Feb 22, 2007

My First Icelandic Movie

A number of years ago I went to our local independent video store, Video Fan, in search of Icelandic films. One of the women working there had been to Iceland and could recommend a few titles that they owned. Remote Control, or Sodoma Reykjavik (Oskar Jonasson, 1993) was the first one I saw. It was light and funny, and I could see what contemporary Iceland looks like (all of my mental images having previously been supplied by Laxness and the Sagas). I then began to seek out any Icelandic films that I could find.

Netflix has since come on the scene, and they have a few Icelandic offerings. They aren't as responsive as I would like, when I request an Icelandic film that they don't own. They just don't know how many of us are out here, waiting to enjoy Icelandic cinema!

I'm not sure how many puffins to assign to Remote Control. It has been so many years, and the Video Fan copy has long since disappeared. (No, I do not have it.) All I can say is, I wasn't disappointed. If you get the chance, watch it.

Meanwhile, I'll review some films that are more readily available soon.

And...watch for diacritics, coming to this blog soon!

12 comments:

Professor Batty said...

... I've seen about eight, and they have been all worth while, there's still many that I've missed... although I did manage to catch Mýrin in Reykjavík last october...

Alda said...

I haven't seen Sódóma Reykjavík and wasn't aware that it's called Remote Control in English. Can't say I think much of the translation ... :-/

I think the Icelandic film industry has been growing steadily in terms of quality. The best Icelandic film I've seen so far is Börn (Children) which came out last year. There's another film in the two-film series running now, called Foreldrar (Parents), which I haven't seen.

I can also recommend Mýrin - I think it takes Icelandic films to a new level in terms of production and quality.

Rose said...

Well, PB and Alda, I can't wait to see Mýrin! I won't have the opportunity for awhile, though. I've heard of Börn and Foreldrar, and am even less likely to find them in the states any time soon. I'm even having trouble getting ahold of Angels of the Universe--can you believe that? An Icelandic classic, it seems fair to say, yet only two libraries in the U.S. own it. Although I have librarian friends at both of those libraries, their copies are non-circulating, so I'm out of luck for now. Just another reason to return to Iceland...to see the films that aren't available here ;-)

Professor Batty said...

...there is an Icelandic Films site that has some info, evidently they are going to create a database soon. We in Minnesota have had Icelandic film festivals in the past, however I fear the film society that ran them is now defunct.

Rose said...

PB
Thanks for this film site; I hadn't discovered it.

Shannon said...

Hi Rose,

Just bumped into your blog today...absolutely wonderful! The book reviews look great, thanks! I'd love to chat with you more...we have so much in common (I'm also a librarian, I've lived in Iceland, and am moving to Chesapeake, VA in June)!

I saw "A Seagull's Laughter" a few months ago. Have you seen that one? I enjoyed it and it left me scratching my head in the end - something many American movies don't allow us to do.

~Shannon

Rose said...

Shannon,
I thought Seagull's Laughter was very interesting! I really enjoy reviewing the books and movies I've seen because it allows me to revisit them and consider them a little more carefully. I would like to develop the facility that many of my other favorite bloggers have of writing every day (yo, Batty! hiya, Alda Kalda!). (PB I know you take the weekends off, but five days a week is still great. And, I like your idea of guest bloggers--I'm working on my son.) So, I need to get through this online Web 2.0 class I'm taking (sucks up the time), and I need to GET SOME DISCIPLINE! Oh yeah, and becoming more concise would be a good thing too...

Professor Batty said...

...one of my earliest blog posts had to do with Seagull's Laughter, that movie evoked memories of my grandmother, especially the card playing (no, not the homicides!) As far as regular posting goes, I think Kristín said it best: It is an affliction. The guest blogger thing was great, there's nothing quite like opening your blog and having something completely unexpected there. As far as writing with regularity, it goes in cycles, my eclectic approach helps keep it fresh for me. And it keeps me from watching TV! My guest bloggers have been a great inspiration, it's really hard to do one's own thing, much less write somewhere else, they've been great. They've got their own blogs, but we still keep in touch. To actually meet some of the bloggers I read (Audi, Kristín and Lab Munkay) has been most rewarding. It's fun to find somebody who is into Iceland's culture, I talk to my friends about it and they roll their eyes and start backing away!

Alda amazes me.

Rose said...

PB
"...Iceland's culture, I talk to my friends about it and they roll their eyes and start backing away!"
HA! Ha, ha ha! Question: is this a daily occurrence?
So tell me, how did you get infatuated with Iceland? It was the sagas that grabbed me and, I see, Shannon. If I had to guess, it would be 1) Iceland Airwaves, or 2) Icelandic ancestors--I'm guessing that as you live in Minnesota.

Professor Batty said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Professor Batty said...

... sorry about the deletion, it was just a typo. I'll try it again:

.. the interest began with my stamp collection and the book/movie Journey to the Center of the Earth when I was a child. This guy helped too. My wife and I took a spring break 2000 in Iceland on a whim, that's what really started it. The music came later (I knew who Björk was, but I had never really listened to her music.) We always had a copy of Independent People in my parent's house (it was a Book of the Month club selection), I finally read it when I got back from Reykjavík. There was no turning back. The Airwaves thing was a lark, but it turned out great.

Rose said...

Shannon? What about you? Do people roll their eyes and back away when you talk about Iceland? How did you get hooked...before you moved there, or after?