Commencing its Sydney season across Palace’s Verona and Norton Street sites shortly, Australia’s inaugural Scandinavian Film Festival showcases a range of recent films from Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Denmark and Finland. Mainly focusing on Swedish films, Palace have put together a varied program that’s sure to give us an early preview of Scandinavian films that will soon see wider release in Australia (such as The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared and The Keeper of Lost Causes) and a peek at a few films that probably won’t find widespread domestic release, at least not for a long time.
The festival opens this Wednesday (July 9th) with the aforementioned the 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared, an adaptation of Jonas Jonasson’s 2009 best-seller, which follows a man who decides to escape from his nursing home on the eve of his 100th birthday, embarking on an adventure involving unpleasant criminals, a cash-filled suitcase and even an elephant.
Attending the festival will be Finland’s Laura Birn, who will be giving a Q&A session after the July 10th screening of Heart of a Lion, a love story between a Neo-Nazi and a woman with a black son. She also appears in August Fools, an uplifting comedy set against the backdrop of the Cold War.
Another festival guest (and Australia’s own) Jonathan LaPaglia will be giving a Q&A following one of Palace Verona’s sessions of Pioneer. A thriller set against the backdrop of the race to profiteer from Norwegian deep-sea oil mining, Pioneer comes from the writer/director team who gave us the original Insomnia, a film that was masterfully remade by Christopher Nolan for Western audiences (the event occurs on the 19th of July).
A number of other films will be screening including comedies 21 Ways to Ruin a Marriage, Home, and Spooks and Spirits, dramas Hotell, The Hour of the Lynx, and Someone You Love, and even the unlikely documentary Ballet Boys, a film that chronicles the first four years of three boys who are entering the Ballet industry, a world in which they are in the minority.
My personal picks are Iceland’s Metalhead, a story tracking a metalhead born in an unlikely location as she copes with the death of her brother, Sweden’s Easy Money trilogy, three Martin Scorsese favourites that follow a cocaine dealer on the run from the cops and the Mafia, and Norway’s Pioneer.
We here at 4:3 plan on covering the bulk (if not all) of the content, so keep your eyes peeled for further updates over the coming weeks. You can find out more about the festival at their website here.