390 words on Films
We just saw 101 Reykjavík. As the name suggests, it's set in Iceland. Although being from Scandinavia it's not a Dogma 95 film, so we have artificial lighting (very well done in fact, nice colours) and all the other tools of the trade. Also, the film isn't as moving or depressing as Dogma films tend to be – but rather light and with a handful of good laughs.
The main character is Hlynur, played by Hilmir Snær Guðnason (I don't know him but I felt I should use the opportunity to have that funny icelandic barred d 'eth' letter here), a 30ish guy who's living with his mum and generally bumming around, focusing mainly on internet porn, girls and alcohol. Their house is quite funny with a couple of 'dual purpose' things in there, such as a bathtub which becomes a sofa if you put the lid on.
Hlynur doesn't care too much about anything, including his own life, being particularly unfriendly to his family and his girlfriend. At new Year's Eve – his mum is visiting the aunt in the North after telling him 'no spliffs this Christmas, we have to stop sometime' – he ends up in bed with his mum's Flamenco instructor and girlfriend Lola. Oops.
But nothing too bad happens subsequently. The two women have a baby later on and are happy. Sentences such as 'my mum just became a dad' come to mind. These slightly queer topics seem a bit Almodóvar-ish and in fact, it turns out that Victoria Abril who plays Lola appeared in a couple of his films, including a minor role in The Law of Desire that I happened to see on telly some weeks ago.
Still Almodóvar seems to play in a different league. While being lesbian may get your role into a Scandinavian film like 101 Reykjavík or Show Me Love, for Almodóvar being gay seems to be a prerequisite and only being transsexual is a safe bet... leading to memorable quotes as
that's my sister, she used to be my brother.
OK, I did digress. My final statement should be that 101 Reykjavík was fun to watch and well done. I particularly liked the colours and the music which was by Damon Albarn from Blur fame and Einar Orn Benediktsson who was involved in the Sugarcubes.