the cool and the crazy
Scandinavian cinema. That means Bergman, right? God's silence, Liv Ullmann enduring emotional anguish, as sincere as a plate of herring, Max von Sydow in everything. If that's what you think, you're a bit behind the times. Contemporary cinema from the north of Europe means things like Norwegian policiers, existential comedies by the Kaurism&aulm;ki brothers, inter-ethnic confusion as Sweden develops a Middle Eastern community of "guest workers."
Most of them are on display in the festival's 15-film Nordic Visions program, where the directors range from old reliables like Jan Troell (The Emigrants), who continues his tradition of three-hour epics with As White As In Snow, younger auteurs like Bille August (Best Intentions), who arrives with A Song For Martin, and young Turkslike Pål Sletaune, who follows up his festival fave, Junk Mail, with You Really Got Me.
This series reminds me of what one's festival mantra should be when deciding between a film that's opening next month and one you've never heard of by a director who isn't even on the Internet Movie Database. What other chance will I get to see it?