Noomi confirmed to that she will be travelling to the Marrakech Film Festival as part of a delegation of Scandinavian actors, directors etc to receive a tribute to Scandinavian cinema at a gala presentation on December 4th.

Northern Lights : Tribute to Scandinavian Cinema


The Marrakech International Film Festival continues its work spotlighting talents by paying tribute to filmmaking in Scandinavia.Since its beginnings, the festival has acted as a showcase for the quality and diversity of Scandinavian cinema, through the selection of Nordic films in Competition, and by recognizing the Danish movie A HIJACKING by Tobias Lindholm in 2012 with the Jury Prize and Best Actor Award for Søren Malling. The 13th edition of the Festival will continue to reinforce the close ties between the Northern Lights and the radiance of Morocco.A major delegation of actors, directors, producers and officials will be in Marrakech to receive this tribute to Scandinavian cinema at a gala presentation on Wednesday 4 December.


Directors : Frederikke ASPÖCK | Bille AUGUST | Susanne BIER | Christoffer BOE | Tobias LINDHOLM | Michael NOER | Thomas VINTERBERG | Nicolas WINDING REFN
Directors : Dome KARUKOSKI | Aku LOUHIMIES
Directors : Dagur KÁRI | Baltasar KORMÁKUR | Valdis OSKARSDÓTTIR

Directors : Bent HAMER | Sara JOHNSEN | Jens LIEN | Erik POPPE | Pål SLETAUNE

Directors : Tomas ALFREDSON | Per FLY | Lisa LANGSETH | Anna ODELL | Ruben ÖSTLUND | Gabriela PICHLER | Jan TROELL
Actors : Lena ENDRE | Edda MAGNASON | Noomi RAPACE


2013      NORTHWEST de Michael Noer
2012      ROYAL AFFAIR de Nikolaj Arcel
2012     LA CHASSE de Thomas Vinterberg
2012     HIJACKING de Tobias Lindholm
2011     OUT OF BOUNDS de Frederikke Aspöck
2011     MELANCHOLIA de Lars Von Trier
2011     DRIVE de Nicolas Winding Refn
2011     BEAST de Christoffer Boe
2010     R de Michael Noer & Tobias Lindholm
2005     ADAM’S APPLES de Thomas Anders Jensen
2004     BROTHERS de Susanne Bier
2000     ITALIAN FOR BEGINNERS de Lone Scherfig
1997     SMILLA de Bille August
1987     PELLE LE CONQUÉRANT de Bille August
1964     GERTRUD de Carl Theodor Dreyer
1955     ORDET de Carl Theodor Dreyer
1928     LA PASSION DE JEANNE D’ARC de Carl Theodor DreyerFinlande
2007     UN TRAVAIL D’HOMME d’Aleksi Salmenperä
2005     FROZEN LAND d’Aku Louhimies
2002     L’HOMME SANS PASSÉ d’Aki KaurismäkiIslande
2012     CORRUPTIONS d’Olaf De Fleur Johannesson
2003     NÓI ALBINÓI de Dagur Kári
2000     101 REYKJAVIK de Baltasar Kormákur

2013     A THOUSAND TIMES GOOD NIGHT de Erik Poppe (Hors compétition Festival de Marrakech 2013)
2012     OSLO, 31 AOUT de Joachim Trier
2012     KON-TIKI de Joaschim Ronning et Espen Sandberg
2012     ALL THAT MATTERS IS PAST de Sara Johnsen
2011     BABYCALL de Pål Sletaune
2006     NORWAY OF LIFE de Jens Lien
2003     KITCHEN STORIES de Bent Hamer

2013     HOTELL de Lisa Langseth (Compétition Festival de Marrakech 2013)
2013     THE REUNION d’Anna Odell (Hors compétition Festival de Marrakech 2013)
2013     VALSE POUR MONICA de Per Fly (Hors compétition Festival de Marrakech 2013)
2013     WE ARE THE BEST! de Lukas Moodysson (Hors compétition Festival de Marrakech 2013)
2012     EAT SLEEP DIE de Gabriela Pichler
2012     L’HYPNOTISEUR de Lasse Hallström
2011     PLAY de Ruben Ostlund
2009     MILLENIUM de Niels Arden Oplev
2008     MORSE de Tomas Alfredson
2003     SARABAND d’Ingmar Bergman
2002     LILYA 4-EVER de Lukas Moodysson
2000     INFIDÈLE de Liv Ullmann
2000     CHANSONS DU DEUXIÈME ÉTAGE de Roy Andersson
1978     SONATE D’AUTOMNE d’Ingmar Bergman
1971     LES ÉMIGRANTS de Jan Troell
1957     LE SEPTIÈME SCEAU d’Ingmar Bergman
1928     LE VENT de Victor Sjöström


The Nordic banner is what gives them their strength, bonding their countries in a vast united state. But when it comes to cinema, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden are all small territories who have to fight to defend their patch and their identity. They achieve this by maintaining national production of great artistic quality, at the standard of their often-prestigious past production. And also by producing commercial films capable of attracting those same audiences so sought-after by English-language productions; by using some tried and tested ingredients, like the wild expansive landscapes or police investigations into bloody crimes; but also by moving away from traditional images and inventing what will be in vogue tomorrow. The filmmaking industries of the Nordic countries have succeeded in taking on these challenges in recent years, confronting them with intelligence and efficiency: they have found ways to affirm both coherence and diversity.

The most impressive and most interesting of these victories is that of singularity. The necessity to free one’s self from an all-powerful father (Ingmar Bergman, who casts a shadow over much more than just Swedish cinema) has resulted in a desire to overturn the established order. Young directors have imposed their own imagination, and their own approach, thereby defining a very personal style. Ruben Östlund in Sweden, Nicolas Winding Refn in Denmark and Joachim Trier in Norway are among these immediately distinctive signatures, each unique in their own genre. In Nordic cinema, standing out from the crowd has almost become a natural reflex. A little geography no doubt comes into play: whenever you might feel on the sidelines, you want to remind the rest of the world you exist by sending a strong cinematographic signal, a different image.

If Nordic filmmakers have character, they also very often have taste. In this land of design, their imagination is liberated, through colors, shapes and a very refined esthetic – whether minimalist or sophisticated. Aki Kaurismäki in Finland popularized this artistic, chromatic approach, demonstrating that it is anything but a triumph of the film set, and rather the expression of a sensibility which is concerned with man’s place in our world, in which beauty and ugliness in all their forms are locked in battle. These are concerns which are shared by Sweden’s Roy Andersson, a great esthetical and philosophical filmmaker, who is so gifted with visual language that he can – like Kaurismäki – do without words to depict at once the comedy and tragedy of life. We find this same visual power among those young directors who are striving for a more immediate seduction, either making genre films or in the liberating exercise of music videos.

This talent for visually-arresting imagery means Nordic filmmakers have long been sought after – and ever more so today – for international productions shot in English. After the brilliant Let the Right One In (2008), which saw vampires wandering the outskirts of Stockholm, Tomas Alfredson made a spy movie with a distinctly British charm, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2010). Openness to other cinematic territories, and also other economies, is a strength, because it shows a taste for different experiences which, even when it means a passage abroad, directly enriches the filmmaking landscape of the North. When the Icelandic director Baltasar Kormákur puts his abundant vitality to the service of Hollywood action movies, it will sooner or later reinforce his activity as a producer back home. As shown by the recent return to his homeland of the Swede Lasse Hallström after years of professional exile in the United States, Nordic directors abroad remain strongly attached to their roots. The Norwegian Erik Skjoldbjaerg, whose first film, Insomnia (1997), inspired a US remake, has just shot an ambitious, spectacular film in the North Sea (Pioneer), which seems to work as a bridge between the effectiveness of international cinema and the authenticity of national cinema. This intertwining constitutes a richness, since it expresses a fundamental freedom and curiosity, one that is a lot stronger than that seen elsewhere. Denmark’s Lars von Trier has not crossed the Atlantic, but that’s because he has a phobia about travelling. He has nonetheless fashioned an œuvre that defies the conventions, recreating America in a studio, reformulating classicism as the modernity of cinema. In Sweden, Lukas Moodysson has led a career that encompasses major popular hits and extreme experimental films. In the North, anything is possible.

This openness to the world is also displayed by Scandinavian actors, who from Garbo, Liv Ullmann and Max von Sydow to Mads Mikkelsen, Alexander Skarsgard and Noomi Rapace have maintained the tradition of cinematographic travel and exchange. The actors are the lifeblood of Nordic filmmakers, often displaying amazing qualities for the difficult art of directing actors. In this area, Denmark’s Susanne Bier has forged an international reputation. And new experiences centered around actors continue to enrich Nordic cinema. The Swedish actress Pernilla August, celebrated for a career spanning Bergman and Star Wars, recently made a successful move into directing. Norway’s Erik Poppe has just directed Juliette Binoche, while Isabelle Huppert worked with Joachim Trier.

The Nordic spirit is everywhere, like a new energy source at the heart of today’s cinema



Through its film artists, of course. And there have been quite a few – directors, actors, cinematographers – who through their work have contributed to make this film scene known far outside the borders of this Northern outpost.You can say that the early Scandinavian cinema was influenced by literary tradition, the sagas with their Icelandic origin, the austerity and folklore of writers like the Swedish August Strindberg and Selma Lagerlöf or the Norwegian Henrik Ibsen and the poetics and pleasures of Danes like Ludvig Holberg and H.C. Andersen. The early silent movies by Victor Sjöström and Mauritz Stiller and Carl Theodor Dreyer were based on the same kind of wedlock between natural romanticism and social realism. Their art and individuality were very early recognized, and they were the first of the many Scandinavian emigrants into world cinema, Sjöström and Stiller to Hollywood and Dreyer to France and Germany.

Another unique characteristic is this special light, which so often brightens the Scandinavian cinema, the Northern light. The soft and soothing light of seemingly endless summers and the more austere and depressing light of the darker seasons. Even when films were in their infancy, during the early silent film era, this magic blond Nordic light, so rich in shades and shadows, came to be identified with what could be called so specially Scandinavian. One of the pioneers was the cinematographer Julius Jaenzon. He wasn’t unaware of the special characteristics of Scandinavian cinema and its advantages. “Our pictures now show the way to a new direction within cinematography…”

Libertyequalityfraternity, the national motto of France, could also be adopted and applied to the Scandinavian cinema. Very early on our cinema liberated itself from the more traditional concepts, and the films often offered an illustration and a presentation of a society which celebrates these values. A tribute to freedom and of outspokenness on all levels. The freedom of a certain nakedness was not least appreciated by foreign audiences at a time not that long ago, when the film art was sworn to more prudish attitudes.

Equality has also been a prestige word in the world of cinema. As early as 1913 Sweden’s first female director, Anna Hoffman Uddgren, presented a version of Strindberg’s The Father, though in comparison Denmark has been more of a forerunner when it comes to equality behind the camera in many positions, where a director like Astrid Henning-Jensen has been an important pioneer. Oscar-winning Susanne Bier and her contemporary Lone Scherfig are today’s defenders of woman power in Danish and international cinemas. Norway’s Anja Breien, Vibeke Lökkeberg, Mai Zetterling and Suzanne Osten from Sweden have all been early combatants for a more just and balanced conquest of the film scene. A new strategy for a cinema with a more defined equality concerning the instigator and author of the films has recently been presented in Sweden, with the purpose to attain a total balance, 50-50, of male and female filmmakers.

But whoever stands behind the camera, there has always been the stars. Denmark’s Asta Nielsen was one of the first great tragediennes on the European film scene, and shortly after Greta Garbo and Ingrid Bergman obtained international fame in Hollywood. Their star quality seemed also to have this special flavor, which we might see as a Scandinavian virtue – a freshness and naturalness coupled with just as much mystery. They have been followed – and are still being followed – by actors and actresses with something of that same rare Nordic light and earnestness: from Max von Sydow, Liv Ullmann, Erland Josephson and Stellan Skarsgård to newer talents of today, like Mads Mikkelsen, Noomi Rapace, Alicia Vikander or quite a few of the Skarsgård sons.

But if the Scandinavian cinema heaven is filled with stars, there are also the planets. The biggest and most important is of course Ingmar Bergman, with that unique luminosity which has enlightened the whole world. And there are other heavenly bodies, big and small – the twin planets Kaurismäki as well as other inhabitable planets, like those of Bo Widerberg, Jan Troell, Bille August, Thomas Vinterberg or Tomas Alfredson, just to name a few. And that Danish solitaire, the ever-challenging Lars von Trier, whose Melancholia has threatened not only to change the course of cinema but also our life on earth.

Stig Björkman – Film critic


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