Although I admit I spend my nights watching horror films of the zombie variety, I do watch other movies. Sometimes really sophisticated ones in black and white about the human condition and everything (lie). Well, not entirely a lie, Night of the Living Dead was in black and white.
But really, I am a film buff, I love all genres (except WWI / WWII films – honestly, haven’t we covered it all by now?) and so naturally I am vibrating with excitement at the upcoming weeks which are the busiest in the Icelandic film calendar.
Two big things are happening in Reykjavík right now, cinematically speaking. The first is that RIFF, the Reykjavík International Film Festival, begins next Thursday the 23rd of September and the second is that Bíó Paradís just opened its doors.
First thing’s first though, RIFF look like they have really upped their game this year. At their press conference earlier in the week they revealed that they have more movies on the roster this year than ever before. Also what I’ve been appreciating as I flipped through the program is how there are categories for stuff.
I’m pretty hot and bothered about the following: Addicted in Afghanistan, which looks like an amazing documentary. It’s estimated that one million Afghans are addicted to heroin out of which 40% are estimated to be women and children.
I’ve also got my eyes peeled for the Icelandic film makers and what’s up and coming for them (after all, one of my favorite films last year was The Good Heart directed by Dagur Kári).
The Icelandic film I won’t be missing on my life is The Stand-up Girls which follows a bizarre collection of Icelandic women, ranging from belly dancers and anarchists to lesbian academics and suburban housewives, who have grown tired of the male-dominated stand-up scene in Iceland. The documentary follows their journey of organizing their own troupe and starting to do stand-up.
Why I hear you ask? Because I love anarchists, lesbian academics (easily the best kind of academic) and I love suburban housewives that harbor dreams of becoming famous stand-up comedians. They sound like a wonderful group of women and I think I want to see it because I want to be their friend.
Also cool stuff to look out for is the swimming pool movie, think “drive-in movie” except Some Like it Hot is being projected on a wall while people swim in a pool!
Speaking of drive-in, Cry Baby will also be screened and I plan to go in drag, as an homage to Johnny Depp.
The second cool thing that’s going down is the opening of Bíó Paradís in the old and shut down Regnboginn (the first multiplex built in Europe) on Hverfisgata. It’s revamped the old and made a shiny new home for quality cinema.
Bíó Paradís is going to be the closest thing to an art house cinema Reykjavík has. Of course we must also remember that Icelanders don’t take themselves too seriously so I can imagine a haven where I can watch cool movies (some mainstream, some not) without all the snobbery.
Bíó Paradís will be among the cinemas working with RIFF so you might be able to catch a film or two at the swankiest new movie theater in town.
Getting tickets for RIFF is pretty simple. You can just rock up to a cinema where the ticket costs 1,000 ISK. You can buy a discount card, 8 screenings for 7,000 ISK or a RIFF film festival pass which grants unlimited access for 9,000 ISK.
Am I sad there are no zombie movies this year? Maybe, but it’s good to be taken out of your comfort zone and explore cool new movies from around the world.
Let’s go to the movies, kids!
Nanna Árnadóttir – firstname.lastname@example.org