David Foster Wallace, RIP. What a shame.
Kierkegaard makes an appearance in the film ‘Noi’, but unlike our ambition defeating culture of irony and cynicism, the quote in the context of this film actually means something down to earth and sensible; the issue of how we exist in our worlds.
I normally like AO Scott’s writing, but his 2004 review of ‘Noi’, a 2003 Icelandic independent film written and directed by Dagur Kari, disapppointed me. The film is a snow lover’s fantasy, full of white and blues with laconic characters to match. Nothing much happens, but it reminded me of a less fury filled Cassavetes script. It also had me wondering if Craig Gillespie, the director of the 2007 film ‘Lars and the Real Girl’ had lifted most of his plot and script from it, then added a similar deadpan rural Canadian humor.
While the humor isn’t obvious in Noi, and most American audiences would generalize this as a bleak film, I thought it gave a marvelous reading of adolescence on a remote rural island, without the usual over the top cool and hip quotient that is so tiresome with a lot of indies. Noi also survives with its own distinct mystery intact, without the requisite Hollywood pat ending to which ‘Lars’ resorted.
The defined sense of place is my favorite part of this film.