The Universe and Me

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Hverjir eru bestir

This past year’s film Í Takt Við Tímann by rock band Stuðmenn has been selected as Iceland’s contender for nomination at the next Academy Awards in the Foreign Language category. The title is usually translated as “in tune with the times” or “ahead of the times.” I would be ecstatic if it won an Oscar but I’d also be mega surprised because it’s not only a musical comedy (and the Academy favours more serious, dramatic films), it’s also a sequel to a movie the band made over twenty years ago, called Med Allt á Hreinu. That movie (still Iceland’s most popular film of all time) concerned two bands, a male band called Stuðmenn (pronounced closer to Stewmen than what it looks like) and a female band named Grýlurnar, that compete in the Icelandic music market and eventually decide to join forces. A couple decades later, the lead singers of both bands, played by Egill Ólafsson and Ragnhildur Gísladóttir, are living separate lives. Their former band is working in Spanish bars and no one is happy. Egill rejoins the band which enters a competition against a band with Ragga’s son. And the fun begins. Back are the outlandish costumes Stuðmenn always perform in, each more ridiculous than the last, and an album of zippy new songs I’ve enjoyed tremendously this year. I would dearly love to see both these movies on DVD, but neither is available in these parts.


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