JANUARY 2014 NEWS

01.31.14

The Norwegian village of Beitostölen is planning a unique event for Saturday, February 15th, when they will be hosting an outdoor pre-premiere of the film, KRAFTIDIOTEN. An outdoor theater is being built on a ski hill where a cinema screen at over 40 square meters will be rigged while the audience can sit on reindeer skins. How cool! The mountain village hosted the filmmakers last winter and now Paradox Films and the Beitostölen Resort believe their cooperation can prove to be a good example of how filmmaking and location places can be of mutual benefit to each other. Director Hans Petter Moland and Stellan are expected to attend.

The film (with its English title "In Order of Disappearance") will have its Berlin premiere next week and its widespread theatrical release in Norway on February 21st. Here is the film's description given by the BIFF web site -

"Norway, winter. Introverted and hard-working Nils drives the powerful snow plough that keeps open the roads and mountain passes of the inhospitable frozen landscape where he lives. He’s just been named citizen of the year for his efforts when he receives news that his son has died of a heroin overdose. Refusing to believe the official version of his son’s death, he begins a covert search for the boy's alleged murderers. A surprising turn of events causes him to become a tough-as-nails and feared underworld hero – one whose identity nobody knows. A gruesome black comedy full of impressive images of an endless wintry-white landscape which Nils knows how to use to his advantage. The film deploys dark comedy to depict Nils’ exploits in the realm of gangsters, which is characterised by a delicately nuanced portrayal of the mentalities of Swedish, Norwegian and Serb mafiosi with Bruno Ganz putting in an appearance as a Serb mafia boss. 'In Order of Disappearence' reunites the creative team of director Hans Petter Moland, screenwriter Kim Pupz Aakeson and actor Stellan Skarsgård."

In today's edition of Dagsavisen, Moland spoke about his collaboration with Stellan. The two have worked together many times before and Stellan says he clears his schedule whenever he has the opportunity to work with the Norwegian director, who admits he gets a little braver when working with the celebrated Swede. Moland says, "Stellan is a man who is fun to work with outside the comfort zone. I seem to be more daring when I'm with Stellan... I think we make each other bolder."

German sales group Beta Cinema is pitching THE PHYSICIAN at the European Film Market, which kicks off February 6th alongside the BIFF. The film has been quite successful thus far with three million tickets sold in Germany alone and has continued to be a hit in Austria and Spain as well. The medieval adventure bows in Russia next week.

Favorite portrait of the day

NYMPHOMANIAC was screened at the Sundance Film Festival on January 21, part of a surprise screening orchestrated by the festival and one that generated a decent amount of laughter, some genuine and some awkward. This month the full five-hour-plus director’s cut will premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival, with a two-part set of shortened cuts, each a little longer than two hours.

For one night only, British cinema audiences will be given the opportunity to watch volume one and two across cinemas nationwide simultaneously, followed by an onstage interview with Stellan and co-star Stacy Martin. The film event will take place on February 22 and will be hosted by U.K. radio and TV presenter Edith Bowman and presented via satellite from the Curzon Chelsea, London. Cinemas around the country will be invited to take part in the night via social media, including the chance to put questions to the stars.

As many of you know, Stellan has starred in five von Trier films and is regarded as a personal friend of the director. In a recent interview he spoke about working with Lars. First off, Stellan believes the controversial Danish director has matured and mentions August Strindberg, Aksel Sandemose and Ingmar Bergman as the Dane's great inspirations. We're told that Lars writes as if he's writing fairy tales for adults with a naive, innocent tone in the dialogue. Stellan says, "I am among those who think that all his films are funny, but in a particular way. Even when he writes a tragic and horrific scene, there is an element that will make me laugh."

As far as "Nymphomaniac", Stellan says, "Everything in the film is about Lars. The two main characters are Lars. He is a nerd, but also the vulnerable woman." Stellan also points out that the film has a romance quality and that Lars was inspired by "In Search of Lost Time" in its ability to show both the beautiful and the ugly. When asked to describe Seligman, the character he plays, Stellan says, "My idea is that he never lived. He knows a lot of things from books. He thinks he knows everything about life but his life experience is almost zero truth. His body has no life. He, therefore, has no sexuality so when Joe comes into his life, a flame will awaken him, but it's a small flame. Seligman is also a voyeur. It is through him and with him that the fate of Joe will be unfolded to the audience.

And why is the cinema of Lars von Trier a cinema of women? Does he have a problem with men? Stellan responds, "I think it's more of a general problem with the human race. Many great filmmakers have used women to express the essential things that they could not express through the characters of men. Women socially and culturally show their emotions and sensitivities more than men.

You can pre-order Marvel's THOR: THE DARK WORLD on Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack, Blu-ray and DVD before it hits the shelves on February 25. Bonus features will include deleted and extended scenes, commentary, a two-part feature titled "A Brothers Journey-Thor & Loki", a Marvel one-shot featurette titled "All Hail the King", and an exclusive look at "Captain America: The Winter Soldier".

1.15.14

The Norwegian film, KRAFTIDIOTEN (The Prize Idiot), has been selected for official competition at the 64th Berlin International Film Festival. The film now has an English title - IN ORDER OF DISAPPEARANCE. I don't know who thought of that one. It's hard to get it out of your mouth. Stellan stars in this action comedy as a snowplow driver who gets in trouble with the Albanian mafia. This is the third time director Petter Hans Moland has participated in competition in Berlin. He appears flattered that his film has been selected but not overly optimistic it will win - "It's really great that a comedy is included in the group of the most promising films... It is not the custom in Berlin for a comedy to win. But just to get to the main competition can do a lot for this movie. It will be nice meeting with both the press and the public." After doing four films with Moland, Stellan says, "He is one of the best directors I've ever worked with. In addition, it is damned nice to hang out with him. It's not so important what we actually do." Here are some photos from the press conference.

"Nymphomaniac" is running neck-to-neck with Thomas Vinterberg’s "The Hunt" for the Danish Bodil awards, from the Danish Film Critics Association, which will be announced on February 1, both nominated in six categories. It is not competing for the Danish Film Academy’s Robert prizes, which will be given on January 26; Zentropa Entertainments has decided not to enter the film until von Trier’s original cut has been premiered. Part 1 has been selected for this year’s Berlinale.

World War II drama, THE RAILWAY MAN, opened in the UK on January 3rd to mediocre reviews. The film premiered at TIFF back in September but no release date for the US has been set. Some critics have pointed out the mistake of miscasting Stellan, referring to him as the "world's least convincing Scotsman" and questioning why he doesn't at least attempt the accent.  And though Nicole Kidman is appealing in a sort of "Brief Encounter" role, there seems to be a distinct lack of chemistry between and Colin Firth, so their relationship fails to generate the required emotional investment. Though Harvey Weinstein picked up the film once it garnered a standing ovation at TIFF, it's no surprise he didn't shoot for an awards release last year. Here are some new photos from the film: