Cannes: the cinema that comes from the cold lands in force on the Croisette

A cold wave hits the Croisette with Lamb, Scandinavian mythological tale by Icelandic Valdimar Jóhannsson. And three other Nordic films, a Finnish, a Norwegian, and a French filmed in Sweden, on the island of director Ingmar Bergman, are in the running for the Palme d’Or.

Despite the summer temperatures in Cannes, a cold wave fell on the Festival: with several films in competition, Nordic directors stormed the Croisette, with a more “minimalist” cinema but loaded with emotions.

“We have the impression that it is a movement, an earthquake!”, enthuses with AFP the Swedish Noomi Rapace, revealed in the film Millennium who acts in the film Lamb by Valdimar Jóhannsson, featured in the Un certain regard section. Shot in Iceland, the film tells the story of a couple of farmers who are raising a baby like no other.

At the same time, three other Nordic films – a Finnish, a Norwegian, and a French filmed in Sweden, on the island of director Ingmar Bergman – are in the running for the Palme d’Or.

Tutelary figure of Scandinavian cinema, Bergman (The seventh seal, Scenes of married life) known and admired worldwide, had received in 1997 the palm of the palms of the Festival of Cannes.

But while the Swedes and Danes have won awards on several occasions in the history of the Festival – Swedish director Alf Sjöberg has even won the supreme award twice – the Finns and Norwegians have never been awarded. *

“I believe that in our style, we are very minimalist, we are not in the grandiloquent”

Actress Noémie Rapace

In contention with Compartment n ° 6, his second feature film, shot on a train in the Russian Arctic, the director ofOlli Mäki (2016) Juho Kuosmanen, does not hide his emotion. “Without exaggerating, this festival means everything to me, he says in an interview with AFP. It might sound silly but I feel very comfortable here. Even if the festival is huge, in the heart of the reactor, we are really supported because the people on the team are passionate about cinema. It’s not just a place where the movies are shown“.

Erected in the great hope of Finnish cinema from its beginnings and compared to his compatriot Aki Kaurismäki, in contention for four times for the Palme d’Or between 1996 and 2011, Juho Kuosmanen, defends a minimalist cinema with little effusion and which takes the time to unfold his story.

“If I exaggerated the emotions of my characters, this wouldn’t be my film. I put the pedal soft, I don’t like to add more », he explains. “We Finns are not Scandinavians but Slavs. We, the people of the forest, are not very sophisticated ”, he quips.

Full of details, its staging demands the viewer’s constant attention. Unable to catch up with the bandwagon when the film has already started. “You have to be there from the start of the film”, he said, grateful that the viewer must do “an effort” to follow it.

“I believe that in our style, we are very minimalist, we are not in the grandiloquent”, opines the actress of Lamb Noomi Rapace.

Slower films, but not devoid of feelings, insists AFP Sofia Norlin, a Swedish director based in Paris. The one who realized Broken Hill Blues (2013) believes that Nordic cinema has a look “Gentler and more discreet in the world”, but full of emotion. “It’s a bit like a door that opens slowly and whose light reveals the shadows of life”, she explains. Films also imbued with an aesthetic apart, very focused on nature, the great outdoors, and on sunlight.

“To shoot in Oslo was a gift. Watching the sunset in June with this light … It reminded me of my childhood », told AFP the director of Julie (in 12 chapters), the Norwegian Joachim Trier, whose film accurately and without excess delivers a subtle critique of post- # MeToo society.

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Cannes: the cinema that comes from the cold lands in force on the Croisette