I have yet to get in sync with Icelandic films but I intend to keep trying. Their cinema, unlike their literature, is young and has lots of time to get better.
The Big Plus: There are horses
“Of Horses and Men” is a series of somewhat connected vignettes, some of which work and some which don’t, quite. It all takes place in an isolated Icelandic valley where horses vastly outnumber the people but it’s the people (mostly) calling the shots.
The horses just go on doing what horses do while the people get all worked up about things.
The opening vignette pokes fun at a frightfully pretentious fellow taking his prize mare out for a ride which the neighbors all watch from afar through binoculars, elbowing each other and grinning. It’s such a great send-up of small townishness that the way it ends is incredibly shocking.
Horses die. People die.
This is not a kid’s movie. People make decisions that are bad for the horses or for themselves. Or both. And through it all there’s the stunningly beautiful background of Iceland. Each next bit of the story starts with gorgeous close-ups of the horses with the camera coming to rest on one enormous eye reflecting what’s coming next.
While Iceland has yet to find its own Kaurismaki, Bergman, Östlund, or Andersson, I’m willing to stay the course and see what’s coming next.
© Remington Write 2019. All Rights Reserved
Take the bit in your teeth and go for it!