Scandinavia House presents 4 Nordic Oscar Nominees

January 5, 6, 14, & 15, 2010

Each film screened twice: 6:30 pm & 9 pm

Series Pass: $34 ($22 ASF Members); Individual Tickets: $10 ($7 ASF Members

Scandinavia House presents a special sneak peek of the films chosen by the Nordic countries to compete for the Oscar nomination for the category of Best Foreign Language Film, 2009, by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. They have been selected by Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden as the best films released in those countries for 2009.

ASF members only may make film reservations by calling 212.847.9746 or by emailing film_reservation@amscan.org.

Advance tickets may be purchased at Scandinavia House; Hours: Monday-Saturday, 12-6 p.m.

SWEDEN

Involuntary/De ofrivilliga

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Directed by Ruben Östlund (Sweden, 2008).With Maria Lundqvist, Leif Edlund, Olle Lijas, Vera Vitali. In Swedish with English subtitles. 98 min.

It’s almost summer in Sweden and minor indiscretions and misbehavior abound. Leffe likes to show off for his friends and play salacious pranks, especially when he’s drinking. Meanwhile, a righteous grade-school teacher doesn’t know where to draw the line: she insists her fellow educators need a bit of instruction. Then there are two young teenage girls who like to pose for sexy photos and to party, but one night in a park, one of them is found passed out drunk by a complete stranger.

Involuntary is a tragic comedy that explores the nature of group dynamics and moral dilemmas about when to stand up for oneself or for others. The film has won several awards; best film at the Brussels film festival, best director in Geneva, the audience award and best screenplay at the Stockholm Film Festival.

DENMARK

Terribly Happy/Frygtelig Lykkelig

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Directed by Henrik Ruben Genz (Denmark, 2008). With Jakob Cedergren, Kim Bodnia, Lene Maria Christensen, Lars Brygmann.

In Danish with English subtitles. 95 min.

Terribly Happy is a blackly comic thriller about the universal nature of compromise and corruption. Robert, a Copenhagen policeman with a big city temperament is sent to a small village in southern Jutland on punishment duty after a being accused of professional misconduct. The village is unwelcoming, outsiders either adapt or disappear. The alluring Ingerlise, herself an outsider, tries to enlist his help in escaping from her abusive husband, Jørgen. Robert’s initial skepticism to the seemingly idyllic country surroundings is confirmed as he discovers the village harbors a dark secret. The cleverly constructed script alludes to Noir and references other genres such as Western, all the while toying with conventions, as in the showdown between Robert and Jørgen, staged as a drinking contest rather than a shootout.

Terribly Happy won several awards for acting, directing and screenplay, among them the Grand Prix Crystal Globe at the 2008 International Film Festival in Karlovy Vary, best actor and actress and five other awards at Robert Festival in Copenhagen and the Grand Prix award at Flanders International Film Festival.

ICELAND

Reykjavík-Rotterdam

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Directed by Óskar Jónasson (Iceland, 2008). With Baltasar Kormákur, Ingvar Eggert Sigurðsson, Lilja Nótt Þórarinsdóttir, Þröstur Leó Gunnarsson, Victor Löw, Ólafur Darri Ólafsson, Jörundur Ragnarsson, Theódór Júlíusson, Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesson, Pálmi Kormákur Baltasarsson, Stormur Jón Kormákur Baltasarsson. In Icelandic with English subtitles. 90 min.

Like a fish on a dry land, Kristofer is stuck in a dull everyday routine, working as a security guard. He got fired from the freight ship he worked on, when he was caught smuggling alcohol. Faced with money problems, he is tempted to accept the help of his friend, Steingrimur, who manages to pull some strings to get his old job back. He decides to take his chances one last time on a tour to Rotterdam.

One of the biggest budgeted Icelandic films of all time, Reykjavik-Rotterdam has all the action one would expect from a Hollywood production: guns, big explosions and intriguing plot twists. Reykjavik-Rotterdam received Edda Awards for best director, editing, music, screenplay and sound. There is also a U.S.-produced remake in the works, due in 2011.

FINLAND

Letters to Father Jacob/Postia pappi Jaakobille

Friday, January 15, 2010

Directed by Klaus Härö (Finland, 2008). With Kaarina Hazard, Heikki Nousiainen, Jukka Keinonen, Esko Roine.

In Finnish with English subtitles. 75 min.

Letters to Father Jacob is a warm-hearted and touching story of Leila, a life sentence prisoner who has just been pardoned. When she is released from prison, she is offered a job at a secluded parsonage; she moves there against her will. Leila is used to taking care only of herself, so she experiences conflicting feelings when she starts working as the personal assistant for Jacob, the blind pastor living in the parsonage. Every day the mail man brings letters from people asking for help from Pastor Jacob. Answering the letters is Jacob’s life mission, while Leila has already decided to leave the parsonage when the letters suddenly stop coming. Jacob’s life is shaken to its foundation. Two completely different lives are intertwined unexpectedly, and the roles of the helper and the one being helped are turned upside down.

Letters to Father Jacob received the Interfilm Church Prize and audience award at Nordic Film days, Lübeck, main award at Mannheim-Heidelberg International Film Festival and the Golden Pyramid and prize for best screenwriter at Cairo International Film Festival.

Films are screened for American-Scandinavian Foundation members, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences members, and guests.

Special thanks to the Danish Film Institute, the Finnish Film Foundation, the Icelandic Film Centre, IFC Films, the Norwegian Film Institute, the Swedish Film Institute, Oscilloscope Pictures, and Co-Production Office.

Source: Scandinavia House

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