Posted by: Ben Hopkins | 17/08/2010

Foreldrar / Parents

Director: Ragnar Bragason
Year: 2007

Ragnar Bragason continued the themes presented in Börn / Children with the following year’s Foreldrar / Parents.

This time around Ingvar E. Sigurðsson is the focal point with another of his minor visual transformations, this time as Oskar, a dentist who is desperately trying to convince his wife to have a child. His new assistant Katrin (Nanna Kristín Magnúsdóttir) has recently returned to Iceland from Sweden and has troubles of her own, namely a near non-existent relationship with her son who has been raised by his grandmother. Meanwhile, Einar (Víkingur Kristjánsson) excels at business, but sucks at life.

Foreldrar obviously holds a full range of similar traits to its predecessor, especially in its central ideas and visual riffs (and observant viewers will also spot the reprisal of the previous film’s key players). It’s certainly the more restrained of the two, which is hardly surprising given the dynamic role of Gardar in Börn, but it does possess its own peculiar strengths. Katrin is stuck in a long distance relationship which is as bleakly humorous as any created by Todd Solondz, and a particularly compelling scene in which Einar gets overly confrontational with his wife in an upmarket restaurant also recalls Solondz’s compulsion to provoke awkward laughs out of the public humiliation of a dying or unrequited love.

That scene is one of the rare examples of Foreldrar reaching a dramatic flourish. Generally it has an even greater tendency to offer snippets of information, leaving viewers free to construct their own links between what is presented and what has actually happened. While it’s likely that Foreldrar won’t be quite as accessible to those who missed the first installment it’s of a very similar quality; in fact, those who consider subtlety to be an important trait may well consider it to be the superior of the cinematic twins.

Thanks to Nammi for providing the DVD.

“Isn’t that your wife? Aren’t you going to talk to her?”

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Responses

  1. Ben, did Nammi send the film to you for free or did you just use them to buy the film? I’ve tried to order stuff from them in the past but the shipping has proved to be crazy expensive to Canada. Would love to get the whole Georg Bjarnfreðarson saga, but it’s just too much to ship.

    • Hey James,

      Nammi sent me a few freebies (some of which I haven’t yet got through, several months later) and I’ve also made a few purchases through them too.

      Their shipping is very efficient but expensive – I ended up ordering two items to make the postage seem a little more reasonable (2690 kronur / approx £13 at the time I think). To my knowledge, there isn’t a cheaper way of ordering. I think Nordic Store, for example, was even more pricey.

      From my Icelandic DVDs, maybe 60% were purchased in or collected from Iceland, 30% were freebies from Nammi or production companies and the rest were either sold in the UK or ordered online.

      How much is shipping to Canada?

  2. It’s more than 5000kr, which is nearly $50. And as usual, television series are usually quite expensive when compared to films.

    • Man, I can see your reluctance in that case. After some digging around I’ve found this:

      If you purchased the whole lot (three series plus the film) from Nordic Store, economy postage would be $18 (US) which sounds ok, and $190 for the discs (which doesn’t). Whereas Nammi is $47 for air mail post and $147 for the discs.

      Can’t imagine why Nammi can’t offer economy post too, but there must be a reason? I reckon $165 (Nammi disc price + Nordic Store post option) would be good value for specialist items sent so far.

      For the UK, the film alone with cheapest post would be roughly £30 from either company.


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