Nordic Niceties 8
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Curated by Stephanie Huettner
For the November installment of “Nordic Niceties,” we are traveling back to 1000 AD in Valhalla Rising where we'll meet a fierce Norse warrior named One-Eye. This warrior and a young companion meet a band of Christian crusaders, who take them on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. The sea voyage does not go as planned, and One-Eye and his companions soon find themselves in unfamiliar territory. This visionary Danish drama is the second collaboration between director Nicolas Winding Refn (who later made a name for himself in the United States with Drive) and Danish superstar Mads Mikkelsen (who was discovered by Refn for the Pusher series in the early ‘90s).
Since the birth of the Dogme 95 movement in 1995, Scandinavian cinema has become a point of fascination for the film world. In total, the five Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden, as well as three autonomous regions) have a population of 25 million. Considering the small size of this region, its impact on international cinema in the past two decades has been stunning. From the aforementioned anti-mainstream Dogme films, to the immensely popular Millenium Trilogy (AKA The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series), to multiple Academy Award nominations and wins in various categories, the touch of Nordic culture can be felt in all corners of the world of film. In this monthly series, we will explore various cinematic styles of different Nordic countries from the past two decades.