Must-Watch Mondays: Hans Petter Moland
The top three films you should be watching this week
This week: Hans Petter Moland
Must-watch Mondays are our newest weekly segment. Each week, we’ll publish a list of three films under a certain theme. We’ll also help you locate the film so you can watch the films this week.
For our first theme, we’re looking to the Norwegian director Hans Petter Moland, who is known for his dark comedies and constant use of Stellan Skarsgård. We are excited about the mention of his upcoming film, Elskede Poona, so here are three films to keep us busy until its release
1. In Order of Disappearance | Find on IMDb
Nils ploughs snow in the wild winter mountains of Norway, and is recently awarded a Citizen of the Year Award. When his son is murdered for something he did not do, Nils wants revenge. And justice. His actions ignite a war between the vegan gangster “the Count” and the Serbian mafia boss “Papa”. Winning a blood feud isn’t easy, especially not in a welfare state. But Nils has something going for him: Heavy machinery and beginners luck.
We loved the quirky comedy of this film. It’s not at all serious, even though the large amount of killings and blood would make you think so. It also provides an excellent commentary on contemporary Scandinavia, such as the conversation between two of the hitman that say people either choose Sunshine or Welfare when deciding where to live (comparing S.E. Asia and Norway).
The film is now out on DVD worldwide and digitally on iTunes.
2. A Somewhat Gentle Man | Find on IMDb
Ulrik is reluctantly let out of prison after serving 12 years for murder. He has to cope with his gang, his ex, a few women – and a snitch. His son has a fiancé. Her family doesn’t approve of murder. They have a nursery, they have principles. Ulrik is a somewhat gentle man. But how gentle can you be? …and he’s losing his hair.
Yet another film with Skarsgård, A Somewhat Gentle Man has the same bizarre dark comedy and commentary on contemporary Scandinavia. We didn’t enjoy it as much as In Order of Disappearance, but it is still worth watching for Moland’s particular style.
You can find A Somewhat Gentle Man on DVD, Netflix and Amazon.
3. Folk flest bor i Kina | Find on IMDb
Gas station owner, Lasse, spends most of his time rebuilding his old Tiger Moth aeroplane and dreams of one day flying it through the air. He barely notices the strange stories that focuses around his station in the 24 hours before Election Day. A man gets a nasty surprise as he leaves his family in the car to enjoy a quick skinny dip. A cow eats a mobile phone. A lesbian couple looses their child. A blind girl and her brother sells dubious lottery tickets. A boy falls in love with the girl at the gas station. A man picks up an impertinent young hitchhiker. Three girls with engine trouble get help from a man in a pyjamas. Nine old men meet a young girl stuck in a swamp. A movie inspired by eight Norwegian political parties, written by six writers and directed by nine directors.
This film of Moland’s has seldom been seen by the international community, and we think that is a real shame! The film, which translates to ‘Most People Live in China’, takes place in the North of Norway over several short sequences, similar to Roy Andersson’s style. It provides a bitter commentary on the comparisons between the city and country. We particular like the scenes around the petrol station. This film is really underrated, so go and check it out. We also want someone to write about it for the upcoming issue!
This film is harder to find, but you can buy the DVD on Amazon. I recommend searching for it in your local country. The title it’s recognised as in English is ‘Utopia – Nobody is Perfect in a Perfect Country’.
If you would like to create a Must-watch Monday list, email your recommendations to firstname.lastname@example.org
What do you think of this playlist? Tell us below!