The Modern Things
Last night, at this viewing, my fascination with Iceland grew to the point of obsession. I once looked into moving to Iceland, because I heard it’s the most literate country in the world and Bjork lives there, so it must be a utopian country. But did you know that you can only get a VISA for up to six months, until they kick you out of there? Yet for six months, you could walk around like a Viking goddess, where everybody eats whale blubber, drinks mead, and the social cohesion is greater than in both U.S and Canada. Reykjavik is the northernmost national capital in the world and the country has more glacier-submerged land than in all of continental Europe! Okay, that last part would be a letdown.
Anyway, the films. The first short featured a blonde, baby doll type woman sitting at a table next to a birthday cake, with mice crawling out of it, while a fishing hook slowly emerged from her mouth. The second half showed her on her knees, crouched in front of a green toilet, licking whipped cream and cherries off the seat, for about four minutes, like a porn star. Icelandics are weird. The second short was a beautiful animation of Poe's The Raven.
The feature film, I Sknon Drekans (In the Shoes of the Dragon), is the only film that has ever been banned in Iceland. The enchanting director, Hronn Sveinsootir, was there to present the film and explain the background of the 2000 documentary: Initially entering the Miss Icelandic beauty contest, for the sake of making an expose film on the tawdriness of beauty pageants, Sveinsootir eventually gets caught up in the competition, documenting her transformation into a beauty queen diva. It was basically like watching America’s Next Top Model, except it took place in Iceland, and Sveinsootir is a lot hotter and cooler than the girls featured on that show.
If you're in the neighborhood, you should definitely check out this nonprofit art space in Tribeca. The Tank.
Afterwards, there was an open bar with Icelandic vodka and an Icelandic DJ- who chose, of all things, Michael Jackson- and you really can’t ask for more from a Wednesday night.