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Your Post-Collapse Guide to the Movies

Published September 18, 2009

It is a sad fact of life that outside the glorious ten days of the Reykjavík International Film Festival, almost everything being served in the cinemas here is standard Hollywood fare. So, being forced to choose between shit and dirt, let us rummage through the droppings in search of nutrition.
Drag Me to Hell is a horror film set in an investment bank. No, not actually a zombie film, we have to wait until the film festival’s wonderful Nazi flick Död Snö for that. DMTH starts out as homage to rampant capitalism. A pretty young girl turns an elderly woman out of her home in hope of promotion. This is the setting for a series of fight scenes between young and old, beautiful and ugly, rich and poor, where we are supposed to root for the former in every case. The movie redeems itself by a last minute twist. A barely passable horror flick, but it is interesting to see how the banking collapse is infiltrating popular culture.
Although lacking Nazi zombies, Inglorious Basterds has just about everything else. One might be forgiven for coming to a Tarantino film set in the Second World War with certain preconceived notions. And we do get a more up-to-date Dirty Dozen, with scalping and a figure called “The Bear Jew” who likes to execute POW’s with a baseball bat. This is the film that we expect, but it is just Tarantino toying with us. For as the movie moves on, one can’t be sure of anything anymore. Almost every WWII movie cliché is exploded. The Brits Plot to kill Hitler is reneged to sub-plot and summarily taken care of. The far-fetched plan of getting into the building using a ruse is met with laughter from the Nazis who are not taken in. And then there is the glorious alternate history ending. Everywhere, Tarantino’s love of cinema shines through in a Hollywood movie that is surprisingly non-Hollywood, and, dare we say it, at times European.
For those who like their Hollywood straight up, with lots of explosions and little plot, GI Joe should get the job done. When all else fails, they just muddle through. Less visually impressive than Transformers, one is left with the nagging feeling that Hollywood peaked with the original Star Wars trilogy and has been remaking it ever since.
The Time-Traveller’s Wife is, at least, an interesting idea. Using a sci-fi notion as the basis for a love story is promising, but its possibilities are left largely unexplored. The idea of competing with yourself at various ages is particularly intriguing for a writer. The heroine cheats on her hubby with a younger him, but this is as profound is it gets. Nevertheless, a superior chick-flick that it inevitably inferior to the book.
One could do worse on a Sunday afternoon than Ice Age 3. Adding dinosaurs to the mix, while offending to palaeontology, promises to be pleasing to the eye. One the whole, though, we wind up with something that is more a cartoon version of Jurassic Park 3 than anything else. If that is good or bad is up to your tastes, but original it is not.
Not all is gloom, however, as RWWM is the first in a slew of Icelandic films to be released before the end of the year. Until then.



Culture
Art
Weird Icelandic Spirits Revealed

Weird Icelandic Spirits Revealed

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If you’re interested in “Icelandic stuff” (which let’s face it, you probably are if you’re on this website – thanks for that, by the way, we love you) you may have caught a glimpse of Arngrimur Sigurðsson’s Duldýrasafnið project on social media recently. Because with the help of plenty of well-targeted sponsored posts on Facebook, his vivid (re)imaginings of mythical Icelandic creatures from the mists of history have gone a little viral. Not like Ebola-viral or anything, but definitely like a catchy cold that “goes around.” Utlising the Karolina project funding website, a campaign to raise funds for a book

Culture
Art
Dancing To The Heartbeat

Dancing To The Heartbeat

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The Reykjavík Dance Festival has changed nearly as much as the art of dance itself in its twelve years of existence. But a change of directors and board members this spring has brought on much more drastic changes to its scope and concept for coming years. In conversation with the Grapevine, managing director Hlynur Páll Pálsson explained how. Creating a pulse When the concept began, there was not a dance program at Iceland Academy of Arts, or many independent dance companies. Hlynur says that RDF’s beginnings were “basically a grassroots thing: people making a festival for themselves to show their

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Art
All the Feels

All the Feels

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The lobby of Borgarleikhúsið is lit up in purple and packed with nicely dressed people, chattering and sipping wine. The line at the bar is long. There is a sense of excitement for the premier of Emotional, a double feature dance performance. The first act is Meadow, choreographed by Brian Gerke, who joined the Iceland Dance Company in 2012. The second is EMO1994 by Ole Martin Meland of Norway’s national contemporary dance company Carte Blanche. When the lights go out, not a seat in the theatre is left empty. Meadow The lights come up, casting a gold glow over a

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Art
The Legs Show

The Legs Show

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Brian Gerke joined the Iceland Dance Company in 2012, having been teaching at Listdansskóli Íslands since 2007. Just two years later, his first solo piece of choreography has premiered as one half of a show called ‘Emotional’. It is a double-feature show comprised of Brian’s performance, ‘Meadow’, accompanied by ‘EMO1994’, a piece by Norwegian choreographer Ole Martin Meland. Sitting in the small cafeteria behind the scenes at Borgarleikhúsið, Brian walked me along the long road he took in choreographing ‘Meadow’ and dancing in ‘EMO1994’. Dancers: assemble! “Generally, I just love dance,” he begins. “I mean dancey dance, like kicking, turning,

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Art
Einar Örn Makes Drawings To Dance To

Einar Örn Makes Drawings To Dance To

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For anyone who was blown away by the quite wonderful electronic-punk chaos of Ghostigital this Airwaves, here’s something you might find interesting. Their frontman Einar Örn – also known for his involvement in The Sugarcubes and the Best Party political movement – is giving an English-language tour of his current art exhibition tomorrow (Sunday November 9, 2014) at Listamenn-innrömmun Gallerí Listamenn. You can find the show at Skúlagata 32, and the tour starts at 3:30pm. There’s a Facebook event for this intriguing happening here. See you there!

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Art
Look At The Light

Look At The Light

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Six veteran Iceland Airwaves photographers have banded together to put on a special photo exhibit with 30 pictures from past Airwaves performances. Participating photographer Matthew Eisman says the idea behind the exhibit was born from Sigurður Ástgeirsson’s show last year at the City Center Hotel. “I wanted to do something to contribute to the photo and music community, so I decided a cool way to do that would be to build on Siggi’s previous show and do a group show.” There is a special opening party for ‘Look At The Light’ in KEX Hostel’s Gym & Tonic Room tonight at 19:00. The

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