Scandinavian Crime Cinema
July 3–September 18
Whether in film, television or book publishing, the Scandinavian crime genre–"Nordic noir"–has never been hotter, both at home and across the world.
This series presents some of the best films in the genre from Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland and Iceland, including not only recent international sensations like Sweden's MILLENNIUM trilogy, based on Stieg Larsson's best-selling blockbuster "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" and its sequels, or the recent adaptations of Norway's rising star Jo Nesbø, but also classics from earlier decades.
AFI Member passes accepted.
Save BIG when you attend multiple films!
EASY MONEY (2010) [Snabba Cash]
Scandinavian Crime Spree: Six films for $60 (a $9 savings!). Target half a dozen films in the series and go on a crime spree across Scandinavia, with the Scandinavian Crime Spree card.
Scandinavian Smörgåsbord: Twelve films for $110 (a $28 savings!). Gorge yourself on twelve films, an entire buffet of Scandinavian crime cinema, with the Scandinavian Smörgåsbord card.
Click here to purchase.
Valid for six (Crime Spree) or 12 (Smörgåsbord) admissions to any screening(s) in the Scandinavian Crime Cinema series. Present card at box office to redeem tickets. Tickets may be redeemed singly or in any combination. No refunds. Admissions subject to seating and availability. Box office opens 30 minutes before the first film of the day.
Lawyer-turned-novelist Jens Lapidus' best-seller provided the source material for one of Sweden's biggest box-office successes of recent years, helping launch both director Daniel Espinosa (who's since directed Denzel Washington in SAFE HOUSE) and star Joel Kinnaman (the U.S. version of THE KILLING; the upcoming ROBOCOP reboot) to international stardom. Needing funds to partake of the flashy, party-centric lifestyle led by his college chums, middle-class scholarship kid Johan "JW" Westlund (Kinnaman) resorts to drug running for the Serbian mob. For a while, JW maintains this double life and enjoys the benefits of ample cash and a ready drug supply, but soon his part-time job becomes a full-time problem. With highly charismatic turns by Matias Varela, Dragomir Mrsic and Fares Fares as JW's criminal associates.
DIR Daniel Espinosa; SCR Maria Karlsson, from the novel by Jens Lapidus; PROD Fredrik Wikstrom. Sweden, 2010, color, 124 min, 35mm. In English, Swedish, Serbian, Spanish and German with English subtitles. RATED R
NIGHTWATCH (1994) [Nattevagten]
Wed, Jul 3, 7:00; Thu, Jul 11, 7:20
Looking to rake in a little extra cash to help pay for law school, Martin (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, GAME OF THRONES, HEADHUNTERS) takes a job as a night watchman at the local morgue. Meanwhile, a serial killer with a penchant for prostitutes is on the loose, and his victims are piling up at an alarming rate in Martin's place of employment. On a dare from his buddy Jens (Kim Bodnia, PUSHER), Martin takes a prank too far and soon finds himself the prime suspect in the case. Now he's forced to protect himself and his long-suffering girlfriend (Sofie Gråbøl, TV's THE KILLING) from the police and the killer. A riveting, dread-filled thriller from writer/director Ole Bornedal (JUST ANOTHER LOVE STORY), who directed the Hollywood remake himself in 1997, starring Ewan McGregor, Josh Brolin and Patricia Arquette.
DIR/SCR Ole Bornedal; PROD Michael Obel. Denmark, 1994, color, 107 min, digital presentation. In Danish and Swedish with English subtitles. RATED R
MAN ON THE ROOF [Mannen på taket]
Wed, Jul 3, 9:30; Wed, Jul 10, 9:30
For many, this is both the best film by Bo Widerberg (ELVIRA MADIGAN) and the best film version of a Martin Beck novel, a gripping police procedural that gives way to an impressive action spectacle. A police lieutenant is murdered in his hospital bed by an intruder, and the precise knifework indicates that the killer may hail from the professional ranks. Beck and the homicide team investigate what turns out to be a cop killer with a very specific grudge. Carl-Gustaf Lindstedt brings heft and an unfussy world-weariness to his portrayal of Beck; Håkan Serner shines as overworked sergeant Einar Rönn, as do Sven Wollter and Thomas Hellberg as the acerbic detectives Kollberg and Larsson.
DIR/SCR Bo Widerberg, from the novel "Den vedervärdige mannen från Säffle" by Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö; PROD Per Berglund. Sweden, 1976, color, 110 min, 35mm. In Swedish with English subtitles. RATED R
THE ELEMENT OF CRIME [Forbrydelsens element]
Thu, Jul 4, 1:00; Mon, Jul 8, 7:00
The debut feature from Danish provocateur Lars von Trier melds film noir iconography with dystopian sci-fi, set in a post-apocalyptic near future. Exiled to Cairo, ex-cop Fisher (Michael Elphick) submits to hypnosis in order to recall his last case, tracking down the "Lotto Murderer," who preys upon young girls employed as lottery ticket sellers. Still clinging to the precepts of his now-disgraced mentor, Osborne (Esmond Knight), Fisher consults the latter's "The Element of Crime," which advocates identifying with the mind of the killer in order to anticipate his next move.
DIR/SCR Lars von Trier; SCR Niels Vǿrsel; PROD Per Holst. Denmark, 1984, b&w/color, 104 min, 35mm. In English and Arabic with English subtitles. NOT RATED
JAR CITY [Mýrin]
Tue, Jul 9, 9:40; Wed, Jul 10, 7:20
"It's your typical Iceland murder...messy and pointless." In 1974, a young girl met an untimely end, her murder never solved. Thirty years later a photo of her grave is the only clue in the mysterious murder of a crusty old pervert. It falls to Inspector Erlendur (Ingvar Eggert Sigurðsson, REYKJAVIK-ROTTERDAM) to reopen this cold case, and puzzle out the connection between the two. The trail leads to Jar City, a foreboding medical facility that houses disturbing secrets. Baltasar Kormákur adapts Arnaldur Indriðason's celebrated novel for the screen, imbuing a procedural thriller with moody atmospherics, deploying stunning vistas of the Icelandic landscape.
DIR/SCR/PROD Baltasar Kormákur, from the novel by Arnaldur Indriðason; PROD Agnes Johansen, Lilja Pálmadóttir. Iceland/Germany/Denmark, 2006, color, 93 min, 35mm. In Icelandic with English subtitles. NOT RATED
Fri, Jul 12, 4:45; Sun, Jul 14, 1:00; Tue, Jul 16, 7:00; Wed, Jul 17, 9:15
Troubled homicide detective Jonas Engström (Stellan Skarsgård) is sent to investigate a brutal murder in a small town in the far north of Norway. The sun never sets, the fog never lifts and tension runs high as Engström begins to lose his grip first on the case, then on reality. Shots get fired, ethics get blurry and soon Engström must cover his tracks, not only from his peers but from the wily killer he has been tracking—the hunted having witnessed the hunter's fatal misstep and misdeed. Filmmaker Erik Skjoldbjaerg's moody, thought-provoking debut was later remade by Christopher Nolan, dispatching Al Pacino to Alaska.
DIR/SCR Erik Skjoldbjærg; SCR Nikolaj Frobenius; PROD Tomas Backström, Petter J. Borgli, Tom Remlov. Norway, 1997, color, 96 min, 35mm. In Norwegian and Swedish with English subtitles. NOT RATED
CRIME AND PUNISHMENT [Rikos ja rangaistus]
Fri, Jul 12, 7:00; Tue, Jul 16, 9:15
Aki Kaurismäki's loose, pulpy adaptation of Fyodor Dostoyevsky's classic Russian novel transposes the setting from mid-19th century St. Petersburg to 1980s Helsinki. Here, ex-law student and current slaughterhouse worker Rahikainen murders not a pawnbroker but a wealthy industrialist, and not for personal gain or to test any abstract theories, but simply as revenge for a past wrong. Unable to prove the suspect's guilt, Inspector Pennanen bides his time, convinced that Rahikainen’s conscience will eventually lead him to turn himself in. Kaurismäki's breezy handling of the material borders on the satirical, but the essence of Dostoyevsky's novel rings true.
DIR/SCR Aki Kaurismäki; SCR Pauli Pentti, from the novel by Fyodor Dostoyevsky; PROD Mika Kaurismäki. Finland, 1983, color, 93 min, 35mm. In Finnish with English subtitles. NOT RATED
WALLANDER: THE REVENGE [Hämnden]
Sat, Jul 13, 11:30 a.m.; Sun, Jul 14, 6:30; Mon, Jul 15, 7:00
Sabotage at the Ystad power plant turns out to only be a ruse to distract the authorities from an even bigger crime, the murder of an art curator who recently organized an exhibit featuring imagery controversial to Muslims. Islamic terrorists are suspected, but savvy chief inspector Kurt Wallander is not so sure. Krister Henriksson brings a rumpled authenticity to his portrayal of the world-weary, dogged detective. With Lena Endre.
DIR Charlotte Brandstrom; SCR Hans Rosenfeldt, from the novel by Henning Mankell; PROD Malte Forssell, Leif Mohlin. Sweden, 2009, color, 91 min, Blu-ray. In Swedish with English subtitles. NOT RATED
THE LAUGHING POLICEMAN
Fri, Jul 19, 7:20; Sun, Jul 21, 1:15
Loosely based on the Martin Beck novel of the same name, director Stuart Rosenberg (COOL HAND LUKE) transplants the action from Stockholm to San Francisco, casting a rumpled Walther Matthau as Detective Jake Martin. When Martin's public transit-taking partner is gunned down along with a busload of fellow passengers, Martin leads the manhunt for the crazed gunman, alongside impulsive rookie detective Leo Larsen (Bruce Dern). Running the backgrounds on the murdered passengers turns up a clue that may indicate the crime was not as random as it appeared. A twist-filled procedural that climaxes with a thrilling chase through the San Francisco streets.
DIR/PROD Stuart Rosenberg; SCR Thomas Rickman, from the novel by Per Wahlöö and Maj Sjöwall. US, 1973, color, 112 min, 35mm. RATED R
Sat, Jul 20, 1:20; Tue, Jul 23, 7:15
With a wife and two kids, Kristófer (Baltasar Kormákur) has gone straight since his last arrest for smuggling alcohol into high-tariff Iceland on his merchant seaman jobs. But after his wife's brother gets in over his head with local thugs, he's forced to go back to his old ways to save his brother-in-law from a beat-down. A shipping job is hard enough without having to deal with a distrustful captain and multiple double crosses. Óskar Jónasson and celebrated crime novelist Arnaldur Indriõason ("Jar City") co-wrote the screenplay, which meshes a sprightly pace with a dry wit; lead actor Kormákur directed the successful U.S. remake CONTRABAND, starring Mark Wahlberg.
DIR/SCR Óskar Jónasson; SCR Arnaldur Indriõason; PROD Agnes Johansen, Baltasar Kormákur. Iceland/Germany/Netherlands, 2008, color, 88 min, 35mm. In English, Icelandic and Dutch with English subtitles. NOT RATED
Sat, Jul 20, 6:15; Tue, Jul 23, 9:15
The first novel by Norway's Jo Nesbø to receive the big-screen treatment, this blackly comic thriller centers around Aksel Hennie’s double life as a corporate headhunter who steals and deals artwork on the side. After his glamorous gallery-owner wife Synnøve Macody Lund introduces him to handsome new client Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (GAME OF THRONES), who just happens to own an invaluable Rubens, Hennie plots to double dip on his mark. But Hennie's not the only one playing a double game.
DIR Morten Tyldum; SCR Lars Gudmestad, Ulf Ryberg, from the novel by Jo Nesbø; PROD Marianne Gray, Asle Vatn. Norway/Germany, 2011, color, 100 min, 35mm. In English, Norwegian, Danish and Russian with English subtitles. RATED R
THE HUNTERS [Jägarna]
Sat, Jul 27, 1:30; Sun, Jul 28, 9:30
Best known as TV's first Wallander, Rolf Lassgård stars as Erik Bäckström, a big-city cop whose hopes for a more peaceful life in the country are brutally dashed in this landmark Swedish crime film. Returning to his northern hometown of Älvsbyn in Norrland after the death of his father and a bad case of career burnout, Erik reconnects with his brother Leif (Lennart Jähkel) and old chums, all of whom appear to be doing quite well despite no steady work. Investigating the slaughter of the local Samis' reindeer herd, Erik uncovers a massive and lucrative organized poaching ring, and those closest to him are most involved.
DIR/SCR Kjell Sundvall; SCR/PROD Björn Carlström; PROD Joakim Hansson. Sweden, 1996, color, 113 min. In Swedish with English subtitles, 35mm. NOT RATED
Warning: Contains graphic images of animal slaughter.
FALSE TRAIL [Jägarna 2]
Mon, Jul 29, 7:00; Thu, Aug 1, 9:10
Set 15 years after the events in THE HUNTERS, Erik Bäckström (Rolf Lassgård) returns to the Norrland police department he quit in disgust, his old boss having requested his help to investigate a grisly murder. But Norrland's current top cop Torsten (Peter Stormare, FARGO) quickly declares the case closed. Distrusting such an easy victory, Bäckström digs further, opening old wounds and once again uncovering small-town political corruption and family secrets.
DIR Kjell Sundvall; SCR/PROD Björn Carlström; SCR Stefan Thunberg; PROD Per Janérus, Peter Possne. Sweden, 2011, color, 129 min, 35mm. In Swedish with English subtitles. NOT RATED
Mon, Aug 5, 7:00; Tue, Aug 6, 9:15
THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO (2009) [Män som hatar kvinnor]
Niels Arden Oplev's impressive adaptation of Stieg Larsson's bestselling novel "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" rocketed Noomi Rapace to international stardom. Disgraced journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Michael Nyqvist) teams up with genius hacker Lisbeth Salander (Rapace) to investigate a cold case involving a missing girl, and together they uncover a horrific scandal that reaches to the very top of the Swedish business elite.
DIR Niels Arden Oplev; SCR Nikolaj Arcel, Rasmus Heisterberg, from the novel by Stieg Larsson; PROD Søren Stærmose. Sweden/Denmark/Germany, 2009, color, 186 min, 35mm. In Swedish with English subtitles. RATED R
THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE [Flickan som lekte med elden]
Sat, Jul 27, 11:10 a.m.; Sun, Jul 28, 11:10 a.m.; Wed, Jul 31, 7:00
Lisbeth Salander is framed for the murder of two journalists working on an exposé of the illegal sex trade in Sweden. To clear his friend's name, Mikael Blomkvist delves deep into her traumatic personal history, with the help of his editor, Erika Berger (Lena Endre).
DIR Daniel Alfredson; SCR Jonas Fryberg, from the novel by Stieg Larsson; PROD Jon Mankell, Jenny Gilbertsson, Lone Korslund, Peter Nadermann. Sweden/Denmark, 2009, color, 183 min, 35mm. In Swedish with English subtitles. RATED R
THE GIRL WHO KICKED THE HORNET'S NEST [Luftslottet som sprängdes]
Sat, Aug 3, 11:10 a.m.; Sun, Aug 4, 11:10 a.m.
The thrilling conclusion to the Millennium trilogy finds Salander hospitalized with a bullet in her head, a triple homicide charge awaiting her should she recover. Blomkvist races against time to help clear her name, setting the stage for a court trial that will pit the intrepid individuals against the might of entrenched, corrupt interests.
DIR Daniel Alfredson; SCR Ulf Ryberg, from the book by Stieg Larsson; PROD Søren Stærmose. Sweden/Denmark, 2009, color, 186 min, 35mm. In Swedish with English subtitles. RATED R
Sat, Aug 10, 11:10 a.m.; Sun, Aug 11, 11:10 a.m.
INSPECTOR PALMU'S ERROR [Komisario Palmun erehdys]
Frank (Kim Bodnia) is a small-time drug dealer on a winning streak, raking in dough pushing heroin with the help of his friend Tonny (Mads Mikkelsen, CASINO ROYALE, A ROYAL AFFAIR, TV's HANNIBAL). But after a deal goes bad and he gets busted, Frank finds himself without cash or merchandise, and in massive debt to Balkan drug baron Milo (Zlatko Buric). Now desperate, Frank frantically pounds the pavement and trolls the Copenhagen underworld in order to raise the funds that will save his life. This debut film from Nicolas Winding Refn (DRIVE, ONLY GOD FORGIVES) trumpeted the arrival of an audacious and innovative new talent.
DIR/SCR Nicolas Winding Refn; SCR Jens Dahl; PROD Henrik Danstrup. Denmark, 1996, color, 105 min, 35mm. In Danish, Swedish and Serbo-Croatian with English subtitles. NOT RATED
WITH BLOOD ON MY HANDS: PUSHER II
Fri, Aug 2, 8:15; Sat, Aug 3, 9:30; Thu, Aug 8, 7:30
Having grown into Denmark's biggest star since the release of 1996’s PUSHER, Mads Mikkelsen takes center stage in Nicolas Winding Refn's 2004 sequel to his remarkable debut. Released from his latest stint in prison, Tonny (Mikkelson) quickly falls back into the Copenhagen criminal life, desperate to finally impress his father, the criminal kingpin known as The Duke. But Tonny stumbles through one misstep after another; to make matters worse, he's struggling with drug addiction and the shocking news that he might be a father himself. Understated and relationship-focused, PUSHER II is considered by many to be the best of the trilogy.
DIR/SCR/PROD Nicolas Winding Refn; PROD Henrik Danstrup. Denmark/UK, 2004, color, 100 min, 35mm. In Danish and Serbo-Croatian with English subtitles. NOT RATED
I'M THE ANGEL OF DEATH: PUSHER III
Fri, Aug 9, 8:00; Sat, Aug 10, 9:20; Thu, Aug 15, 7:15
Unfolding over the course of a single frantic day, the third and final film in the PUSHER trilogy follows the aging Serbian drug lord Milo (Zlatko Buric) as he looks to unload a large shipment of ecstasy while busy with preparations to host his daughter's 25th birthday party. After years spent specializing in heroin, Milo is unfamiliar with this new drug popular with the youth; in need of new connections he makes a risky offer to the young guns looking to grab an ever-larger piece of his action. A powerful, bleak and fitting finale to Nicolas Winding Refn’s innovative trilogy.
DIR/SCR Nicolas Winding Refn; PROD Henrik Danstrup. Denmark, 2005, color, 90 min, 35mm. In Serbian, Danish and Polish with English subtitles. NOT RATED
Sat, Aug 17, 9:30; Thu, Aug 22, 7:00
Transcending its genre trappings, legendary Finnish filmmaker Matti Kassila's first of several adaptations of Mika Waltari's detective novels was recently named the best Finnish film of all time in a critics' poll. After hosting a crime-themed party, a wealthy playboy is found dead in his pool. At first it’s thought to be death by misadventure, but Inspector Palmu (Joel Rinne) and his team of detectives soon suspect foul play. A stylish, suspenseful thriller, boasting drolly caustic humor and a memorable jazz-tinged score.
DIR/SCR Matti Kassila; SCR from the novel by Mika Waltari; PROD T. J. Särkkä. Finland, 1960, b&w, 103 min, Digibeta. In Finnish with English subtitles. NOT RATED
A SOMEWHAT GENTLE MAN [En ganske snill mann]
Sun, Aug 4, 2:00; Tue, Aug 6, 7:00
Stellan Skarsgård finds the comic virtues in understatement as an ex-con who'd prefer to keep his composure–and his freedom–while others urge violent retribution. Released after a 12-year stint for murder, Skarsgård leaves prison a changed man, hoping for a simple, peaceful life. He takes a job as a mechanic and starts to reconnect with his ex-wife and son, hoping for a measure of redemption. But his former mob boss, hotheaded, egotistical Bjǿrn Floberg, who's also not the man he used to be (and probably never was) urges him to take revenge on the snitch who ratted him out to the law.
DIR Hans Petter Moland; SCR Kim Fupz Aakeson; PROD Finn Gjerdrum, Stein B. Kvae. Norway, 2010, color, 113 min, 35mm. In Norwegian and Swedish with English subtitles. NOT RATED
THE MAN FROM MAJORCA [Mannen från Mallorca]
Sun, Aug 11, 5:15; Wed, Aug 14, 7:15
Christmastime in Stockholm. An audacious outlaw robs a crowded post office. Two undercover cops, Johansson (Tomas von Brömssen) and Jarnebring (Sven Wollter), are the first on the scene, but the perp eludes them. Just as their investigation digs up promising leads suggesting a larger conspiracy and even greater crimes, they are ordered to drop the case. Inspired by THE FRENCH CONNECTION, filmmaker Bo Widerberg's (ELVIRA MADIGAN, MAN ON THE ROOF) adaptation of Leif G. W. Persson’s novel spins a real life saga of governmental corruption into a taut edge-of-your-seat thriller.
DIR/SCR Bo Widerberg, from the novel "Grisfesten" by Leif G. W. Persson; PROD Göran Lindström. Sweden/Denmark, 1984, color, 106 min, 35mm. In Swedish with English subtitles. NOT RATED
THE MATCH FACTORY GIRL
Sun, Aug 18, 2:00; Tue, Aug 20, 7:10
Aki Kaurismäki’s revisionary spin on Hans Christian Andersen’s "The Little Match Girl" casts the titular heroine (Kaurismäki muse Kati Outinen) as an exploited proletarian who goes looking for love in all the wrong places. Cruelly jilted by her wealthy lover and betrayed by her working class family, she becomes not a sacrificial lamb but an avenging angel. Kaurismäki’s trademarks of deadpan acting, absurdist humor and crisp, minimalist storytelling—little is actually said, but much is conveyed visually and through overheard song lyrics and news reports—are used to brilliant effect in this deconstructed film noir revenge fantasy.
DIR/SCR/PROD Aki Kaurismäki; PROD Katinka Faragó, Klas Olofsson. Finland, 1981, color, 68 min, 35mm. In Finnish with English subtitles. NOT RATED
BLACK'S GAME [Svartur á leik]
Sun, Aug 18, 4:15; Tue, Aug 20, 5:00
Executive-produced by Denmark's Nicolas Winding Refn, this Icelandic crime thriller goes to the darkest corners of decadent criminality, and as the intro has it, it's "based on some shit that actually happened." Reykjavik during the 1990s witnessed the supplanting of smalltime drug dealers by bigger, better-organized and more ruthless ones, who pushed unprecedented amounts of coke and ecstasy onto the nightlife scene. Intense, musclebound Tóti finds his easygoing childhood friend Stebbi a place in his gang, and for a while the friends enjoy easy access to cash, booze, drugs and girls. But the big boss, Bruno, demands a Satanic level of servitude from his minions.
DIR/SCR Óskar Thór Axelsson, from the novel "Black Curse" by Stefán Máni; PROD Arnar Knutsson, Skuli Fr. Malmquist, Thor Sigurjonsson. Iceland, 2012, color, 104 min, DCP. In Icelandic with English subtitles. RATED R
THE GIRL BY THE LAKE [La ragazza del lago]
Fri, Aug 23, 7:45; Tue, Aug 27, 9:30
Based on the award-winning Inspector Sejer novel "Don't Look Back" by the "Norwegian queen of crime," Karin Fossum, this Italian adaptation swaps Norway's fjords for Italy's lakes. Inspector Giovanni Sanzio (Toni Servillo, IL DIVO, GOMORRAH) is called up from Rome to investigate the murder of a beautiful young girl in an idyllic lakeside village in Northern Italy. Sensing the killer knew the victim, Sanzio plans to interview all of the small town's inhabitants. But as he slowly uncovers the town's secrets, Sanzio begins to question whether anyone is who he seems to be. The directorial debut by former Nanni Moretti collaborator Andrea Malaoli (THE JEWEL) won three Italian Oscars (Donatello Awards), including Best Picture and Director.
DIR Andrea Molaioli; SCR Sandro Petraglia, from the novel "Don't Look Back" by Karin Fossum; PROD Francesca Cima, Nicola Giuliano. Italy, 2007, color, 96 min, 35mm. In Italian with English subtitles. NOT RATED
FLICKERING LIGHTS [Blinkende lygter]
Sat, Aug 24, 7:00; Wed, Aug 28, 7:15
In Anders Thomas Jensen's gleefully profane, blackly comic spin on the "one last job" story, four Copenhagen gangsters decide that rather than hand over the money from a job they pull for their mob boss, they'll make off with all of it and retire to Spain. But when their car breaks down in the sticks and they’re forced to lie low in a small village, the charms of country life win them over, and they opt to go into the restaurant business together—with predictably disastrous results. With Søøren Pilmark, Mads Mikkelsen, Ulrich Thomsen, Nikolaj Lie Kaas, Sofie Gråbøl and Iben Hjejle.
DIR/SCR Anders Thomas Jensen; PROD Kim Magnusson, Tivi Magnusson. Denmark/Sweden, 2000, color, 109 min, 35mm. In Danish with English subtitles. NOT RATED
IN THE NAME OF THE LAW [I lagens namn]
Sat, Aug 24, 1:30; Thu, Aug 29, 7:10
Aggressively keeping the peace, four violent Stockholm cops think nothing of profiling and pre-emptively using force on those they deem undesirable: luckless punks, drunks and street hustlers spotted by the cops during their bruise cruises. But after one of their victims turns up dead, Inspector Jarnebring (Sven Wolter, reprising his role from THE MAN FROM MAJORCA) takes up the investigation, uncovering not only the cops' lengthy history of brutality but the cover-up that has allowed them to continue unchecked for years. Based on the bestselling novel from Leif G. W. Persson, Sweden's leading crime expert-turned-novelist; directed by Kjell Sundvall (later the director of THE HUNTERS and TV's BECK series).
DIR Kjell Sundvall; SCR/PROD Hans Iveberg; SCR Leif G. W. Persson, from his novel "Samhällsbärarna”. Sweden, 1986, color, 87 min, 35mm. In Swedish with English subtitles. NOT RATED
Sat, Aug 24, 11:10 a.m.; Sun, Aug 25, 11:10 a.m.
Taisto (Turo Pajala) leaves his Lapland mining job flush with cash and the vintage Cadillac convertible bequeathed to him by a stoically despondent friend. Much goes wrong: rest-stop robbers steal his money; broke and unable to find steady work in Helsinki, Taisto crashes in a flophouse; after confronting one of the thieves who robbed him in the subway, Taisto is arrested and sent to jail. But along the way he also finds love with single mom Irmeli (Susanna Haavisto), which keeps him going during his time in jail and inspires him to break out, pinning his hopes on an escape to Mexico aboard the ship Ariel. Best Foreign Film, National Society of Film Critics.
DIR/SCR/PROD Aki Kaurismäki. Finland, 1988, color, 73 min, 35mm. In Finnish with English subtitles. NOT RATED
Sun, Aug 25, 1:30; Wed, Aug 28, 9:15
Once a bright young thing and Stockholm scenester, Janne (Johannes Brost) is now a 60-year-old party promoter, an ex-con living hand-to-mouth off his crinkly good looks and the few connections he still has for work. He has high hopes pinned to the opening of the new nightclub Avalon (think Roxy Music) in the tony coastal town of Båstad. But after an accidental death occurs on the property, Janne becomes embroiled in the coverup and associated criminal dealings. Winner of the FIPRESCI Prize, 2011 Toronto Film Festival.
DIR/SCR Axel Petersén; PROD Jesper Kurlandsky, Erika Wasserman. Sweden, 2011, color, 79 min, DCP. In Swedish with English subtitles. NOT RATED
SMILLA’S SENSE OF SNOW
Fri, Aug 30, 7:00; Thu, Sep 5, 7:00
Peter Høeg's international bestseller—an important milestone for introducing the Scandinavian crime genre to a wider world—received the big-screen treatment as an ambitious English-language international coproduction (and not without criticism or controversy; in hindsight, it was the equivalent of skipping the local production phase and going straight to the Hollywood remake). Lonely Copenhagener Smilla Jasperson (Julia Ormond), a transplanted Greenlander, suspects foul play after the death of her neighbor, a neglected Inuit boy. Enlisting the aid of the mysterious Mechanic (Gabriel Byrne), she uncovers a conspiracy stretching from her ancestral home to the Danish business elite. Directed by Danish Oscar-winner Bille August (PELLE THE CONQUEROR, THE BEST INTENTIONS); the exquisite cast includes Richard Harris, Vanessa Redgrave, Jim Broadbent and Tom Wilkinson.
DIR Bille August; SCR Ann Biderman, from the novel by Peter Høeg; PROD Bernd Eichinger, Martin Moszkowicz. Denmark/Germany/Sweden, 1997, color, 121 min, 35mm. In English and Inuktitut with English subtitles. RATED R
THE LAST CONTRACT [Sista kontraktet]
Sat, Aug 31, 11:00 a.m.; Sun, Sep 1, 11:00 a.m.; Tue, Sep 3, 4:30; Wed,
Sep 4, 4:30; Thu, Sep 5, 4:30
The still-unsolved case of Swedish prime minister Olof Palme's murder—gunned down on the streets of Stockholm, as he and his wife walked side by side—is the chilling subject of this speculative crime fiction, a conspiracy theory thriller reminiscent of Oliver Stone’s JFK. Stockholm cop Roger Nyman (Mikael Persbrandt, IN A BETTER WORLD, THE HOBBIT, TV's BECK) receives word that a British hitman (Michael Kitchen, GOLDENEYE, TV's FOYLE'S WAR) has arrived in town. Nyman alerts the higher-ups about this alarming discovery, but has no sooner begun to investigate the lead than he is called off and told to forget it. Undeterred, he begins his own investigation. Co-starring Pernilla August.
DIR/SCR Kjell Sundvall; SCR Mats Arehn, Johan Bogaeus, Hans Åke Gabrielsson, Steve Jansson, from the novel by John W. Grow; SCR/PROD Börje Hansson. Sweden/Norway/Finland, 1998, color, 115 min, 35mm. In English and Swedish with English subtitles. RATED R
KIM NOVAK NEVER SWAM IN GENESARET'S LAKE [Kim Novak badade aldrig i Genesarets sjö]
Sat, Aug 31, 12:00; Tue, Sep 3, 7:00
In 1960s small-town Sweden, 14-year-old Erik is just beginning to discover the wider world around him. When a pretty substitute teacher comes to school—nicknamed Kim Novak by the boys—Erik's world brightens considerably. He and his friends look forward to what could be the best summer ever…and then a horrible murder occurs. Adapted from the novel by Håkan Nesser.
DIR/SCR Martin Asphaug, from the novel by Håkan Nesser; PROD Waldemar Bergendahl. Sweden, 2005, color, 95 min, 35mm. In Swedish with English subtitles. NOT RATED
Sun, Sep 1, 1:20; Wed, Sep 4, 7:00
In the feature film sequel to Finland's top crime miniseries, Kai Lehtinen ("Raid," as in the bug spray) returns to Finland to discover that ex-girlfriend Mari Rantasila has been killed in a suspicious fire—or has she? Meanwhile, Inspector Jansson (Oiva Lohtander) investigates the murder of a protestor at Helskini's World Bank meeting—could the two crimes be connected? Winner of three Jussi Awards (Finnish Oscars), including Best Supporting Actor for Juha Muje, Set Design and Costumes.
DIR/SCR Tapio Piirainen; SCR Harri Nykänen; PROD Timo Heinänen, Claes Olsson, Anneli Pallas. Finland, 2003, color, 128 min, 35mm. In Finnish with English subtitles. NOT RATED
EIGHT DEADLY SHOTS [Kahdeksan surmanluotia]
Complete, uncut version!
"Finnish cinema's masterpiece"
Sat, Sep 7, 11:00 a.m.; Mon, Sep 9, 7:00
– Peter von Bagh
Based on true events: a poor tenant farmer, his way of life rapidly vanishing amid Finland's postwar industrial modernization, shoots four policemen sent to his house to investigate a drunken domestic disturbance. Told in epic flashback, the uncut, Finnish TV version runs to five hours, exploring in exacting detail the crumbling-apart of this desperate man's world: bad crops, mounting debt, depression, hard drinking, growing alienation from his wife and community. Director and star Mikko Niskanen's crowning achievement.
DIR/SCR/PROD Mikko Niskanen. Finland, 1972, b&w, 336 min incl. two 10-min intermissions, Digibeta. In Finnish with English subtitles. NOT RATED
Sentenced to two years behind bars, Rune must quickly learn prison rules if he wants to survive life in the clink. Stripped of his identity, he is reduced to R, which also happens to stand for Rashid, a young Muslim prisoner housed in a separate unit. Working together in the kitchen, the two initiate an in-house drug smuggling operation, earning them both a place in the prisoner hierarchy and the enmity of their rivals. Michael Noer's multiple-award-winning film, perceptively characterized and viscerally charged, convinces on street level while suggesting an allegorical application to wider society. The film was shot in a recently closed prison with a cast composed of former inmates and guards.
DIR/SCR Tobias Lindholm, Michael Noer; PROD Rene Ezra, Tomas Radoor. Denmark, 2010, color, 99 min, HDCam. In Danish and Arabic with English subtitles. NOT RATED
Mon, Sep 9, 9:30*; Wed, Sep 11, 7:00
*Monday Night Special! Tickets half-price.
Tired of doing low-paying burglary jobs for neighborhood thug Jamal (Dulfi Al-Jabouri), tough teen Casper (Gustav Dyekjær Giese) senses an opportunity for better work after a chance meeting with Bjørn (Roland Moller), a more connected gangster with stakes in prostitution and drugs. Soon he's able to take care of his mom, younger brother Andy (real-life sibling Oscar Dyekjær Giese) and little sister Freya (Annemieke Bredahl Peppink) in style. But Jamal isn't going to let his employee go so easily. Michael Noer's accomplished, neo-realistic urban crime drama—the brothers are non-professionals, and the director spent months researching the rough Copenhagen neighborhoods where the film was shot with intense immediacy by talented cinematographer Magnus Nordenhof Jønck (A HIJACKING, R)—puts an up-to-the-minute, international spin on a classic gangster tale.
DIR/SCR Michael Noer; SCR Rasmus Heisterberg; PROD Rene Ezra, Tomas Radoor. Denmark, 2013, color, 91 min, DCP. In Danish with English subtitles. NOT RATED
LILYA 4-EVER [Lilja 4-ever]
Tue, Sep 10, 7:00; Thu, Sep 12, 9:20
With impressive empathy, Lukas Moodysson (TOGETHER, SHOW ME LOVE) rewinds the life of an abused and sex-trafficked young woman from Eastern Europe. Like many, Estonian teen Lilya (Oksana Akinshina) has had to scrape by in the early years of post-Soviet independence, and grow up fast after her mother leaves for the U.S. She turns to prostitution to make money. When handsome Andrej (Pavel Ponomaryov) offers her the chance for a new life in Sweden—the “West”—she happily leaps at the chance. But things quickly go from bad to worse, with Lilya soon denied her very personhood, a slave. By promoting the typical crime movie’s bit player to star, Moodysson foregrounds the experience of the victim, dispensing with the crime-fiction trope of detection in favor of a deeper engagement with one of global society's most underpoliced problems.
DIR/SCR Lukas Moodysson; PROD Lars Jönsson. Sweden/Denmark, 2002, color, 109 min, 35mm. In English, Russian, Swedish and Polish with English subtitles. RATED R
Fri, Sep 13, 7:00; Tue, Sep 17, 9:15
After a false start with 2003's FEAR X, Nicolas Winding Refn made a triumphant transition to Hollywood filmmaking with his second U.S. film, DRIVE, which earned him the Best Director laurels at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival. The story of a mechanic and Hollywood stuntman who moonlights as a getaway driver (Ryan Gosling, moody and cool), the film's romantic fatalism and groundedness in workaday criminal life aligns it with other Nordic noir films, even if it has migrated to sunnier climes and taken on a neon glow (an effect greatly enhanced by Cliff Martinez's synthy score and Johnny Jewel-produced soundtrack selections). The outstanding cast includes Carey Mulligan, Bryan Cranston, Albert Brooks, Christina Hendricks, Ron Perlman and Oscar Isaac.
DIR Nicolas Winding Refn; SCR Hossein Amini, from the book by James Sallis; PROD Adam Siegel, Gigi Pritzker, Marc Platt, John Palermo, Michel Litvak. US, 2011, color, 100 min, 35mm. RATED R
SLIM SUSIE [Smala Sussie]
Sat, Sep 14, 7:30; Mon, Sep 16, 9:15*; Wed, Sep 18, 9:15
*Monday Night Special! Tickets half-price.
After his kid sister Susie (Tuva Novotny) goes missing, Erik (Jonas Rimeika) returns from his life in the big city to his hometown in the sticks, and is shocked to find it's not the sleepy country village of his youth. His ne’er-do-well childhood pal Grits (Björn Starrin) has become a drug-addicted pornographer; the lone cop in town (Kjell Bergqvist, FLICKER, the Martin Beck series) can’t be bothered to investigate the case, and advises Erik to scram; and insinuations abound that the sweet kid sister Erik remembers grew up to become a not-so-innocent young woman. A blackly comedic crime film that recalls Quentin Tarantino or Guy Ritchie in tone, but is more convincingly grounded in realistic, working-class Scandinavian society.
DIR/SCR by Ulf Malmros; SCR Petteri Nuottimäki; PROD Christer Nilson. Sweden, 2003, color, 97 min, 35mm. In Swedish with English subtitles. NOT RATED
Mon, Sep 16, 7:00; Wed, Sep 18, 7:00