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The Juniper Tree
The Juniper Tree
Actors: Björk, Bryndis Petra Bragadóttir, Valdimar Örn Flygenring, Guđrún Gísladóttir, Geirlaug Sunna Ţormar
Director: Nietzchka Keene
Genres: Drama, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Mystery & Suspense
NR     2002     1hr 18min

Studio: Wea-des Moines Video Release Date: 04/23/2002 Run time: 78 minutes Rating: Nr


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Movie Details

Actors: Björk, Bryndis Petra Bragadóttir, Valdimar Örn Flygenring, Guđrún Gísladóttir, Geirlaug Sunna Ţormar
Director: Nietzchka Keene
Creators: Randolph Sellars, Nietzchka Keene, Allison Powell
Genres: Drama, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Family Life, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Rhino / Wea
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 04/23/2002
Release Year: 2002
Run Time: 1hr 18min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 3
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Robin Simmons | Palm Springs area, CA United States | 07/18/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Bjork, Iceland's eccentric and eclectic artist, singer and actress stars in "THE JUNIPER TREE." Shot in black and white on bleak locations in Iceland, the story is an old folk tale adapted from the Brothers Grimm archives. And grim it is. Bjork is Margit. When her mother is burned at the stake for practicing witchcraft, she and her older sister Katla flee across Iceland's rugged terrain until they reach the remote farmhouse owned by handsome widower Johann. Katla casts a seductive spell on Johann and bewitches him. Soon they are wed, much to the dismay of Johann's suspicious young son Jonas who sees clearly what has happened to his dad. Things get increasingly tense and Margit is forced into the spiritual world to save Jonas from Katla's supernatural wrath.This dark, brooding mystical tale is nicely visualized and Bjork is a natural actress. And yes, she sings. Extras include an interview with director Nietzchka Keene, deleted scenes and publicity photos."
Enchanting and Tragic
Padma Thornlyre | 03/30/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Not for the impatient viewer, not for those who want to be entertained and don't want to think, "The Juniper Tree" is memorable and mysterious, magical, seductive, and stark. Bjork is to be commended for her brilliant portrayal as a younger sister with the "gift" of witchcraft. Her performance is so compelling that one *almost* wishes she had chosen acting and not music as her career. Filmed in black and white on location in Bjork's native Iceland, one is trasported immediately to a landscape which is not only dramatic but nearly alien. The story itself is based on a fairy tale by the brothers Grimm (regretfully, the credits do not specify *which* story!), and ends, as do many of Grimms' stories, in tragedy and darkness. A must-see for anyone who appreciates "difference" in films, who's willing to ponder and is not simply concerned with instant gratification."
Certainly not easy-veiwing... but strangely rewarding!
TheBoyLikeME | London | 05/17/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Having been a huge Bjork fan for about 7 years, about five of those years have been spent hunting for a copy of 'The Juniper Tree' in the UK...However, after a dear friend bought me the DVD edition (with suprisingly wonderful extra features on the disc!) for my birthday, I've finally got to see what all the fuss is about!I practically own Bjork's entire back catalogue, and worship 'Dancer In The Dark', but I promised my self that when I watched 'The Juniper Tree' for the first time, I'd try to do so with an open mind, and try not to be biased. Although the movie is a challenge to watch... I was not dissapointed.This dark tale see's Margit (Bjork) and her sister Katla trying to rebuild their lives after their mother is burnt at the stake for practising witchcraft. So the sisters don't get the same fate, they flee across Iceland where Katla discovers a young widower and his son living alone. Through the use of Katla's withcraft, she is soon Married to the young widower, much to the dissaproval of his young son.The rest of the movie focusses of Margit as she try's to come to terms with her own Growing magical powers, and try's her hardest to use them to protect the young boy from Katla's influence.I'll admit that there are times when the film is difficult to watch, and frequently takes itself on little tangents elsewhere and there even some quite disturbing and graphic scenes; but the performances are very powerful & thought-provoking and if you do manage to sit through the entire film you do end up feeling like you've accomplished something and feel strangely rewarded.Although filmed in 1987, the black & white photography and numerous beautiful shots of Iceland's legendary landscape, make you feel this was shot in the 1940's. Although the directory has manged to successfully capture the medi-evil pagan era of the movie very well. And the question on everyones lips... How well does Bjork do in the film? Her acting ability is remarkable considering this is her debut venture into a field of media she knew nothing about. And it is Bjork's portrayal of the niave young girl coming to terms with the death of her mother and her own inner witchcraft that holds the film together, and in the final scene as Margit reveals what Katla has done... you can't but feel strangely moved.Although Bjork herself doesnt think off this as her first film cuz she had "Just had a kid, and didn't really know what she was doing!", she should really give herslef more credit for this, as it's a remarkable debut... totally uncomparable to her prtrayal as Selma in 'Dancer In The Dark', But 'The Juniper Tree' is almost as rewarding.I do highly recommend this film. If you have the disciplne to sit still and really concentrate... You'll be touched!"
Very odd and often disturbing
keith e yates | Arlington, TN United States | 05/01/2002
(2 out of 5 stars)

"I was very excited when I received this one in the mail. Having been a long-time and old school Bjork and Sugarcubes fan, I couldn't wait to see Bjork's movie debut. Her performance was not in question, but the script and direction were my main problems with it. First of all, I would've preferred Icelandic with English subtitles. It was all in English. The mood was dark and odd, which really was enhanced by the film being in black and white. Far too much information was left up to the viewer to decide on. Most of the action was talked about in past tense in bad voiceovers while showing barren landscapes. The plot suffered due to the director trying to be too artsty. So constantly, I had to keep adding in scenes in my head that were never there. Ugh! The movie had a cold realism and a grim fairy tale type ending. It was not horrible, but my copy of this immeadiately was listed on ebay after I watched it."