Tomas Lemarquis wants the hell out of Dodge in Néi Albinéi
The story of a mad, bad and crazy Albino teenager from snowbound Iceland, Not ALBINOI is a stunning debut for Dagur Kan. Words: Nick Dawson
ith his ﬁrst ﬁlm. the 29-year-old l)agur Kari
has arguably came near to emulating his
idol. Jim Jarmusch. He speaks softly and poetically. and has an understated conﬁdence - but worries about getting older. ‘lnnocence is important. and as I grow tip I‘m trying hard not to lose it completely.‘
lie is the antithesis of the loud. megalomaniac ﬁlm director who is (wrongly) personiﬁed by. say. Oliver Stone (who. ironically. is sharing the same hotel at the time of the interview). Kari says he takes the shy man’s approach on set and. if this is true. it seems to work. His ﬁrst featttre ﬁlm. .\'r3i xl/bimii. a personal. and very unusual tragicomic drama about an adolescent albino boy growing tip in the wilds of a remote Icelandic village. is a triumph. L'nderpinned by a fantastically qttirky script and populated by an array of perfectly rendered offbeat characters. it blends the funny and the hattntingly sad with effortless skill.
Kari. however. is keen to play down his role in the success of the ﬁlm. and gives others the credit. 'Your first feature is quite a scary thing to do. btit with filmmaking you’re so protected. liverybody"s job is to do what you want so you just have to sit there and watch the actors and focus on that. What saved me completely was the hospitality and helpfulness of the locals. You could almost make a phone call at any time of the day and say: “We want to shoot a scene. btit there is a mountain in the way. (‘ould you please move it?” And they would go: "Sure. no problem. (live me ﬁve minutes.”
()ne of the great achievements of Karl‘s ﬁlm is the creation of its own world. unique and magical. yet also believable. Kari explains: ‘liarly on I thought it
22 THE LIST ii' Na. .7":
‘WE WANT TO SHOOT A SCENE, BUT THERE IS A MOUNTAIN IN THE WAY'
would take place in Reykjavik. but I became more and tnore fascinated with creating a cinematic kingdom that only exists in the ﬁlm. I get a response a lot from Icelandic people that they think it‘s more a liuropean ﬁlm that takes place in Iceland.’
It was important for Kari that .\'r3i ill/iimii was not
just an Icelandic ﬁlm. but something with universal
appeal. Indeed. it owes rather less to Iceland's most well known cinematic son. l’ridrik Thor l’ridriksson
((‘n/d I’m-er). for example. than the influence of
American independent cinema. ‘Jim Jarmusch is like a spiritual father to me. and probably the one person who made me want to become a ﬁlmmaker. I actually met him once. during one of my ﬁrst times in New York. I‘d been there about 20 minutes and I was walking down Broadway for the first time. and there he was. I thought I'd just say ‘hello'. He probably thought 1 was a stalker. so I explained I was a filmmaker. It was mostly through his work that l connected to the medium.’
Kari not only wrote and directed Mii xl/ln'nrii. but also wrote the ﬁlm’s ethereally lovely score with his band. slowblow. he seems equally in love with music as he is with cinema. 'My way of expressing myself is through ﬁlmmaking. and music. I would like to see myself as a musician making films and a filmmaker making music. Although it's just as important. music is still a hobby. Maybe one day I'll switch: turn music into my source of income and let filmmaking be a hobby. But it's almost unthinkable. Somehow the words ﬁlmmaking. and relaxing. go together like oil and water.’
Néi Albinéi opens on Fri 14 Nov at the Filmhouse, Edinburgh. See review, page 24.
Lights, camera, action!
a Hayek in Time Code
THE CAMEO CINEMA IN Edinburgh will be presenting a screening of Mike Leaving Las Vegas Figgis' remarkable continuous take film Ti‘mecode on Thursday 20 November. Figgis himself will be there, manually mixing the 80undtrack live in the auditorium. and answering questions afterwards. The Cameo has two copies of the recently released DVD of Ti‘mecode to give away. All you have to do is send a postcard with your name and contact details to: Film Comp. The List. 14 High St. Edinburgh. EH1 lTE. with the answer to one simple question. With which film did Mike Figgis make his directorial debut in 1987? Good luck.
ON MONDAY 17 NOVEMBER Falkirk Council will premiere six films made with young people from the Falkirk area. The aim of the Moving Histories project was to use film and animation as a vehicle through which children and young people in the area could explore Falkirk’s past within the context of their own experiences of the present day. The six films all take part in different decades of the last century. For more information, please contact Clare Harwood on 01324 506200, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
lN GLASGOW. AT THE CCA. Panic PictureSQue runs until 30 November. Eight artists investigate through the medium of film the human and non human aspects of nature. enVironment and the cinematic picturesque. The line-up includes the rarely seen Gift by Hull based video art guru Mike Stubbs. One for the hardened performance arts video heads perhaps but interesting none the less.