Saturday, 30 July 2011

Reykjavík – Rotterdam European cinema in Madrid

The other day I had a great time watching a film I had never heard of, directed by someone I had never heard of, and starring actors I had never heard of. This was all thanks to the European institutions in Madrid, that is to say the offices of the European Parliament and European Commission. 


For the fifth year, during the summer, they fill the ground floor outdoor space behind their offices in central Madrid with plastic chairs, a huge screen and a mobile projector, and offer a once a week open air film session. It’s all free, and on top of that you get a bag of popcorn and a bottle of water.
This week’s film was Reykjavík – Rotterdam, a thriller based on smuggling between Holland and Iceland, populated by lots of people you’d be happy to keep away from on a dark night.
Reykjavík – Rotterdam is a  film by Oskar Jonasson, with screenplay by Arnaldur Indridason and Oskar Jonasson and starring Baltasar Kormákur and Ingvar E. Sigurdsson.
It’s great fun, a really tight rhythm, a gripping story and full of nasty people, some of them pushed to the limit by life’s bad luck, some pushed to the limit by plain greed. I went to Iceland a few years ago and all the people I met were lovely and very kind, including Karen S and her husband, and the coach tour I took on my free day gave me a look at  active geysers, non active volcanoes, continental plates – yes you can stand with one foot on each of two continents – and the site of the West’s most ancient parliament. I’m glad to say I didn’t come across anybody remotely like the baddies of this exciting film.


Anyway, it’s great to see a film you would never see in the cinema, and to enjoy a film not a movie – translation, art made in Europe and not in Hollywood.  
If you want all the details, here they are: http://www.blueeyes.is/Films/Reykjavik-Rotterdam/


Thanks to the European institutions in Madrid: very nice to be at this building to relax instead of leading groups of students as I have on so many previous visits. http://www.europarl.es/view/es/index.html

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