Summer of '76. After a homeless black man is hastily charged with the fatal stabbing of the police chief's son, a white widow and her black housekeeper struggle with what they know of the crime as the tragedy creeps into their lives.
Slow Moving and Beautiful like an Icelandic Glacier
Salt is an interesting film with a small cast filmed in two towns in Iceland. At times the film really drags, but then gets back on track with some of the limited plot elements, or with shots of the Icelandic scenery. Basically, there are three characters, Hildur (the younger sister), Svava (the older sister), and Aggi, Svava's boyfriend. The film centers around Hildur and Aggi stranded after their car breaks down in a small town, and the complications that ensue. It's great to watch for a while, but then it really starts to drag.
I saw this at the IFP LA Film Festival on June 20, 2003. Bradley Rust Gray (the director), Yong Kim So (the producer), and Anne Misawa (the cinematographer) were there to answer questions. Gray revealed that much of the dialogue was improvised, and frequently one actor would be given lines, and the other would have to come up with their own reaction. Additionally, Misawa revealed that a 3-chip digital camera was generally used for scenes with more than one actor, and a cheap 1-chip camera was used for scenes with just one actor on screen, these were filmed by the actors, without the presence of Gray, So, or Misawa, and added into the film later. It all looks very good on the screen, though at times it seems like someone's home movies of their vacation in Iceland.
It's a good effort and is worth seeing if you're into this sort of movie. Brynja Thora Gudnadóttir as Hildur is especially good, considering that she's never acted in a film before. If the story had been a little stronger, this could have been a great film. (Note: This is not a Dogme 95 "Vows of Chastity" film, but natural lighting and hand-held cameras are very prevalent.)
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