The Sunday Cult Film Corner: “Nói Albinói (Noi The Albino) (2003)”

11 Mar

So yeah i’Ve been in a calm mood this weekend. Mrs Sex Farm was away so i spent the time pestering the cat with cooked pasta and getting some writing done. General tried to run my body into a viscous liquid of activity, but without much success.

Having said that, it’s lucky that I’m living in Reykjavik, which is just the centre of the universe of activity. Man it all happens here. I’d hate to be stuck in the country. Man, even Selfoss would be way too much like being in the sticks. So it’s with this thought that for this weeks edition of the cult film corner I’m staying here in Iceland for a truly harrowing picture of life out in the farthest reaches of this lovely nation. Ladies & gentlemen, i give to you. “Nói Albinói (Noi The Albino)”.

the movie tells of Nói (played by Tómas Lemarquis), a bald teenager (he suffers from alopecia) living in a fishing village in the farthest reaches of Iceland, a peninsular that’s cut off from the rest of Iceland and only accessible by boat for most of the winter. Nói dreams of escaping this prison of a village. It’s not hard to see why. He lives with his grandmother, has an alcoholic father and, despite seemingly intelligent, hates school and finds no future living where he is (the only available work digging the frozen ground for graves at the local churchyard). But then an attractive young girl turns up to work at the cafe, and the onset of a blossoming relationship seems to spur Nói into escaping. But his efforts are halfcocked and he seems destined to stay where he is.

Noi the Albino is the debut film from Dagur Kári, who went on to direct “the Good Heart” a couple of years ago. As a depiction of Icelandic rural life, it’s a pretty bleak one that captures many parts excellently. the continuous drone of the national radio station in the background of the house, the prunes for breakfast and near addiction to malt drinks, the antidepressants and  the alcohol. The film is swathed in a cold blue-tinted filter that only helps to emphasise the dislocation and remoteness, both of the location and of the characters themselves. The locations shooting is impressive, with several locations in  the West Fjörds being used.

The end result of this is a film where the lack of any drama (save for the bleakest ending I’ve seen in a film for a long time) and action become the main message as a meditation on time and dislocation. It’s also a refreshing change from the usual coming of age films that often centre on conflict and sex (although thoe are not necessarily bad things). Also worth noting is the soundtrack music, which was made by the band Snowblow, of which the director is a member

So if you fancy getting your jollies with a film that is as serene as it is depressing, then get a cup of Malt og Appelsín and watch this cold meaty slice of Icelandic life.


Posted by on March 11, 2012 in Film


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3 responses to “The Sunday Cult Film Corner: “Nói Albinói (Noi The Albino) (2003)”

  1. I'd Rather Be In Iceland

    March 11, 2012 at 8:56 pm

    I had to convince my husband to watch this one…he was like “Is this going to be like all your Icelandic stuff where nothing really happens?” and I was like “Well, kind of, but then when something DOES happen it’s really interesting…” which sums up Iceland for me a lot of the time! Anyway, he did like it in the end.

    • bobcluness

      March 11, 2012 at 10:25 pm

      True. I watched it when it was released in London. I foudn the ending to be of the most bleakest, depressing things i’ve seen in a long time..

  2. kekw

    March 11, 2012 at 10:59 pm



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