Nordic films to light up screens all over Israel in November

Matt Dillon, Bruno Ganz and Uma Thurman star in Lars von Trier’s latest film, The House that Jack Built, which tracks a serial killer over the course of 10 years.

'The House Jack Built' Trailer  (photo credit: YOUTUBE SCREENSHOT)
'The House Jack Built' Trailer
(photo credit: YOUTUBE SCREENSHOT)
Nordic noir has become a huge craze in movies and television. But not all films from Northern Europe are dark, and the many moods of movies from Denmark, Norway, Finland and Sweden will be on display in the “A Look at Nordic Cinema” program. The program will run from November 1-10 at the cinematheques in Tel Aviv, Herzliya, Holon, Jerusalem and Sderot.
The program was initiated by the Herzliya Cinematheque, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary. In cooperation with the embassies of Denmark, Norway, Finland and Sweden, the Herzliya Cinematheque will host a symposium on Nordic cinematic culture. The symposium will take place all over the city and in cinematheques and will offer film-lovers a look at both classic and contemporary Nordic culture.
Twenty films will be shown in program, representing 66 years of quality filmmaking. All the films have Hebrew subtitles, and some have subtitles in English, and several of the films are in English.
The guests of honor will be Juuso Laatio and Jukka Vidgren, the co-directors of the Finnish film, Heavy Trip, which will have its Israeli premiere. The film is an offbeat comedy about a guy stuck in small town who is the lead vocalist for a band called Impaled Rektum that has never played a single gig. When a Norwegian music promoter somehow gives the band a chance to play in a festival, the band members resort to kidnapping and grave robbing to make their dream a reality.
Matt Dillon, Bruno Ganz and Uma Thurman star in Lars von Trier’s latest film, The House that Jack Built, which tracks a serial killer over the course of 10 years. Like many of his films, it features quite a bit of violence.
, von Trier’s 1991 film, is about the efforts of an American idealist to help rebuild Europe after World War II and how he gets caught up in intrigues. The movie is a thriller influenced by Hitchcock’s Vertigo. Von Trier’s 2009 film, Antichrist, will also be shown. This English-language film, which stars Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg, is about a couple mourning the death of their son who go on a surreal journey that descends into a nightmare. In spite of this film’s critical acclaim and many awards, viewers should be warned that it features some of the most disturbing scenes of violence ever put on film, and it is strictly for hardcore von Trier fans.
AMONG THE other premieres will be Joachim Trier’s Thelma, a horror fantasy film about a religious girl who tries to deny her feelings for a female friend, which causes her repressed psychokinetic powers to reemerge. Mikko Makela’s A Moment in the Reeds tells the story of a young Finnish man who renovates his estranged father’s house in the summer with the help of a Syrian asylum-seeker, and the film chronicles how their bond develops.
Ole Bornedal’s Not Just Another Love Story (2007) from Denmark, is about an ordinary guy who is mistaken for the lover of wealthy young woman who is hurt in a traffic accident, and who decides to assume this identity and live a different life.
Valhalla Rising
is about a man, forced to be a pagan warrior slave, who escapes his captors with a boy and joins a group of Crusaders on their quest to the Holy Land. This 2009 film was directed by Nicolas Winding Refn, best known for the thriller Drive and the creepy model story, The Neon Demon.
There have been previous versions of the story of Kon-Tiki, legendary explorer Thor Heyerdahl’s epic 4,300-mile crossing of the Pacific on a balsa-wood raft in 1947, but the 2012 version, which will be included in the festival, has spectacular photography.
People may think of Nordic films as always being shrouded in darkness, but families will enjoy the Danish animated film, The Incredible Story of the Giant Pear, by Amalie Næsby Fick, Jørgen Lerdam and Philip Einstein Lipski, about animals that set off on a journey for a special piece of fruit.
The closing-night event will be the Israeli documentary, Army of Lovers in the Holy Land by Asaf Galay, which won the Best Israeli Documentary Award at the Haifa International Film Festival. Army of Lovers is a Swedish pop-dance band that was popular in the ‘90s with kitschy hits and campy videos. It has many loyal fans in Israel. The movie chronicles their first concert in Israel.
For more information, visit the websites of the individual cinematheques.