Summer is nice and all, with all its sunshine and what not. But there is something missing. Films in particular. And by films I mean something besides the Hollywood mainstream (and preferably without commercial breaks in the middle, like Icelandic commercial cinemas do). Now the days are getting shorter and the season of alternative cinema in Reykjavík starts again—thank the Lord.
Cinema Paradiso: Reopening of Regnboginn
The old Regnboginn cinema has been closed since June this year. Now it reopens with a new programme and a new name: Bió Paradís. This alternative cinema concentrates on screening the latest in world cinema, classical/repertory cinema, documentaries, shorts and experimental films with a special focus on Icelandic films. On the September 15, the spools of film start rolling again with a big party and the screening of Backyard, a music documentary featuring some of Reykjavík’s hottest bands. Also scheduled for this fall is a French New Wave retrospective, the programme “Cinema Reykjavík”. Here is the place to enjoy and learn about the art of film.
Microcinema: Kino Klúbbur
Rebecca Moran and Þóranna Björnsdóttir from Kino Klúbbur try to reconnect the art scene and the film scene in Iceland. Last year they started showing experimental, short and documentary films in their “microcinema”. These films are mostly written, directed, filmed and edited by the same auteur. “It´s like the one-man-band kind of thing,” Rebecca explains. The first screening of this year’s series is Foggy Mountains Break Down More Than Non-Foggy Mountains by Jessie Stead, September 23 at Hafnarhúsið. Besides the screenings, Kino Klúbbur will start a film lab called Kino Kollective, where ambitious film makers can attend workshops and borrow 16mm cameras and other equipment to encourage the local alternative filmmaking.
And of course: Reykjavík International Film Festival
What more could a film buff ask for—the opportunity to see one hundred films in ten days. This year’s RIFF will show documentaries and feature films from all over the world. In the main category of this festival, New Visions, twelve new movies of young filmmakers, are competing for the Golden Puffin Award and show their work to an international audience. Jim Jarmusch, the director of independent films such as Down by Law, Coffee & Cigarettes and Limits of Control, is one of the most important independent filmmakers—or even “the most important independent film-maker at the moment” as Jóhann Bjarni Kolbeinsson, PR-Manager of the Reykjavík International Film Festival puts it. Jarmusch will be visiting Reykjavík, bringing the glamour of independent filmmaking to the city.
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