Thursday, 25 August 2016

Thursday Movie Picks



This week’s Thursday Movie Picks, hosted by Wandering through the Shelves, are movies from Scandinavia (Denmark, Sweden, Norway and sometimes Finland and Iceland). 

The first pick is a Norwegian disaster film imaginatively titled The Wave. Unlike most disaster films, The Wave does not encompass the entire world, or even a city for that matter, but it sets itself in a very small Norwegian town named Geiranger. When a large mass of rocks falls into the fjord below a massive 80-foot wave is created. What this Norwegian film does well is build character, you do care about the family caught up in the middle of the catastrophe. The build up is the best bit, though the conclusion shows even the Scandis can’t avoid the Hollywood clichés.

The second pick is a film from Sweden, and you can’t really discuss Scandinavian cinema without mentioning Sweden’s second greatest export, Ingmar Bergman. He’s made many masterpieces, but the film I picked was The Seventh Seal as it’s the most recent Bergman film I have seen.


The next film is a film from the nation of Denmark. Tobias Lindholm’s A Hijacking is similar to Paul Greengrass’ Captain Philips but instead of taking place on the ship the action focuses on events back at home with the CEO trying to negotiate their release.

17 comments:

  1. I haven't seen any of them... but I have seen Scandinavian movies. My favorite (and also one of my favorites in general) is THE HUNT.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A worthy favorite, I would have picked it but I imagine I would have been one of many to do so.

      Delete
  2. I was going to put Seventh Seal on my list, it might be my favorite of Bergman's.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm assuming the only reason you're saying Bergman is Sweden's second greatest export and not THE greatest is ABBA? Or Liv Ullman?

    Anyway, I LOVE The Seventh Seal, and I've heard good things about The Wave.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha. The best Swedish export is Koperberg Cider.

      Delete
  4. I've only seen Seventh Seal which is an excellent film but not my favorite Bergman. It is my most recent Bergman watch as well and for me I think that impacted my reaction to it. It reputation looms so large and it has been so discussed and parodied that some of its power was diminished by the time I finally got around to seeing it.

    I love disaster films and love hearing about new ones so I'll be seeking out The Wave. I liked Captain Phillips so I'll have to give A Hijacking a look as well.

    Mine this week have a bit of a skewed theme...they all involve a famous Swedish Bergman just not all the same one.
    Wild Strawberries (1957)-Lovely reverie about looking back at life and the memories that come unbidden. Approaching 80 Dr. Isak Borg (Victor Sjöström), a retired doctor and professor, a remote man with a cold demeanor is traveling from his home in Stockholm to Lund to accept an honorary degree. Originally intending to fly he decides to drive instead accompanied by his daughter-in-law Marianne (Ingrid Thulin), a journey of a day. Along their way the people they meet and stops they make, including the doctor’s childhood summer home, lead him to evaluate the man he was and the one he has become. My favorite Bergman film.

    A Woman’s Face (1938)-Ingrid Bergman plays Anna Holm, a woman whose facial disfigurement has led her to become a blackmailer out of bitterness. The ruthless leader of a gang, she has no compassion for anyone until one of her victims turns out to be married to a renowned plastic surgeon giving Anna the opportunity to change her life. However the long tentacles of her former accomplices don’t want to let her go. Solid drama was remade a few years later by MGM with Joan Crawford.

    Sawdust & Tinsel (1953)-As a ragtag circus troupe makes its way through the bleak Swedish countryside conflicts arise between the members of the group. When they arrive in the town where owner Albert’s ex-wife lives he seeks reconciliation leading to bitterness from his present mistress who becomes involved with an actor with designs of his own leading to misery for all. Dark and unsettling but that’s Bergman for you.

    Honorable Mention-Cries & Whispers (1972)-Heavy, heavy Ingmar Bergman drama of recrimination and the acrid damage caused to relationships by long buried resentments. Two sisters gather at their childhood home to await the death of the third desperately ill sister. While they fail to reconnect to each other or their mortally ill sibling their maid seems to be the only person in the house who is capable of offering comfort and empathy. Color is used heavily to convey the oppressive mood of the picture although sometimes too much so, by the end you feel like you’ve been living inside a tomato for ninety minutes. Still an intricate, interesting drama.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cries and Whispers is one of three Bergman films I have seen (I think it was the first), I agree that the colour used was a bit over the top.

      Delete
  5. I picked The Seventh Seal as well because it really is a great film. I have seen The Wave in the video store which, yes, I still go to. I will rent it. I haven't seen the last one though

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Video stores are still around? Blimey.

      Delete
  6. Saw The Wave at the film festival last year - fantastic film. The director and some of the cast were there too. They said that - by that point - 1 million people in Norway had seen the film, thats 1/5 of the population!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow. That's quite a sizeble percentage. Probably even higher now.

      Delete
  7. The Seventh Seal is popular I still need to see it. I haven't seen the other two either.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's Bergman's best I feel or most widely watched.

      Delete
  8. A Hijacking sounds very interesting. I'll definitely check it out.

    ReplyDelete
  9. The Wave and A Hijacking sounds interesting...going to keep a lookout for it.

    ReplyDelete