THE inaugural Scandinavian Film Festival is set to heat up the Australian winter this July with the coolest films from Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland and Iceland hitting screens nationally.
The Scandinavian Film Festival will delight audiences with the best drama, crime and comedy of the region.
Here are some of the movies coming our way:
The 100-year-old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared (Sweden, Adventure/Comedy, 2013)
Allan (played by popular Swedish actor/comedian Robert Gustafsson) is a 100-year-old man with an eventful past who keeps stumbling into extraordinary circumstances.
On the eve of his 100th birthday, Allan ends up in a nursing home, believing it to be his last stop.
A big celebration is in the works for him, but Allan really isn’t interested, and decides to escape.
He embarks on a hilarious journey involving a suitcase stuffed with cash, unpleasant criminals and an elephant.
But Allan is more than equipped to deal with unique situations after being involved in some of the most important events of the 20th century, having shared meals and more with everyone from Franco, Stalin, and Truman to Reagan and Gorbachev.
The Keeper of Lost Causes (Denmark, Crime/Mystery/Thriller, 2013)
This slick Danish suspense is scripted by Nikolaj Arcel (the original The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and A Royal Affair) and based on the international bestselling crime-thriller of the same title.
After homicide detective Carl Morck leads a house-raid without backup, one of his partners is left paralysed, and the other dead.
Part-punishment and part-therapy, Carl is reluctantly assigned to a new police unit to close cold cases from the past 20 years – “Department Q”.
With his new partner Assad, Carl is expected to close three cases a week, a simple activity intended to consist of pushing paperwork.
However, when the mismatched partners begin work on the disappearance case of a female politician which was ruled a suicide, they uncover evidence that suggests otherwise and delve into a full blown investigation.
As Carl and Assad proceed to unravel the shocking truth,they are forced to put their differences aside.
I Am Yours (Norway, Drama, 2013)
Amrita Acharia’s (Game of Thrones) multifaceted performance is captivating and sympathetic in this taut, intelligent relationship drama that skilfully depicts a complicated tangle of race, love and family.
Petite, shapely, struggling actress Mina (Acharia) is a 27-year-old second-generation Pakistani-Norwegian divorcee living in Oslo.
She shares custody of her six-year-old son Felix (played by an impressive Prince Singh), with her now remarried ex (Assad Siddique), a successful architect.
Mina’s mother disapproves of the separation.
But it is Mina’s dysfunctional upbringing with her mother that has left her with a desperate need to be loved with little actual knowledge as to what love truly is.
The lengths that Mina goes to in order to sustain this new but unhealthy long-distance relationship result in her sacrificing young Felix’s wellbeing and happiness.
21 Ways to Ruin a Marriage (Finland, Romantic Comedy, 2013)
Sanna (Armi Toivanen) has clear rules when it comes to men. Sex is fine, occasionally, and preferably under the influence of alcohol.
But she does not want to wake up to her bedmate and falling in love is out of the question.
Sanna believes most relationships are doomed to fail – and as a sociologist she decides to set out to prove her theory (as well as justify her decision to remain single).
After extensive studies interviewing married couples, Sanna concludes that divorce is a natural consequence of falling in love, and marriage is strictly a business transaction.
But then she meets Aleksi, one of the study participants, at her best friend’s 30th birthday party and her world of theories is suddenly turned upside down.
Ego (Sweden, Drama, 2013)
Martin Wallström (Easy Money III: Life Deluxe) plays the conceited Sebastian Silverberg, an attractive young man whose life is all about appearance, parties and material possessions.
His days are spent “working” (playing with his iPhone) in an expensive clothing store with his best friend, but when the sun goes down, it is all about fancy nightclubs and one-night-stands with beautiful girls.
His lifestyle has always prevented Sebastian from realising his true gift as a singer and guitarist, until on his way out one night, an accident leaves him blind and angry at the world.
Despite his fervent objections, Sebastian’s parents hire Mia (played by a loveable Mylaine Hedreul) to spend some days as his carer.
Gradually, Mia helps Sebastian re-evaluate his life and find joy.
Metalhead (Iceland, Drama, 2013)
As a 12-year-old, Hera (an award-winning performance by Thorbjörg Helga Thorgilsdóttir) witnessed the tragic farming accident that killed her older, beloved brother.
But it is as if the heavy metal-loving Baldur never left her, as Hera takes on her brother’s identity, claiming his wardrobe, record collection and electric guitar.
Now a rebellious teenager, dreaming of a rock star future and immersing herself in a music subculture that does not exist in her sleepy town, Hera finds it impossible to wrench herself away from the links to Baldur.
But the time has come for Hera to make some tough choices.
Childhood friend Knútur returns from the city intent on marrying her and a young priest moves into the quiet farming community.
Despite the steely title, beautifully nuanced performances enhance this quietly compassionate film that respects the sounds of heavy metal, without turning up the volume.
The Scandinavian Film festival will be held in Byron Bay from Friday, July 25 until July 30.
For details and bookings visit palacecinemas.com.au