A Grapevine service announcement Pay attention: Holuhraun, still spewing lava. Bárðarbunga, still sinking.

IDENTITY

Published June 27, 2003

However, the film soon snaps out of this, and we seem to enter familiar horror film territory. It’s all here, a rain soaked motel, a serial killer on the loose, an Indian graveyard, a spooky kid and, of course, the obligatory whiners with gruesome deaths written all over them. But then the twists just keep on coming, yet this is neither Pet Cemetery meets Psycho, nor The Sixth Sense meets Pulp Fiction. It’s more like a combination of the four.
Ray Liotta seems, like his other co-stars from Goodfellas, to have boycotted good films since then, so it’s refreshing to see him in something that isn’t absolutely dreadful. Rebecca De Mornay doesn’t survive long, but Amanda Peet, after this and the excellent Changing Lanes, might turn out to be something more than just another pretty blonde. John Cusack is one of the most dependable actors of the last decade, and this might not be one of his highlights, but neither is it a disappointment. And director James Mangold makes the film he probably should have made right after Copland.
Five minutes before the ending, I found myself really liking the film. The biggest plot twist of all turns out to be the idea that the clinically insane should not be executed, which is a somewhat revolutionary idea in a Hollywood film. But then we get one plot twist too many, and of course said insane person, on his way to the hospital, starts killing people, giving you once more the tried and tested moral that the criminally insane should be killed off right away, preferably without trial, since any attempt to give them a second hearing will undoubtedly lead to slaughter. Disappointing, then, at the very end, but until then, considerably better than your average fare.



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RIFF 2014: Critic’s Picks

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‘Art and Craft’ dirs. Sam Cullman, Jennifer Grausman and Mark Becker Mark Landis, one of the more prolific art forgers in American history, shopped for arts and crafts supplies at Hobby Lobby; painted, stained and varnished over photocopies from auction catalogues; and donated copies of the same works to multiple museums. While observing the ease with which the suggestion of largesse will open art-world doors, the film is less a meditation on creativity and originality than a sympathetic character portrait. Landis, a diagnosed schizophrenic often seen hunching over TV dinners in front of reruns, with few anchors in the world

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Meet The Directors!

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The Reykjavík International Film Festival (en.riff.is) runs through October 5, at Bíó Paradís, Háskólabíó, and elsewhere. The program encompasses features, documentaries, and short films by more than 100 directors–a handful of whom generously answered our questionnaire prior to bringing their films to Iceland. Heike Fink – ‘Home in the Ice’ This documentary tells the stories of German women who, during the lean years after WWII, responded to newspaper ads soliciting women to come work on Icelandic farms. Is there any specific aspect of the film you’re especially looking forward to sharing with an Icelandic audience? It was very interesting seeing the

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The American Indie Filmmaker’s Guide to Iceland

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The old man is describing how impressed he was with Geyser. “A cum shot to the sky,” he says, in his throaty good-old-boy accent. “Like the Devil’s exploding.” In ‘Land Ho!’, which opens the eleventh annual Reykjavík International Film Festival on September 25, Iceland is the backdrop for unlikely couplings. The film is codirected by Martha Stephens and Aaron Katz, two American filmmakers known for ambling, engaging indies featuring plenty of regional specificity, low-key drama, and off-kilter performers. In the film, ex-brothers-in-law Mitch (Earl Lynn Nelson, the above-quoted) and Colin (Paul Eenhorn) take a trip to Iceland to “get their

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Who is Alice Olivia Clarke?

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Aside from the leads, most of the actors in ‘Land Ho!’  are either Icelanders in service jobs, or people associated with the production. Alice Olivia Clarke, who appears in a crucial late scene, is neither. Canadian-born, Alice Olivia has lived in Iceland for over 20 years, and in addition to acting (you maybe saw her in Dagur Kári’s ‘The Good Heart’, she works in Hafnarfjörður as a mosaic artist and designer. We discussed her experience with the film over email. You play a visitor to Iceland. How was it getting into that mindset? Did you think about Iceland in a

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Capturing Biophilia

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Way back in June 2011, English film editor Nick Fenton was one of the lucky few sitting in the crowd at the Manchester International Festival waiting to experience the live premiere of Björk’s epic Biophilia project. David Attenborough’s voice came over the speakers, the screens lit up, and the lights went down, and for the first time an audience was transported into the magical world of Biophilia: from the young and excited girl-choir to the specially constructed stage and dramatic new instruments, the dizzying array of nature footage, the firing Tesla coil and, of course, the grand dame herself, bobbing

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Remembrance and Re-Remembrance

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Following the astounding success of their last collaboration, “Dansaðu fyrir mig,” (‘Dance for Me’), collaborators (and fiances) Pétur Ármannsson and Brogan Davison have used their new show “Petra” to reapproach some of the former show’s more fertile topics—artistic creation and family—while also dipping into the more complicated aspects of memory, autobiography, and storytelling. Debuting as part of the Lókal international theater festival, “Petra” is ostensibly a glimpse into the life of Pétur’s great grandmother, Petra Sveinsdóttir, whose semi-obsessive passion for collecting lead her to amass thousands of stones in and around her home in Stöðvarfjörður, East Iceland. (Petra decided to turn her

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