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Cool and Crazy (2001)

Heftig og begeistret (original title)
Much as Buena Vista Social Club revealed a rich and unexplored world of music and culture, Cool and Crazy introduces us to a group of men who find purpose, companionship and even fame, as members of a male choir in Berlevåg.

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7 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Odd Marino Frantzen ...
Director
Einar F.L. Strand ...
1st Tenor
Arne Wensel ...
1st Tenor
Kare Wensel ...
1st Tenor
Arne Blomso ...
1st Tenor
Leif Roger Ananiassen ...
1st Tenor
Eirik Daldorff ...
1st Tenor
Odd-Arne Olsen ...
1st Tenor
Eirik Nilsen ...
1st Tenor
Nils Gronberg ...
1st Tenor
Reidar Strand ...
2nd Tenor
Ragnar Rotnes ...
2nd Tenor
Randulf Antonsen ...
2nd Tenor
Ole Jonny Larsen ...
2nd Tenor
Einar Kristian Straumsne ...
2nd Tenor
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Storyline

Much as Buena Vista Social Club revealed a rich and unexplored world of music and culture, Cool and Crazy introduces us to a group of men who find purpose, companionship and even fame, as members of a male choir in Berlevåg.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary | Music

Certificate:

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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

19 January 2001 (Norway)  »

Also Known As:

Cool and Crazy  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$1,875 (USA) (19 October 2001)

Gross:

$1,144 (USA) (20 June 2003)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Connections

Followed by Heftig og begeistret - på sangens vinger (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

 
You never saw a movie like this
21 April 2006 | by (Norway) – See all my reviews

This is the only movie I ever watched twice in a cinema. The first time I recall being confused at the end, being unable to tell if I was laughing or crying. Never, ever, did I have a movie experience like this.

Unfortunately, if you are not Norwegian, and you can't understand what the people in the movie are saying you will necessarily lose out on a lot. (A lot of inexplicable value and detail is in how they talk.) Also, if you don't know much about Norway and the arctic region there are lots of things you won't understand. As a an example picked at random, if you're Norwegian, the first 30 seconds are a pretty poignant meditation on the poverty of state charity in the richest oil nation on earth, but if you are not Norwegian it will be utterly incomprehensible. (On the other hand, it's only 30 seconds, so if you're not Norwegian you can just watch that floating past and ignore it.) What I really loved about the movie is the way it shows normal people (for Northern Norway, which means they're not really normal at all) not going about their normal business, but talking openly and honestly about the things that matter the most to them in their lives. The scene where the communist (at 70 degrees north near the Soviet Union during the cold war this actually meant something) ruminating about his freewheeling former life as a punk rock singer while brushing himself in the bathtub is priceless. 2-3 minutes of that alone is worth the price of buying the movie, watching it 5 times, *and* learning Norwegian so you can understand what the hell the guy is saying. ("Thinking back it often makes me sad. *leisurely stroke of the brush* Oftentimes it was just pure lust. *brushing soap out of his beard* You know, being the vocalist, you would be the most attractive. *breaks off, stares at soapy water*) This may sound ridiculous, but watching the movie it is painfully clear that for the guy in the tub, what he's talking about is the high point of his life, and here he's offering it freely, with no reservations, in the movie. It's only a few minutes altogether, and it alone is worth more than I could tell you. You may laugh, or you may cry, or you may not know which.

And so it goes, throughout the entire movie. The characters are frequently hilarious, frequently murderously honest (the drug addict talking about how he'd meet the coastal ferry on the quay every day in the hope of a talent spotter spotting him; the church organist on how the Luftwaffe put a metal plate into his head; the drug addict on the joys (and troubles) of having his own apartment for the first time; the convinced communist crying at a war memorial across the Russian border; the whole choir wordlessly aghast at the environmental destruction at the metalworks in Nikel...), and never anything less than absolutely riveting.

I think I could probably retell this movie frame by frame, despite having watched it only twice. Most parts of it are indelibly etched on the insides of my eyes. Forty years from now I may have forgotten the names of my grandchildren, and still remember the guy who keeps the photo of his first sweetheart (from when he was 16) on the living-room wall, despite his wife's disapproval (shhh! he tells the camera (the CAMERA!), and who still brushes his hair for best effect (with water) at 75, vain as a peacock, and who doesn't care at all that the whole world gets to see all of this.

And so it goes, on and on, throughout the entire movie. These people lay their lives bare in details so poignant and telling that the mere thought of it fills me with awe, and the end is sad because it means the end of the movie. It's touching, ridiculous, painful, and unforgettable. If I could only keep one movie out of the hundreds I've seen, it would be this one, and I would consider the loss of all the others pretty cheap.

If you can't understand Norwegian dialect, multiply the above by 0.8, as much of the nuance of what is said will be lost on you.


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