Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Nordic Film Week in Rabat Offers Four Fine Films

The 2nd edition of the Nordic Film Week in Morocco will run from September 29th  to October 2nd, at the Renaissance Theatre in Rabat. This cultural event is organised by the embassies of Finland, Norway, Sweden and Denmark, in order to promote Nordic culture in Morocco
The Renaissance: 360, Avenue Mohamed V Rabat  Phone 0698-412096

With the advent of Scandi-noir on the small screen (The Killing, Borgen, The Bridge...) and the increasing number of Nordic actors on the big screen the Nordic Film Week in Rabat is an opportunity to show the Moroccan public this new wave of cinema.

The four films representing the four northern countries are a mix of drama, thriller and comedy and should be a good introduction to the Nordic pragmatism that marks everyday life.

On the opening night the Ambassadors of Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Norway will open the season.

Admission is free and sessions begin at 8:00 p.m. All films will be subtitled in French.

Opening night is Tuesday, September 29, 2015 and will feature the first feature by Juha Lehtola, writer and director of theatre in Finland. The films original title in Finnish is Aikuisten Poika or Adult Son. It is also known in English as Boy Upside Down, but has been given the title Drôle de Petit Homme (Funny Little Boy) in French.

Aikuistan Poika is a Finnish feel-good film that starts with a tragedy and ends with new hope. What actually happens shall not be revealed here, but the journey to a brighter future will not be easy for our hero in the film, 11-year-old Oliver. When both his parents die in a car accident, Oliver tries to refute the allegation that his father was speeding. Coincidentally he meets Joonas (Kari Hietalahti), a slightly dubious outsider who has a relationship with the wife of his former best friend. Together, the two of them make an odd but charming couple with different plans and wishes.

Aikuistan Poika makes for reflections, which simultaneously warm the heart and allow us to smile. A well told and well written film is crowned with great performances and delightful characters. Two especially good characters are two elderly brothers who run an old cinema. They take Oliver under their wings, unaware of the tragedy that has happened to the young boy. This dynamic film that is set in Tampere in summer and shows with humour and sensitivity, that instinctive life energy overcomes unbearable emotions. The performance by Esa Nikkilä as Oliver is superb.

On Wednesday, September 30th, the film comes from Norway - Pioneer - a thriller directed by Erik Skjoldberg

Pioneer is set in the early 80’s, at the beginning of the Norwegian oil boom. Enormous oil and gas deposits are discovered in the North Sea, authorities aim to bring the oil ashore through a pipeline 500 meters deep. Petter, a professional diver, is obsessed with reaching the bottom of the Norwegian Sea. Along with his brother Knut, he has the discipline, strength and courage to take on the world’s most dangerous mission, but a sudden, tragic accident changes everything. Petter is sent on a perilous journey where he loses sight of who is pulling the strings. Gradually, he realises that he is in way over his head and that his life is at stake. Warning! This is not a film for the faint-hearted.

On Thursday, October 1st the spotlight turns on Sweden with a delightful comedy from director Felix Herngren. Again there is a confusion over the title in English and French, however many people will know this story as an adaptation of the novel by Jonas Jonasson "The Centenarian Who Climbed Out the Window and Vanished".  Hundraåringen som klev ut genom fönstret och försvann has been a gigantic success in Sweden, selling more that 250.000 copies Somehow this title has arrived at the Nordic Film Fest as The old man who did not celebrate his birthday.

This film follows the progress of Allan Karlsson, a simple man with a predilection for blowing things up, after he leaves his nursing home to embark on a journey that will take him wherever it takes him. Through flashbacks we see that this is a metaphor for his entire life. Karlsson has, it turns out, been with several significant figures of the 20th century and, unwittingly, has profoundly affected its course.

The film is comic, darkly comic, absurdist, farcical, a chase caper, an espionage thriller and, finally, peaceful. It is all of these things successfully in a way that Wes Anderson's "The Grand Budapest Hotel" attempted to be, but didn't quite manage. More importantly, the characters are entirely believable despite the often fantastical story lines. It is also beautifully shot.

The final night, Friday, October 2, belongs to Denmark with Billie August's film Marie Krøyer

At the beginning of the 20th century, Marie is married to Denmark's world famous painter P.S. Krøyer. They are among the country's most admired and famous couples. Marie, who adorns several of Krøyer's paintings, is considered to be "the most beautiful woman in Europe". Together with their daughter Vibeke they experience all the best life has to offer: parties, champagne and luxury. However, this is only the polished surface. Beneath it is living hell. Krøyer suffers from manic depression and syphilis. He can change from being cheerful and upbeat, to a foaming crazy monster.

Marie has struggled to keep up appearances for a long time, but the situation is wearing her down. She is caught in an impossible situation between maintaining the bright social life and the hell unfolding behind closed doors. She feels that she is being suffocated and that she is disappearing. After another of Krøyer's violent fits of insanity and rage, Marie decides to leave for Italy with their daughter.

In Italy she meets the younger Swedish composer Hugo Alfvén. He falls head over heels in love with her and she finally yields to his unreserved and unrestrained emotions. However, their union is not a happy one. Marie is caught between a new life on one side and her love for Vibeke and Krøyer on the other.

Print Friendly and PDF

No comments: