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Tiff 2013: ‘Pioneer’, from ‘Insomnia’ director Eric Skjoldbjaerg, releases a new clip

Norwegian filmmaker Eric Skjoldbjaerg quickly rose to critical acclaim with his 1997 debut feature Insomnia, even catching the eye of Hollywood, who remade the film in 2002 with credit to Skjoldbjaerg. Having made only three more feature length films in the ensuing span, many fans of the filmmaker were excited to learn that he was working on a new feature, this time set in the early 80s. Skjoldbjaerg takes the directing reins once again, as well as co-writing the script with Nikolaj Frobenius, Hans Gunnarsson, Cathinka Nicolaysen, and Kathrine Valen. The cast for the film includes Wes Bentley, Stephen Lang, Aksel Hennie, and Jorgen Langhelle, and a new clip for the movie, which shall be screening at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival, has now been released, and can be seen below.

(Source: Indiewire)

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The King of Ping Pong

Sundance Film Festival

PARK CITY -- A low-key coming of age comedy, co-writer-director Jens Jonsson's feature debut The King of Ping Pong recently won both the World Cinema Dramatic Jury and Cinematography awards at the Sundance Film Festival. King premiered in January in Sweden and could see modest business in Scandinavian while traveling comfortably on the international fest circuit.

Nerdy Rille (Jerry Johansson), stocky and 16, is little noticed by his peers, aside from the frequent bullying he suffers from several older boys roaming their snow-bound Swedish town. His one distinction is a talent for Ping Pong, which he tyrannically coaches for a group of younger boys including his more popular brother Erik (Hampus Johansson) at the local youth center. Their ineffectual single mother (Ann-Sofie Nurmi) is trying to launch a home hairdressing business, a problem-plagued project she attempts to drag the boys into as their spring break begins.

The arrival of their father (Georgi Staykov), an affable, emotionally erratic oil rig worker, provides Rille and Erik with a welcome distraction from the boredom of vacation stuck at home. Their dad's impulsive, misguided adventures -- driving the boys across a frozen lake in his jeep and carving donuts in the snowy surface, sneaking the kids into a stranger's home and telling them it's his new house -- highlight his distinct lack of parenting skills and penchant for the bottle.

This imprudent behavior prompts the more staid Rille to wonder if his dad is really his natural father or if there might have been another man in his mother's life. When the truth about the boys' parentage eventually emerges, it provokes a rift between the brothers that Rille proves ill-equipped to rectify.

Jonsson and co-writer Hans Gunnarsson keep the film's slightly off-kilter comedy -- reinforced by occasional visual puns -- and suitably understated, a cue that both the young newcomers and vets Staykov and Nurmi ably follow, until a third-act shift toward melodrama noticeably stifles the humor.

Cinematographer Askild Vik Edvardsen bathes the proceedings with wintry-filtered light that's well suited to the sedate camerawork, enhanced by production designer Josefin Asberg's selection of color schemes dominated by dark colors and subdued pastels.

THE KING OF PING PONG

Bob Film Sweden

Credits:

Director: Jens Jonsson

Writers: Hans Gunnarsson, Jens Jonsson

Producer: Jan Blomgren

Director of photography: Askild Vik Edvardsen

Production designer: Josefin Asberg

Music: Martin Willert

Editor: Kristofer Nordin

Cast:

Rille: Jerry Johansson

Erik: Hampus Johansson

Dad: Georgi Staykov

Mom: Ann-Sofie Nurmi

Running time -- 107 minutes

No MPAA rating

See also

Credited With | External Sites