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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Australia's Annual Scandinavian Film Festival Has Announced Its Noir-Led 2021 Lineup

Showcasing films from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, the festival will tour the country in July and August.
By Sarah Ward
June 22, 2021
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By Sarah Ward
June 22, 2021
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In cinemas, on TV and on the page, the past decade or so has served up more than a couple of Nordic noir hits. It's also left audiences wanting more. So, when Australia's annual Scandinavian Film Festival rolls around each year — sitting out 2020 for obvious reasons, though — it tends to deliver a few twisty thrillers from that part of the world.

In fact, when 2021's fest kicks off in Sydney on Tuesday, July 6 — and plays Canberra, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Brisbane and Byron Bay as well — it'll start with a must-see new entry in the Scandi-noir genre. Hailing from Denmark, opening night's Wildland stars Sidse Babette Knudsen (Borgen, Westworld) as the head of a family crime syndicate. She's charged with looking after her teenage niece and, in a movie that instantly brings Australia's own Animal Kingdom to mind, the latter soon learns more about the family business.

Also on this year's Scandinavian Film Festival lineup: Knudsen again in Copenhagen-set psychological thriller The Exception; masterful and engaging Norwegian film Disco, about an evangelical dance champion who finds her faith tested; and surreal mother-daughter drama Psychosis in Stockholm. Or, for fans of Nordic cinema's big names, relationship drama Hope co-stars Stellan Skarsgård (Chernobyl), musical comedy A Piece of My Heart sees Swedish-born actor Malin Akerman (Rampage) back on home turf, and The Country hails from Icelandic filmmaker Grímur Hákonarson — who directed Rams, which was remade in Australia last year.

Other highlights include Icelandic box office hits Agnes Joy and The Last Fishing Trip, the latter of which has been compared to The Hangover; Finnish biopics Helene and Tove, about painter Helene Schjerfbeck and visual artist and author Tove Jansson, respectively; Tigers, which tells the true tale of former Inter Milan player Martin Bengtsson; and closing night's 50th anniversary-screening of The Emigrants starring Max von Sydow and Liv Ullmann.

Australia's various country- and region-focused film fests have always let cinephiles see the world without leaving their cinema seats — and with trips out of the country (other than New Zealand) off the cards at the moment, that's clearly a big drawcard at this year's Scandinavian Film Festival, too.

The Scandinavian Film Festival tours the country between Tuesday, July 6–Wednesday, August 4, screening at Sydney's Palace Norton, Palace Central and Chauvel Cinemas from July 6–28; Melbourne's Palace Balwyn, Palace Brighton Bay, Palace Cinema Como, Palace Westgarth, The Kino and Pentridge Cinema from July 8–28; Brisbane's Palace Barracks and Palace James St from July 15–August 4; Adelaide's Palace Nova Eastend Cinemas from July 13–August 4; and Perth's Luna Leederville, Luna on SX & Palace Raine Square from July 14– August 4. For the full program, visit the festival website.

Published on June 22, 2021 by Sarah Ward

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