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The Day After Tomorrow

The Day After Tomorrow

Published June 11, 2004

Although originally from Germany, director Roland Emmerich has long made a point of being more American than the Americans. Here, at least, he is a different kind of American. Whereas Independence Day and Godzilla´s apparent message was: Increase military spending, otherwise we´ll be attacked by space aliens and large firebreathing dragons, and The Patriot´s more simple statement was: Kill the English; here, we get “stop global warming.” This, then, is perhaps the first environmentalist action film since Steven Seagal´s On Deadly Ground, where he would beat up evil oil men before giving them lectures on environmental safety. Now, if only someone would take that approach to the Bush administration…
The adversary here, though, isn´t the bad guys. True, there is a vice president (who looks like Dick Cheney on a diet) that doesn´t seem to care about global warming, but even he repents before the end rather than being pickaxed by Dennis Quaid. And the good guys aren’t bullet-and-one-liner spewing muscle men. In fact, they seem verging on the pinko and the liberal. There are divorcées, intellectuals and even atheists (who still appreciate the cultural value of God) who prevail by their wits rather than by gunning down bad guys. Although the major message of the film is the environmental one, others creep in. Drop the debt. Be nice to the third world, we might need them someday. Snacks and sweets are not very nutritious. And, although it may be okay to burn books to keep alive, there are other uses for books. They even help you cure diseases. Is all this something we want our children to hear?
So even if characterisation is poor and the plot mostly nonsensical, it´s a relief to finally be able to enjoy a major Hollywood blockbuster guilt free, without feeling that you´re supporting American militarism. And any film that portrays the weather as the enemy is bound to strike a chord with people living in Iceland.



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Brotherly Love

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My brother is a fourteen-carat, stone cold wanker. At age twelve he spoke fluent French, at fourteen he was the fastest 100-metre runner in Ireland for his age, at eighteen, he captained our school choir and won a scholarship to university for academic excellence, by nineteen he spoke fluent mandarin. My name’s Tom and I’m his older brother. Yesterday I started putting raisins into my porridge. Raisins contain polyphenolic phytonutrients that can improve your ability to see in the dark, and in Iceland around this time of year I reckon that it’s a shrewd bit of thinking. But society wouldn’t notice.

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Across the Isle With A Smile

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In true Icelandic fashion, the night’s festivities got off to a late start. Not that anyone minded. As such, there was an air of casualness and joviality that permeated the night—making it the perfect vibe to launch the Reykjavík Comedy Festival. English comedian Sean McLoughlin  MC’d the night, and performed his routine in between acts. His shtick was your typical dark-humoured, down ‘n’ out twentysomething, which proved a hit with the audience. Especially funny were his gags about his 36-year-old girlfriend, who he said was “a constant reminder that the good times end.” Seasoned performer Joel Dommett (y’all may remember

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On Thick Ice With Kitty Von-Sometime

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Artist Kitty Von-Sometime and a crew, including a friend brought along to monitor Kitty’s temperature in the cold, watched uncomfortably as their trailer full of film equipment, an ice sculpture, soda, and other potentially hazardous refreshments bounced in and out of sight in the rearview window as they approached Langjökull glacier. They were on their way to shoot ‘Opus,’ more than a year after Kitty produced her last installment of the Weird Girls Project. Originally conceived to encourage her female friends to push their boundaries, The Weird Girls Project began as a one-time event: the participants showed up with costumes

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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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