Fri., Feb. 1, 6 p.m. Take Three Opening Gala buffet and reception (advance reservations required by Jan. 31).
Fri., Feb. 1, 8:30 p.m. COOL AND CRAZY (Heftig og Begeistret),* Knut Erik Jensen, Norway, documentary/105 min. -- Aging choirboys touch everyone who see and hear them. Rough, tender and open about hardships and happiness, their powerful voices set the Arctic frost on fire. Preceded by BIRDS OF PASSAGE (Trækfugle),* Vibeke Muasya, Denmark, comedy/38 min. -- A delightful short subject full of vim, vigor and vitality, featuring three grand dames of Danish stage and screen. Screening followed by champagne dessert-table and ASFLA reception (advance reservations required by Jan. 31).
Sat., Feb. 2, 10 a.m. IKINGUT (Ikíngut), Gísli Snær Erlingsson, Iceland, family/85 min. -- In a remote coastal village in 1698, fishermen fight for their survival as the winter pack ice shifts. A priest1s son spots a small creature on a drifting iceberg, and thinks it1s an evil spirit. When the creature saves him from disaster, he discovers it1s a boy. His family takes the boy into their home. Superstitious local fishermen claim the boy is the cause of their hardships and demand he be banished or killed.
Sat., Feb. 2, 12 p.m. LAUGHING SEAGULLS (Mávahlátur),* Ágúst Gumundsson, Iceland, drama/104 min. -- Who is Freyja? A fairy queen? A murderess? The goddess of love? One young girl wants some answers. And so, off she goes, spying on the mysterious and beautiful older woman, who has just returned from America as a widow. Set in the early 50s, this is a story of female uprising before feminism.
Sat., Feb. 2, 2:30 p.m. VON TRIER'S 100 EYES (Von Trier1s 100 Øjne), Katia Forbert Petersen, Denmark, documentary/60 min. -- About the making of director Lars von Trier's film DANCER IN THE DARK. It shows how the crew coped when star Björk walked out in the middle of shooting -- unsure if she would ever return. The title refers to the number of cameras von Trier used to capture the action.
Sat., Feb. 2, 4:30 p.m. ME, MY FRIEND AND I (Elling/Også Kjent Som),* Petter Næss, Norway, comedy/84 min. -- After two years at a psychiatric clinic, a young man prepares to return to normal life. With his more-challenged roommate he1s given a welfare apartment in the city, where the two must care for themselves. Their new lives are fraught with obstacles, and the frightened men must give all they1ve got to make it work. Special appearance by cinematographer Svein Krøvel.
Sat., Feb. 2, 7:30 p.m. THE RIVER (Joki),* Jarmo Lampela, Finland, drama/106 min. -- One Saturday morning in a small town dominated by the local paper mill, a military plane breaks the sound barrier as children bungee jump in the town square. The film follows a dozen characters who must consider more significant leaps... of faith.
Sun., Feb. 3, 11 a.m. PORTRAIT OF GOD (Portræt af Gud), Jon Bang Carlsen, Denmark, documentary/80 min. -- In the style of a private detective, the director sets off to track down the most wanted person of our time -- God.
Sun., Feb. 3, 12:30 p.m. ITALIAN FOR BEGINNERS (Italiensk for Begyndere),* Lone Scherfig, Denmark, comedy/109 min. (original uncut Danish version) -- Several students in an Italia-language class find romance while studying the language of love.
Sun., Feb. 3, 3:30 p.m. AMBUSH (Rukajärven Tie), Olli Saarela, Finland, drama/125 min. -- An historical drama that tells the love story of two people caught in the struggle of the Continuation War (1941-44) in which Finland fought to maintain her independence from Russia. Special appearance by star Irina Bjorklund, winner of a 2001 Finnish Jussi award for best performance by a female in a leading role.
Sun., Feb. 3, 6 p.m. Three Short Films: 1) THE ART OF FLYING A FLAG (Konsten att Flagga), Ingrid Rudefors and Peter Östlund, Sweden, drama/10 min. -- An older man who's spending his last days honoring life is befriended by a lonely, young neighbor girl. 2) MUSIC FOR ONE APARTMENT AND SIX DRUMMERS (Drummers), Ola Simonsson and Johannes Stjärne Nilsson, Sweden, fiction/10 min. -- Six percussionists meet for a well-planned musical attack on a bourgeois apartment on the outskirts of town. Kitchen, bedroom, bathroom and living room are the backdrop and instruments for four different pieces. 3) GRANDMOTHER, HITLER AND I (Mormor, Hitler och Jag), Carl Johan De Geer, Sweden, documentary/17 min. -- To most people, Nazism was an abomination -- but not everyone. For a few years as a child, the director lived with his grandmother who was a Nazi -- even after WWII. He asks why.
Sun., Feb. 3, 7:30 p.m. JALLA! JALLA! (Hurry Up!),* Josef Fares, Sweden, comedy/93 min. -- Two best-friend park attendants get stuck doing all the boring, dirty work. Regardless, they think of themselves as very cool. The days calmly pass until one suddenly can1t get an erection, and the other realizes he's a week away from being married off. Screening followed by ASFLA closing party, with music by Swedish jazz guitarist Tomas Janzon.
Sat., Feb. 2, and Sun., Feb. 3 -- Nordic Café, open all day for networking and noshing.