While Iceland may be best known for films like Walter Mitty and Interstellar, there are several other acclaimed Icelandic movies that are making a splash at the Toronto International Film Festival! The film festival kicks off on Thursday, September 10, 2015 and runs through September 20. Check out the four Icelandic films below, and if you’re in Toronto buy your tickets for TIFF here!
“Horizon” | Directed by Fridrik Thor Fridriksson, Bergur Bernburg | Iceland / Denmark
Oscar-nominated director Fridrik Thor Fridriksson and co-director Bergur Bernburg helm this lovely documentary portrait of influential Icelandic landscape painter Georg Gudni. The film’s attempts to duplicate Gudni’s ways of seeing the landscape are frequently breathtaking. One discerns a deep aesthetic kinship between the painter and the filmmaker. Both a heartfelt appreciation of an artistic colleague and an oblique artistic manifesto, Horizon is a visually striking excursion into the spirit of a land.
Sunday 9/13 at 4:45pm, AGO Jackman Hall
Tuesday 9/15 at 11:45am, TIFF Bell Lightbox Cinema 4 – Paul & Leah Atkinson Family Cinema
Saturday 9/19 at 9:30am, AGO Jackman Hall
Contemporary World Cinema
“Rams” | Directed by Grímur Hákonarson | Iceland
Winner of the Un Certain Regard prize at this year’s Cannes festival, Grímur Hákonarson’s stunningly shot drama focuses on two Icelandic sheep farmers whose decades-long feud comes to a head when disaster strikes their flocks. With keen observation and gently sardonic humour, Hákonarson offers an understanding yet incisively satirical take on the Icelandic championing of independence and self-reliance, and how those otherwise admirable qualities can turn into isolationism, short-sightedness, and unyielding recalcitrance. Driven by the stellar performances of its two leads, Rams masterfully mixes comedy and heartbreak in its portrait of an ancient, and endangered, way of life.
Tuesday 9/15 at 9:45pm, TIFF Bell Lightbox Cinema 1
Thursday 9/17 4:15pm, Scotiabank Theatre Scotiabank 3
Contemporary World Cinema
“Sparrows” | Directed by Rúnar Rúnarsson | Iceland/Denmark/Croatia
In the new film from Icelandic director Rúnar Rúnarsson, a teenage boy is forced to leave his happy life in Reykjavik and move back in with his dissolute father in a sparsely populated rural town — where a shocking event forces him to choose between telling the truth and protecting those he loves. With consummate skill, Rúnarsson lays out the darker side of rural living, where economic hardship, boredom, and frustration encourage people to seek oblivion any way they can. A layered, complex, and vividly realized drama, Sparrows is even more accomplished than Rúnarsson’s celebrated debut.
Friday 9/11 at 9:30pm TIFF Bell Lightbox Cinema 3
Sunday 9/13 at 9:15am TIFF Bell Lightbox Cinema 4 – Paul & Leah Atkinson Family Cinema
Sunday 9/20 at 9:00pm TIFF Bell Lightbox Cinema 4 – Paul & Leah Atkinson Family Cinema
“Trapped” | Created by Baltasar Kormákur | Iceland
A murder investigation and an impending snowstorm places a small-town Icelandic police chief in a dangerously unstable situation with international implications, in this noir-ish thriller from director Baltasar Kormákur. Kormákur shows himself to be a master of tone, establishing the community’s folksy charm and then transforming it into a claustrophobic nightmare as the mystery awakens some old demons from Andri’s past. A human drama with a cast of complex characters entangled in the intrigue, Trapped builds a thriller scenario with a scope as wide as the ocean horizon — and then compresses it into one tiny town where there’s nowhere to hide.
Friday 9/11 at 10:30pm, TIFF Bell Lightbox Cinema 1
Saturday 9/12 at 5:00pm Scotiabank Theatre Scotiabank 14
Sunday 9/20 at 12:30pm, Scotiabank Theatre Scotiabank 3