Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Tómas Lemarquis, Ţröstur Leó Gunnarsson, Elín Hansdóttir, Anna Friđriksdóttir, Hjalti Rögnvaldsson
Director: Dagur Kári
Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy, Drama
Is he the village idiot or a genius in disguise? Seventeen-year-old Nói drifts through life on a remote fjord in the north of Iceland. In winter, the fjord is cut off from the outside world, surrounded by ominous mountains... more »
Similarly Requested DVDs
Haunting tale of a bored teenager
Roland E. Zwick | Valencia, Ca USA | 03/19/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
In the spare and poetic "Noi the Albino," the title character is a seventeen-year-old gifted underachiever who lives with his grandmother in a dreary little village on the coast of northern Iceland. This would be a harsh, isolated environment for anyone to grow up in, but it is particularly trying for a misfit adolescent with few social skills and no real hope for the future. Noi, whose generally aloof, alcoholic father lives on his own in a different part of town, spends most of his time trudging purposelessly through the snowy streets of the village or holing up in the basement room he's carved out for himself as a kind of sanctuary from a world too utterly depressing to contemplate. Bored by school and bereft of friends, this young man drifts through life, dreaming of the day when he will be able to live on a very different kind of island in the South Seas, a location light years removed from this place where the interiors are every bit as stark and forbidding as the white-on-white world outside.
"Noi the Albino" is one of those films in which the very lack of anything significant happening becomes the central theme and message of the work. Noi lives a life that is so uneventful and boring that it would drive virtually any one of us to the brink of madness. We hardly blame him when we see him dozing through his classes at school or pilfering change from a mock slot machine set up in the local restaurant. Yet, despite the fact that virtually nothing of consequence happens, the film itself is a fascinating mood piece that seeps into our bones and makes us sympathize with the plight of the strange young man who occupies center stage in the drama. Most of the adults in Noi's life seem to sense his potential, but, for some reason, he is totally unwilling to tap into it. What's impressive about the film is that it doesn't try to explain why that is, though we sense it has something to do with the stifling environment in which he lives. Noi becomes emblematic of all people who lead lives of quiet desperation, tucked away in remote, virtually uninhabitable corners of the globe, far removed from the bustle and excitement that can be found only in places with large and diverse populations.
As Noi, Tomas Lemarquis gives a beautiful, subtle performance, creating a compelling and complex character using little more than body language and facial expressions. The final moments of the film are truly heartbreaking as Noi learns the value of what he has - even though, at that point, the realization comes too late.
Written and directed by Dagur Kari with an artist's eye for lyricism and austerity, this is a bleak but intriguing little film that will stay in your mind long past the closing credits."
Max | Olympia, WA | 10/10/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"(This rating is based upon the dvd Noí Albinoí, released in Iceland.)
This movie is wonderfully subtle, dark and beautiful. The opening scene is amazing. Dagur Kári has definitely done an incredible job.
I did not realize this film's international potential when I was visiting Iceland last summer and i picked this movie up, but i was amazed at how stunning the flick is. It's not so surprising that, after 101 Reykjavík, more attention is paid to iceland's limited film industry.
I will also have to say that the soundtrack is excellent! Pick that up as well if you like Iron and Wine or 'Bonnie Prince Billy'."
An Interesting Example of Icelandic Cinema
Timothy Kearney | Hull, MA United States | 03/21/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Boston's Museum of Fine Arts showed the film NOI ALBINOD a while back, and it looked intriguing, but I missed it and had to wait until the DVD release. Now that I have had the chance to view it, I found it a curious mixture of comedy and heartache and highly original. The film tells the story of an alienated youth who is misunderstood by those around him, a familiar enough genre, but it tells the story in a fresh way. The film's setting is a small town in Iceland and is probably what we would stereotypically think of small town life in this region of the world. It is cold all the time, there is plenty of snow on the ground, and the overall atmosphere is bleak. Noi is someone we would expect to meet in such a town. He may have dreams larger than his community, but we do not see evidence of it though we would not be surprised if this is the case. I'm not sure it's all that easy to sympathize with Noi, but in many ways this is why the film is so masterful. Noi is disconnected from the world and the filmmaker makes the viewer feel his disconnection. His lovable, but somewhat daft grandmother is the only caring figure in his life and has the responsibility of raising him. His father is drunk most of the time and an overall loser. The closest thing to a mentor in his life is a used bookstore owner who believes Keirkegaard is worthless. He has a daughter Iris who is Noi's love interest. There is no real plotline, and the film does end on a tragic note.
There are also small humorous touches in the film, especially around the food Noi eats. He cannot successfully rob a bank or escape from the police. Iris' father wears a t-shirt that says "New York F***ing City" is also an amusing detail.
NOI ALBINOD is probably not a film I will watch over and over again, but it is a movie that captures a viewer's interest and makes a person think.
A pleasant surprise
Pen Name? | 12/13/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a great film... at times a black comedy, at others, absurd, poignant and dramatic. A quote on the box cover likens the film to Donnie Darko or Rushmore (which are two strange movies to liken to each other in the first place) and that's hard to understand in any tangible sense, other than that all three center around a bizarre teenager. There are more parallels with Donnie Darko, but nothing very close.
This film is somehow escapes being depressing and falling off into psychotic melodrama (like Rosie or The Princess and the Warrior), and doesn't push any message to center stage, and avoids the pitfalls of becoming a morality piece or some sappy tale of a misfit.
It's really well done and will have you thinking on it for quite some time. The scenery is bleak, yet interesting. The soundtrack is wonderful and the acting is quite good."