|Index||6 reviews in total|
Of all the films I've seen at this year so far, Oddsson's poetic and compelling film (an adaptation he planned for 15 years) has impressed me the most--but that could largely be due to the fact that I encountered it with absolutely no expectations. It's possible that it has minor flaws (in the pacing of its third act, for example) but these are merely quibbles against a film that is unusually insightful regarding childhood imagination, and such themes as the role of art in emotional journeys and the ambiguous relationship between Man and Nature. It's based on an Icelandic novel that begins with a sensitive young boy who navigates life with his close-knit family in a fishing village by sketching abstract images merging the people he loves with portentous fears. Later, the boy grows up and finds himself emotionally crippled on account of a tragic past. However, instead of telling the story linearly, as the novel does, the film expertly juxtaposes the past and present throughout, drawing complex parallels between them and culminating with the dramatic climax of both eras simultaneously. Gorgeously shot on location with the Scandinavian light and warm interiors in counterpoint, the film is a thematically nuanced and emotionally powerful character study. Keep an eye out for it.
As I was watching this film I realized once again how lucky we are to
have other sources of film than Hollywood. The plot repeatedly comes to
a stop, in order to allow the full development of a moment - a child
listening to the sounds of a new born baby in the night, the long wait
by fisherman families at a dock for the return of a capsized boat
(along with the discovery of who perished) - the repeated view of the
great mountain above the village, the perilous threat of the sea, the
family breakfast and bedroom moments, ... the short telephone call to
his love, announcing that he was joining his life to hers. So much
interior development. Which is where it occurs, right? The film passes
a key test of quality for me - one week after viewing I am still
thinking and remembering it with interest and pleasure.
Caveat: I'm Icelandic myself (i.e., my Grandfather was) - but wouldn't have a problem panning a poor quality Icelandic film.
Kaldaljos (Cold Light) is a psychological drama about a man (Grimur) with a tragic past and problems with a current relationship with his art teacher (Linda.) But it is so much more than that. It is a truly beautiful film, which has amazing scenery and shows you the nature of the human psyche. I would recommend it to anyone, especially if you enjoy icelandic films and have seen Falcons (also with Ingvar Sigurdsson.) I saw it last week at the Philadelphia Film Festival, and I was truly amazed. Plus, the directer (Hilmur Oddsson) was there and he did a Q&A. It was very exciting. See it if you have the chance, especially if it comes back to the US!!!
Old Icelandic believes and superstitions are not, as a previous
reviewer has alleged, the main plot or part of the story told in this
film. They are rather used as a medium of telling a tale of an old
tragedy mixed with a present day love story, a story of a tragedy
survivor conquering his past. Truly premonitions are not an uncommon
superstition in Iceland but unfortunately neither are tragedies such as
the one that befalls.
Its a dark and gloomy film with a well fitting soundtrack; all to add on to the viewers experience of the plot lines happenings. Sure it may seem a little slow in todays day and age, it is nothing like Die Hard 4,5 or 6 except for the out of character and completely unrelated to Icelandic superstition; the flying Witch.
When a young artist gets told to carefully discern what is imagination
and what is reality, a fiery mind is set ablaze and (in the movie)
subtly rages to decipher the Self, and in turn, gain foresight into the
Cold Light describes a young boy's epiphany into rediscovery - once primarily afflicted by only the most blatant of life's moments, he realizes that is takes an art lesson for him to appreciate what is subdued and gain clarity. This analogy you might be able to notice in the style of his art pieces, where mountains once dominated, he grows up, into clear skies; with the guidance of a mother and teacher figure.
It is through the extraordinary that he will be delivered into the ordinary.
Abstract? Watch the film for clarity.
This is a film that describes a rather common superstition in Iceland. A good portion of the Icelandic people believe in mysterious sort of people that can foresee the future in one way or another. These people get some kind of premonition about harmful events or tragic deaths that are bound to happen. This film is the story of one such individual who is an intelligent loner from childhood and starts to draw odd pictures of people floating out of their houses in their beds. He sees an old woman flying on her broom and later gets acquainted with her since she was just a lonesome grumpy widow that lived close by. The boy grows up and is very peculiar, shown as melancholic and apathetic adult for most parts. He seems to suffer from a "post-traumatic stress syndrome" but still manges to charm his art teacher. The pace of the story is dreadfully slow and affect is gloomy, sometimes totally displaced and mostly boring. For those who believe in such crap as telepathy or mystical gifted persons with pre-disaster premonitions this movie is a godsend. For those skeptics out there who are walking on the earth, and not flying on broomsticks - do not waste your time and money watching this close to intellectually empty film. For those who have not had enough of watching steep Icelandic fjords - take a look and enjoy! Out of respect to some of the fairly good acting and cinematography I give it 5/10.
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