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Göteborg Interview: 'A Hijacking’ & 'The Killing' Star Søren Malling Shares His Thoughts On The American Remake & Much More

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • February 5, 2013 4:58 PM
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So if asked to put an actor’s name to the Scandinavian drama tsunami of recent years, yes, most might point to Mads Mikkelsen, or maybe Stellan Skarsgård -- two Nordic actors who crop up not only in homegrown fare, but also increasingly in Hollywood productions. But one name that might not come so handily to mind, precisely because of his contrasting lack of U.S. credits, is Søren Malling’s. No matter, if you’ve been paying any sort of attention of late, you know his face. We got to meet the “A Hijacking,” the original “The Killing” and “Borgen” star at the Göteborg International Film Festival, where “A Hijacking” was close to wrapping up its stellar festival run.

Writer Tobias Lindholm To Reteam With 'The Hunt' Collaborator Thomas Vinterberg For 'The Commune'

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • February 4, 2013 12:25 PM
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It can seem to outsiders that every new film and TV show coming out of Scandinavia features at least a few of the same names, both behind and in front of the camera. And undoubtedly, on the foot of his co-writing gig on the excellent “The Hunt,” his writer/director work on the acclaimed “A Hijacking” as well as regular writing/showrunning duties on “Borgen,” the latest Danish TV show to have blown everyone away (apparently Stephen King’s favourite TV show of 2012), Tobias Lindholm’s name is becoming one of those -- so much so were going to include a handy pronunciation guide so you can correct your friends when it crops up: it’s Tob-EE-ass. You’re welcome. Anyway, we had the distinct pleasure of talking with Lindholm at the Göteborg International Film Festival, and while we’ll run a fuller take soon, he did let drop some details on one of his upcoming projects that will see him reteam with Thomas Vinterberg, his co-writer on, and director of, “The Hunt,” and 2010’s “Submarino.”

Director Volker Schlöndorff To Return To U.S. With Colm Toibin Co-Written 'Montauk'

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • February 2, 2013 12:01 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Legendary German director Volker Schlöndorff, who won an Oscar and a Palme d’Or for “The Tin Drum” back in 1979, has been in and out of critical favor ever since, last releasing a film in 2007 (“Ulzhan”). He’s back, on the European cinema scene at least, with France-set World War II story “Calm at Sea,” which played yesterday at the Göteborg International Film Festival (review to come), and when we spoke with the director here earlier, he told us in a little more detail about his upcoming projects, one of which will mark a return to the U.S. for the first time since 1998’s potboiler noir “Palmetto,” starring Woody Harrelson, Gina Gershon and Chloe Sevigny.

Göteborg Interview: Directors Rønning & Sandberg On 'Kon-Tiki,' Scandinavian Cinema & Their Oscar Nomination

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • February 1, 2013 7:03 PM
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There’s a great temptation to draw parallels between directors Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg’s epic journey in making “Kon-Tiki” (reviewed here) and the expedition it chronicles. And it’s a temptation we’re going to give in to; when we met the co-directors during the Göteborg International Film Festival recently, they had the air of men who had finally come in to port after a long stormy voyage. They too embarked on a hugely ambitious project that had no guarantee of success or even completion, and encountered myriad unforeseen problems along the way – there’s no doubt the film had to be something of a labor of love for them both.

Göteborg Review: Ulrich Seidl’s ‘Paradise: Love’ A Difficult But Provocative Watch With An Astounding Central Performance

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • January 31, 2013 7:02 PM
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  • 4 Comments
Black/white, rich/poor, fat/thin, female/male, old/young -- these are just a few of the dichotomies explored in the first of the 'Paradise' trilogy from Austrian director Ulrich Seidl. Our chronology is a bit messed up, since we already reviewed (very favorably) the second entry “Paradise: Faith” out of Venice, but having missed ‘Love’ in Cannes, we were happy to catch up with it at a very packed screening at the Göteborg International Film Festival. Perhaps "happy" is the wrong word: “Paradise: Love” proved a frequently uncomfortable and rather overlong watch, but we still came away profoundly impressed and not a little troubled by the questions it raises, and the unflinching, uncompromising way in which it does so.

Göteborg Review: 'Death Of A Man In The Balkans' Is A Charmingly Human, Morbidly Funny Treat

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • January 29, 2013 7:07 PM
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It’s a real-time film, in a single setting, shot from one locked-off camera position that shows the living room, kitchenette and hallway area of a small Belgrade apartment, in which the owner has just shot himself. But wait... come back! Take your fingers out of your ears and stop rocking back and forth in that corner: “Death of a Man in the Balkans,” despite the veritable bonfire of warning flares sent up by its premise and format, is a triumph. It's a rare black comedy that actually elicits out-loud laughter, and our screening at the Göteborg International Film Festival rang with it, proving just how well the film overcomes the staginess of its conceit with sharp writing, wonderful characterisation, and perfectly deadpan, droll comic timing. Dark of humor but light of heart, it’s the third film from writer/director Miroslav Momcilovic, and we’re ashamed to say we’re not yet acquainted with his previous work, but if it displays even half the inventiveness and assurance seen here, we’ll be seeking it out soon. He really gives himself nowhere to hide -- no effects, no discernible edits, no helpful scoring -- and we have to believe that it takes a lot of unshowy skill to make something so seemingly artless play so well.

Göteborg Review: 'Easy Money/Snabba Cash II' Is A Worthy If Not Hugely Inventive Sequel

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • January 28, 2013 11:05 AM
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We, like a large portion of the rest of the world, really enjoyed the first “Snabba Cash” -- retitled in English to the less-memorable “Easy Money” -- director Daniel Espinosa’s pulsating Swedish crime film that launched both him and soon-to-be “Robocop” Joel Kinnaman onto our radars. We complimented that film on its “tenacious, shark-like energy” and were cautiously optimistic when its international success warranted a sequel.

Göteborg Review: Norway’s Oscar-Nominated 'Kon-Tiki' Is A Fun Tale Of High Adventure But No More Than That

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • January 27, 2013 3:10 PM
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  • 4 Comments
Norwegian explorer Thor Heyerdahl’s 1947 raft trip from Peru to Polynesia, which forms the story of “Kon-Tiki,” the opening film of the Göteborg International Film Festival, is already the stuff of legend – particularly in this part of the world. Heyerdahl’s own 1950 book was an international bestseller (indeed this writer remembers a battered paperback knocking around her childhood home), and the documentary he filmed during the trip itself won an Academy Award back in 1951. Which makes it a pleasing narrative to have this film, over six decades later, achieve a similar feat in getting nominated for a Foreign Language Oscar.

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