmakers are so great. I think they are great storytellers. It’s amazing how much quality they make with so limited resources.

We are hoping we will get a little bit more money in order to build up a more sustainability. We have to convince the authorities about that. I also think we have a lot of duties to do with heritage. We have to try and get that modernised and preserved in a digital way. We have to get more women on board. We have to hopefully enrich the film culture more because it all supports each other. It would also be good to have a talent development programme so that even if you are not ready for your big budget, even though it’s a low budget, feature film you could try out the ideas or make a small budget film. Even experienced filmmakers could have access to a smaller pool where they could try out some crazy ideas and find out if they work or not.

It’s not really the film centre’s duties but I think it would be very nice to have more media and film literacy. I think that’s important. Sadly it’s not been on the agenda here but I think that is so important for the future generations.

Lot of things to do. We would also like to promote the films on the internet. To get them accessible by the general public wherever they are.

Thanks to Laufey Gudjonsdottir and all at Icelandic Film Centre for making this interview possible.

For further information about the Icelandic Film Centre please visit:

http://www.icelandicfilmcentre.is/