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Go To Bió Paradís

Published April 23, 2012

Bíó Paradís is a welcome oasis in that barren wasteland of American teenflicks that is the Icelandic cinema scene. We had long been hoping for an arthouse cinema in this country. That we got one as good as Bíó Paradís is something of an accident. Instead of taking over a basement somewhere to show indie and European films in, the aptly named Cinema Paradise was opened in the autumn of 2010 in the locale of the then defunct Regnboginn multiplex theatre. So, instead of the basement, we get four whole state of the art screening rooms for our viewing pleasure.
As well as being able to look forward to the Finnish Nazi Alien comedy ‘Iron Sky,’ and Shakespeare’s ‘Coriolanus,’ which will both be screening next month, Paradís is putting on a bunch of exciting film festivals. Last month, we got both a German and a Polish one, and this month, we will have the first Indian film festival held in Iceland.
Fans of melodramatic plots and OTT dancing scenes will be able to indulge in their habit guilt-free, as the festival is co-hosted by the Friends of India Association and proceeds will go to orphans on the sub-continent. But the festival should also be worthwhile in purely cinematic terms, with offerings such as ‘Dhoom 2,’ a spoof on Hollywood action films set in Brazil; ‘The Robot,’ which is the most expensive science fiction film made in Asia so far; and perhaps the jewel in the crown, ‘The Necklace,’ about illicit love during the end of British dominance.
Icelandic cinema is also represented in Bíó Paradis. They are showing the hugely popular crime flick ‘Black’s Game’ with English subtitles; ‘Baráttan um landið,’ the documentary about the current craze to destroy the highlands; and ‘Amma lo-fi,’ the true story of a grandmother who started composing music in her 70’s.



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Movies & Theatre
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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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Movies & Theatre
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Horse Manoeuvre

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Benedikt Erlingsson’s theatrical debut is a mosaic of several stories that centre on people’s colourful relationships with their horses. The film, ‘Of Horses And Men,’ which came out in late August of last year, has received glowing reviews from critics and it has picked up several awards on the festival circuit, such as the Kutxa-New Directors awards at the San Sebastián Film Festival, and the Best Director Award, at the Tokyo Film Festival. We spoke with Benedikt about his love for storytelling, cinema and horses. Why did you decide to make a film about horses? When you’re starting out in

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A Hard Metal Life

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Young Hera, played by Þorbjörg Helga Dýrfjörð, witnesses the accidental death of her older brother, Baldur. In response, she remakes herself in his image; she adopts his metal music, clothes, and when we see her in her 20s, she is a full-blown metalhead. Despite nearly a decade since the tragedy, the death of Baldur continues to loom over her and her family, their lives consumed by grief. Her mother and father have internalised their grief, manifesting itself in silences and coldness to one another. Though Hera hardly talks about it either, her outlet for all that pain is through her

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Cool Off With Cool Cuts

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In the four years since Bíó Paradís opened, the cinema has become a hub for Icelandic independent films as well as others that would not be shown elsewhere. In 2010, Programme Director Ása Baldursdóttir started ‘Cool Cuts,’ a summer series of Icelandic films with English subtitles. Though certainly a boon for tourists interested in Icelandic cinema, she also believes it is an important addition to Reykjavík’s cultural landscape. What was the idea behind creating Cool Cuts? Our idea was to strengthen the visibility of Icelandic filmmaking to English speakers with the best Icelandic films. We think it’s a great addition

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Movies & Theatre
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Real ‘Life In A fishbowl’

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‘Life In A Fishbowl’ tells three distinct stories of people living in pre-crisis Iceland. It stars Hera Hilmarsdóttir as Eik, a down on her luck kindergarten teacher who struggles to support her daughter; Þorsteinn Bachmann as Móri, a troubled writer; and Þorvaldur Davíð as Sölvi, an ex-footballer on the fast-track working for a bank doing some shady business. Director Baldvin Z teamed up with writer/musician Birgir Örn (of the band Maus) to write the screenplay for ‘Vonarstræti’ (‘Life In A Fishbowl’). It’s a follow up to his debut feature ‘Jitters’ (2010). Even though Baldvin has directed commercials, two feature films

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