Modern Northern Retro in Scanorama
The sixteenth European Film Forum Scanorama is preparing a pleasant surprise for the admirers of the Northern films – Northern Retro, a special programme presenting the favourite and most merited films by Northern directors from the very first Scanoramas.
“During the initial years of Scanorama festival, the Nordic cinema laid the foundations for its image and direction. To represent the latest Scandinavian films back in 2003 meant opening the door to terra incognita – a lot of people had seen or heard of Ingmar Bergman and Aki Kaurismäki yet did not know that extremely interesting things were happening in Nordic cinema. In 1995, Dogma 95 manifesto was announced; it encouraged to disobey the conventional standards determined by commercial cinema and to return to the essence of art of filmmaking. Inspired by the manifesto, directors have shaped a strong and distinctive voice of the new generation. The artists tried to grasp the essence of the present times, ever-changing contours of interpersonal relationships and everyday life and to comprehend the traits of national mentality. Their creative energy has become a modern day human’s bow to the Northern ingenuity,” – tells Gražina Arlickaitė, the founder and art director of the festival.
The brightest spotlight in the Northern Retro programme projects on Iceland that is celebrating the 100 years of Independence. Friðrik Þór Friðriksson‘s film Angels of the Universe (2000) was awarded a European Film Award for Best Actor and FIPRESCI Award in Karlovy Vary. Looking into the world of men suffering from schizophrenia with humour, the film explores the boundaries of reality and feverish imagination. Dagur Kári‘s Noi the Albino (2003) unveils the world of a seventeen-year-old. The later film of the same director The Good Heart (2009) takes its characters’ lives to a bar which is depicted as a philosophical temple of men. Acknowledging his lack of humour in life, D. Kári renders a lively everyday life kaleidoscope and a dose of colourful humour for the viewers of his films.
Angels of the Universe Trailer >>>
Danish director, Oscar laureate Susanne Bier’s film Open Hearts immerses into complicated relationships, depicting how a coincidence can change people’s lives. A remarkable trio of Mads Mikkelsen, Paprika Steen and Nikolaj Lie Kaas, having won the highest acting awards in Europe and beyond, convincingly reveal that even simple human happiness is not always easy to attain.
Markku Pölönen’s film Dog Nail Clipper (2003) will represent Finland. Having received audience awards in European film festivals, the film gently mocks a peculiar kind of people – the world savers. Mertsi is an idealist to the bone. If he gives his word, he will keep his promise whether it’s voluntary military service or clipping nails of his friend’s dog. The director reminds with a good dose of humour that the world, just like a four-legged pal, can bite. However, life goes on.
The laureate of the Venice Film Festival’s Golden Lion award, Roy Andersson’s film You, the Living will pay honour to the Swedish cinema. The film, having received positive comeback in Un Certain Regard programme in Cannes, tells a story about human existence, its greatness and insignificance, joy and sadness, self-confidence and anxiety with a dose of humour, characteristic of the director. The film is about those moments when we want to laugh and cry at the same time. It is a simple tragicomedy or a comic tragedy about us.
Norway will be represented by Hans Petter Moland’s film A Somewhat Gentle Man (2010) defending the natural law for a human, a man to screw up. The protagonist, Ulrik, embodied by a very capable actor Stellan Skarsgård, is an honest man in his own way. He doesn’t have any special wishes and makes no demands, therefore he constantly finds himself in various tragicomic situations. One of the most distinguished Norwegian modern-day directors takes a look at a man simply trying to regain his dignity. A Somewhat Gentle Man is a film about painful flaws, a tribute to far-from-perfect sex and a worldwide campaign against humanity’s pedantic pettiness that runs the world,” – says H.P. Moland, who is, at the moment, shooting his third film starring the talented S. Skarsgård in Lithuania.
The European Film Forum Scanorama will take place on November, 8-25, in Vilnius, Kaunas, Klaipėda and Šiauliai.