Saturday, May 14, 2005

Graduation time in The Icelandic Film School !

Working in films sometimes gets you into strange circumstances!

Yesterday I went to my older sons Eystein´s graduation from The Icelandic Filmschool. At long last he has got himself an education! He dropped out of school as a teenager and for some years I was really worried what would become of him, as he is a very gifted guy in many ways. Well, it just took him a long time to realize what he wants in life. Films and books and gathering knowledge of all kinds have been his main interests since childhood. So it was a good idea to make a start for a career in filming. His aim is to be able to work mainly in documentary films and scriptwriting in the future.

I found the quality of the shortfilms shown at this graduation very varied - some were good (and not too long!) But I must admit that I was getting really bored watching some guy eating baked beans from a can for 5 minutes (or was it 10?) fact he ended up eating his canary-bird as well, poor thing...!

I was pleased with the film in the individualist film group by my son and his companion. It was only 10 minutes, but actionpacked with something happening every minute. Actually I found it surprizing how they got their story over in such a short time without it becoming too hectic. "Completely unknown" a story about a young couple in lack of money getting a very strange offer of it and their reactions to that offer. A remake of an old Twilight-zone episode.

It didn´t take the first prize offered, though. It went to a film called "20 minutes to the end of the world". Maybe I´m judgemental in favour of my son, guess so...but the fact is I found it boring and very sombre, but I admit that the filming was good, in rotating-wide angel-one shot-one location-take, uncut, black and white, minimalistic lighting, very artistic filming.(I don´t know if this kind of filming is maybe the most fashionable thing today?) But the acting was so-and-so ( two amateur actors, one of the producers himself and his girlfriend, I guess. Many of the other pupils had professional actors come in and take part in their films, something hat these actors are quite pleased to do) . The script was bad and it was far too long for a shortfilm, 24 minutes (to the end of the world?). AND it had the most violent scenes of all the films, with a husband strangling his wife, pregnant with their first child, at her request, so that she would not have to experience the END! MOOAH!
But I guess it was the filming that counted, not the content; the artistic value of the filming, not the enterainting value of the content nor the fluency of the dialouge.

The showing of the shortfilm (yeah, 8 minutes!) "Pískó" (Psycho) by Eysteinn and 4 others, that I have told about in a previous blog (29/4) went very well. I MYSELF was seen in ONE scene, entering the cinema after a too- young boy trying to sneek in had been told to go away; AND I had my name on the screen at the top of the list of assisting actors, (or whatever you call it in English, it´s STATIST in the Scandinavian languages). So now I´m famous in films, hehe!

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