Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Devil's Island

Iceland 1996

Brothers Baddi (Baltasar Kormákur) and Danni (Sveinn Geirsson) are being raised by their grandparents in the relative poverty of 1950s Iceland. But when their mother marries an American serviceman, one of them -- Baddi -- is determined to visit his family in the United States. When he returns, he's sporting a new accent and fancy foreign car in this unique look at Iceland at the dawn of 20th century globalization.

The first hour of "Djöflaeyjan" I loved! Reasons being;
hilarious characters, an unsettlingly gritty backdrop, American resentment and an outlandish reactionary premise. A dramatic black comedy with a coming of age commentary, the film only starts to lack within the last 40 minutes. Where it loses it's quirky pacing and pushes forth toward a muddle of sadness that really fails at providing what profoundness it's aiming for. A great watch though, especially since Iceland puts out about 2 movies a year. The relationships build collapse and then crash as quickly as a breath of air, which is a hilarious spectacle. I've never watched a movie with more cigarette smoking in it, in all my life.
Seriously, this should have been called "Tobacco's Island"

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