Selection of gems at the Scandinavian Film Festival

THE best films from Denmark, Iceland, Finland, Norway and Sweden are coming to Byron Bay for the second Scandinavian Film Festival.

The Byron Bay leg of the festival will see the screening of 11 films, with movies from each of the five northern European countries.

This is the second time the festival has been held, to give audiences around Australia access to dramas, thrillers and comedies from countries with exciting film industries.

The festival will open with the uproarious Here is Harold (Her er Harold), a Norwegian road movie about a man who sets out to kidnap the founder of Ikea.

Other highlights include the multi-award winning Icelandic drama Life in a Fishbowl (Vonarstræti) and the critically acclaimed Swedish-Norwegian production Underdog (Svenskjävel).

 

 

 Friday, July 17, 6.30pm (opening night)

 

Comedy-drama, 2014, 88 min

Norwegian and Swedish with English subtitles

THIS is a humorous, warm and human portrait of a man in an existential crisis. For more than 40 years, Harold has been running a successful business, Lunde Furniture, together with his wife Marny. But this comes to an end when a new Ikea superstore opens right next door to Harold's small furniture shop. He arms himself with a pistol, gets into his old Saab, and sets off for Älmhult, Sweden, in order to kidnap his nemesis - the founder of Ikea, Ingvar Kamprad.

On the way he meets Ebba, a 17-year-old local tough girl, who thinks it is an excellent plan and joins him. Unfortunately, Kamprad is quite happy to be kidnapped.

 

 

 Sunday, July 19, 1.45pm

 

Mystery-thriller, 2014, 119 min

Danish with English subtitles

THIS is the second and even more successful adaptation of the Danish Department Q series novels, following on from 2014 Scandinavian Film Festival hit The Keeper of Lost Causes.

Rugged and irritable Carl Morck (Nikolaj Lie Kaas) and his colleague, the Syria-born Assad (Fares Fares), run the cold case division of the Copenhagen Police.

After a desperate appeal to Morck about the unsolved killing of his own teenage children, a former cop commits suicide.

This leads the detective pair on a twisted mission to discover what really happened in the 1990s at one of the country's poshest boarding schools.

 

 

 Sunday, July 19, 4.15pm

 

Comedy-drama, 2014, 105 min

Finnish with English subtitles

IF YOU enjoyed The 100 Year-Old Man at last year's festival then make a date with The Grump - the home-grown Finnish box office hit.

Legendary Finnish actor Antti Litja plays the grump, a cantankerous, pernickety 80-year-old farmer who is fiercely opposed to modernisation.

When he is forced to move in with his son and his wife in the city they instantly butt heads with hilarious consequences.

 

 

 Monday, July 20, 6.30pm

 

Comedy, 2014, 97 min

Finnish with English subtitles

HELI is 42 and still very much in love with and attracted to her husband, but he lacks any sex drive, instead preferring his computer.

After many years of marriage a shoulder massage is the highest form of intimacy for him.

The relationship hits serious trouble when the couple's 13-year-old daughter leaves on a month-long summer holiday in London.

From subtle hints, nice words and fetching clothes to increasingly direct action, Heli tries in vain to bed her husband.

Driven to desperation, she begins an affair with young student Jarno, but not everything goes according to plan.

 

 

 Wednesday, July 22, 6.30pm

 

Comedy, 2014, 120 min

Norwegian with English subtitles

FOUR teenage boys come of age in Oslo at the time when Beatlemania hit Norway.

Kim, Gunnar, Ola and Seb each take on one of the Fab Four's names and plan to start their own band during a time of great political upheaval.

At the same time, they blunder through their formative years in ways all at once endearing, entertaining and heartbreaking. The boys struggle with archaic textbooks and ancient teachers, attempt to be rebellious and, of course, discover girls.

Based on Lars Saabye Christensen's beloved bestseller of the same title, Beatles hits all the right notes with a familiar soundtrack (scored by Magne Furuholmen, keyboardist of the synth-pop/rock band A-Ha).

 

 

 Thursday, July 23, 7pm (closing night film)

 

Swedish and Italian with English subtitles

Documentary, 2015, 114 min

Awards: Cannes 2015 - L'Oeil d'Or Award for Best Documentary

ONE of Hollywood's most radiant and beloved European imports, Ingrid Bergman, becomes more of an icon with every passing year.

The Swedish actress lived from 1915 to 1982 and starred in a variety of European and American films.

She won three Academy awards, two Emmy awards, four Golden Globe awards and the Tony Award for Best Actress.

Bergman is ranked as the fourth greatest female star of American cinema by the American Film Institute.

She is best remembered for her role as Ilsa Lund in Casablanca (1942).

In this fascinating festival highlight, Swedish writer, director and film critic Stig Bjorkman has created an intimate portrait that spans the significant periods of Bergman's career - the Swedish period, her time in Hollywood, and the Italian period.

A combination of never-before-seen private footage, notes, letters, diaries and interviews with Bergman's children (Pia Lindström, Isabella and Ingrid Rossellini and son Renato Rossellini) results in this documentary that is both celebratory and revelatory.

This is a captivating look behind the scenes of the remarkable life of a young Swedish girl who became one of the most beloved and celebrated actresses of American and European cinema.


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