Posted by: neilh10 | July 28, 2011

Icelandic Cinema Online: Noi the Albino.

I have recently discovered Icelandic Cinema Online, an online pay per view website that enables you to watch Icelandic films and other forms of media with English subtitles.

This is great. Basically you can ‘rent’ a film for 24 hours, which enables you to watch it on your computer. You need to pay anywhere between 0 – 6 euros for this service, per go.

Anyway, if you are interested in the Westfjords, and haven’t seen it already, I recommend checking out Noi the Albino.

(trailer from youtube

Promo blurb:

Is he the village Idiot or a genius in disguise? 17 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 and buried under a shroud of snow. Nói dreams of escaping from this white-walled prison with Iris, a city girl who works in a local gas station. But his clumsy attempts at escape spiral out of control and end in complete failure. Only a natural disaster will shatter Noi’s universe and offer him a window into a better world.

Ok, so maybe the tourist board won’t be promoting Noi the Albino in quite the same way as they do the annual Aldrei fór ég suður music festival in Isafjordur, but the cult movie is an important part of the regions cultural history and a big draw for tourists (ok, a certain kind of tourist) to the region. Indeed, when I called in at the gas station in Bolungarvik and asked the attendant about the film, his response was to the effect that he was fed up with people asking him about it. Which to my mind is evidence of how popular it is.

Clearly i’m not a film critic, but I really enjoyed watching the film, especially as it was set in the villages of Bolungarvik, Thineyri,and Flateyri. I thought it sets out the madness and insularity of mountain life in the very recent past fairly accurately (I wasn’t there to experience it, but have spoken extensively to others about it). It was not too long ago that the Westfjords was truly cut off from the rest of the world in wintertime. It can’t have been fun being an angry young man trapped in that kind of environment.

As for, my only criticism is that I think they need to think a bit more about their pricing – I’ve already spent 20 euros and would probably spend a lot more if I could afford to, so i’m thinking instead that I will spend the money on a load of DVD’s second hand next time I am in Iceland. Perhaps they should consider setting up a membership service where you pay a monthly subscription for unlimited access to films? Just an idea.


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