10 Nordic Shorts

10 Nordic Shorts

Ten compact combinations of beautiful Nordic landscapes, moody weather, original ideas, filmmaking talent and most of all… heart.

1. Maud and Leo

2009 | 26 mins | Sweden | Directed by Tobias Rydin, Jonny von Wallström, Akram Janzi

Maud is 58. She “cancels” her suicide plans when she finds a tape left behind by someone who actually killed himself. Now she is on a mission, to deliver the tape to the stranger’s son. Leo is 22, a hipster mad with his bandmates who threw him out of their tour bus. He is in need of a ride and Maud happens to be passing by.

This film captures an unlikely journey through the mesmerizing landscapes of Norrland, Sweden, shared between a woman and young man who have quite a lot in common. They are both looking for a destination to travel towards and they soon realize that they can not stand each other. What do Maud & Leo have to lose and more importantly, what are they going to learn during their trip together?

Vivid colors and camera movement are in harmony with the characters’ will to live, while characteristics usually attributed to specific age groups are now portrayed in a manner of reversed roles.

Watch online here

 

2. Sker 

2013 | 13 mins | Iceland | Directed by Eyþór Jóvinsson

Based on a true story, Sker follows a kayaker who, sailing through the Icelandic fjords, comes across a skerry and decides to spend the night there. However, everything isn’t going to run smoothly for the adventurous protagonist.

It could have been a mystery tale told among kids at night, or a funny story with a touch of dark humor…Either way, what actually happened in Iceland a few years back is brought to life successfully in this little film featuring stunning landscapes, among which are the majestic Dynjandi waterfalls and other parts of the remote but visually enchanting Westfjords in Iceland.

Watch online here

 

3. Portraits from Varangerfjord 

2013 | 13 mins | Norway | Directed by Egil Pedersen

This short documents snippets of everyday life in the village of Nesseby, Finnmark, North Norway. The director lets us look closely at a small number of “portraits” and take in all their traits and colors. From old couples to kids, to a baby not yet born, from farmers to fishermen and craftsmen, there’s the same soundtrack playing for them all and that’s probably the sound of the waves. It’s a small but strong and self-dependent community of people who realize that they don’t have much but they don’t need much either. They know how to built a house out of old material and also make it feel like home.

Everything looks green or blue-tinted under the bright fragments of sunlight. In this film nature is captured like it should be captured in a place where they point out of the window and say “We talked about TV but we found that this is our big screen.

Watch online here
4. In Search of Livingstone 

2013 | 16 mins| Iceland | Directed by Vera Sölvadóttir

Thor and Denni have a problem. They are out of cigarettes. Because of a civil servants’ strike that has lasted too long, finding tobacco in Iceland seems as unlikely as becoming a millioner overnight. However, the two pals have a car, a burning need to have a smoke and every intention to drive miles around the south coast to satisfy it.

Damon Younger & Sveinn Þórir Geirsson deliver a fresh, realistic and enjoyable performance in a “roadtrip” brilliantly photographed on the Icelanding land by Víðir Sigurðsson. The soundtrack, composed by Reykjavík band “Mono Town”, blends in perfectly in this story of friendship and a weird but brilliant arrangement of priorities.

Watch online here

5. Beast 

2009 | 15 mins | Denmark | Directed by Lars p Arendt

Thor and Denni have a problem. They are out of cigarettes. Because of a civil servants’ strike that has lasted too long, finding tobacco in Iceland seems as unlikely as becoming a millioner overnight. However, the two pals have a car, a burning need to have a smoke and every intention to drive miles around the south coast to satisfy it.

Damon Younger & Sveinn Þórir Geirsson deliver a fresh, realistic and enjoyable performance in a “roadtrip” brilliantly photographed on the Icelanding land by Víðir Sigurðsson. The soundtrack, composed by Reykjavík band “Mono Town”, blends in perfectly in this story of friendship and a weird but brilliant arrangement of priorities.

Watch online here

6. Herd in Iceland

2013 | 30 mins | Iceland | Directed by Lindsay Blatt + Paul Taggart

There’s only one breed of horses in Iceland and that is obviously the Icelandic horse. They are small-sized but hardy and also very pure, since import of foreign breeds into the country hasn’t been allowed for centuries.

This half-hour documentary focuses on an annual tradition, that of driving the horses to the highlands for the summer and collecting them back in the village after the season ends.

The strong animals get to run free for a few months, graze and grow stronger in the vast Icelandic nature, while their owners take a break and prepare to welcome them back in the autumn.

Are the horses enough to give meaning to the life of the herdsmen and their children? Is taking care of them overly demanding or does the joy the animals bring make it all worthwhile? The directors have tried to film the answer to those questions, interweaved with breathtaking visuals around the Nordic land.

Watch online here

7. The Landscape Trilogy (Fjord | Winter Light | Horizon)

 2009-2012 | ~  3 x 23 mins | Norway | Directed by Skule Eriksen

 This project consists of three short films which are precisely what their title suggests. With limited live action and even fewer talking scenes, human interference takes place almost entirely behind the camera and only becomes noticeable by the sound it makes. What’s always in the spotlight is the landscape of various Norwegian locations˙ Nærøyfjorden (Fjord), Lofoten (Winter Light), Jæren and Lista (Horizon). Shot with extreme care, every frame looks polished, professional and highly artistic, often resembling a painting that magically moves rather than a digital capture of reality. Top notch photographic skills by Eriksen together with Øistein Boassen’s soundtrack and sound design manage to –almost poetically– communicate to the viewers a universe that’s not only naturally beautiful but also undisturbed and harmonized with civilization. The Landscape Trilogy is an opportunity to not only see, but watch, feel and ‘absorb’ nature in a way everyday life seldom allows us to.

Watch online here

8. The Last Farm

2004 | 17 mins | Iceland | Directed by Rúnar Rúnarsson

 This Oscar-nominated short is equally heart-warming and heart-breaking, a beautiful story that speaks the truth about love, family and old age.

It’s time for Hrafn and his wife Gróa to leave their old farm on the mountain to move to an elderly home. Their daughter Lilja is going to pick them up but he wants to make sure she won’t arrive before he’s finished some last chores around the house. Hrafn, however, has kept further details to himself.

The Last Farm is shot in a manner unadorned, concise but deeply moving. The lead actor, Jón Sigurbjörnsson, gives a remarkable, realistic performance, while the soundtrack by Kjartan Sveinsson – former keyboardist of Sigur Rós – adds to the sweet melancholy of the film.

Watch online here

9. Bogland

2011 | 17 mins | Sweden | Directed by Jonas Selberg Augustsén

In this quirky short, two Sápmi girls struggle to understand their origin as well as their place in today’s world. They contemplate about the value of cloudberries and try to rekindle a connection long lost, to their roots, to old stories which turned into modern myths, to their family. Augustsén has created a dark fairyland, with a lonesome feeling and a misty veil around the characters’s need to comprehend past and future. After all, it is hard to understand why “men used to lay down naked in the bog”.

Watch online here

 

10. A Fish Story

2011 | 4 mins | Finland | Directed by Teemu Nikki

This film stands out neither for its technical perfection nor for its complicated plot. Still, with an amateurish look and fitting music, shot simply yet intelligently, it manages to make a lasting impression in just four minutes.

A guy walks through a food market when he comes across… a Norwegian salmon that, to his surprise, is very much – well not so much – alive! So he grabs the fish and starts running, chased by the staff, determined to get the poor creature back to the water. That’s about it. It’s just a funny fish story. Or is it?

Watch online here

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