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.