Norwegian film partly spoofs "Nordic Noir" at Berlin fest
By Michael Roddy
LONDON (Reuters) - A Norwegian film that is part thriller, part spoof of the "Nordic Noir" genre, and a Chinese movie set in a massage clinic run by blind people and using some blind actors were the main offerings at the Berlin film festival on Monday.
Chinese director Lou Ye's "Tui Na" ("Blind Massage") is one of three Chinese films in competition, all of which represent a departure in being set outside of Beijing or Shanghai, with this one being the second Lou has filmed in Nanjing.
The body count in Norwegian director Hans Petter Moland's "Kraftidioten" ("Order of Disappearance") eventually hits 21.
The victims' names and a symbol suited to their religion, sometimes a Catholic cross, sometimes Orthodox, in one case a Star of David, are shown in white lettering on a black screen at the end of each bloody killing spree.
At first, the movie seems like a classic crime shoot-em-up, but this one drew laughs from a press preview audience with its references to the "Stockholm Syndrome", a discussion by two gangsters of why northern countries have good welfare systems and southern countries don't, and two of the tough guys turning out to have a covert gay relationship.
"It's an original harebrained idea from Scandinavia," Moland told a post-screening news conference. "It started out as an idea many years ago to explore the sort of porous line between our civil attributes and education and upbringing and being confronted with our various sorts of primitive instincts that we have when grave injustice is being done to us."
The bloodletting begins in a snowbound part of Norway when the son of snowplow driver Nils, played by Scandinavian film veteran Stellan Skarsgard, is mistakenly killed by a drug gang who think the young man has stolen their cocaine.
Because the killers disguise the murder as a drug overdose, the police are unwilling to investigate and Nils takes the law into his own hands. Continued...