Oct 20, 2007

Beowulf and Grendel

Directed by Sturla Gunnarsson, 2005.

Grendel, clay pen that writes in blood-red ink.
by Rachael, a Godwin student.

For a good time: spend an evening (or several) with Beowulf, aka Gerard ("I don't get all that mad") Butler, whata hunk.

What's the Iceland connection with Beowulf/Grendel? Director Sturla Gunnarsson is Icelandic, and it was filmed entirely in Iceland, with a number of Icelandic actors. Ingvar E. Sigurðsson does a wonderful job as Grendel--Grendel the troll, that is. (He also stars as Erlendur in Mýrin, which I'll happily review if I ever get the opportunity to see it, grrrr.)

This is one to see! Honestly, it's great, even if for those who don't like blood and gore (just cover your eyes at the appropriate times). I love the dialogue:
"A storm came up and ate our boat."
"Christ, eh? Is he any good with trolls?"

"Why did you kill him?" "He crossed our path--took a fish."
This film is a visual treat: much of it was filmed around Vík, Jökulsárlón, Skógarfoss and Höfn, with truly stunning scenery (hence four puffins). Grendel is portrayed creatively, and the film was made without computer graphics, animation or special effects. The dialogue is contemporary English, complete with slang. Accents are an eclectic mixture of Scottish, Icelandic, Canadian, Swedish. Atmospheric but not too intrusive, the beautiful musical score is composed by Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson (Cold Fever, Devil's Island, Children of Nature). Don't miss the Director's Commentary: complete with hurricanes, volcanoes, wind and rock storms, 40 foot surf, foul weather, and lots of unforeseen challenges, Gunnarsson could have written a fascinating book about the process of bringing this film to fruition.


Professor Batty said...

... on your recommendation I bought it. I'll have to find some time to watch it. (Ingvar's Erlendur is fantastic!)

Rose said...

You got double your money's worth, PB, with the great Director's Commentary. I'll be looking forward to hearing your assessment.

Professor Batty said...

... OK, The weaver and I have seen it. I haven't done the commentary yet, but really enjoyed it. I also saw some another fine Icelandic actor in it- the fat knight who wouldn't get baptized is a regular at the Þjóðleikhúsið, and was unforgettable in Peer Gynt. What a great, strange story.

Rose said...

I'm so glad you and the Weaver enjoyed it! Isn't the landscape wonderful? Doesn't it make you want to set out on the Ring Road, exploring?