On Top Down Under (2000)

Background
Only one of the first twelve Erotic Tales was made without a word of dialogue: Jos Stelling’s The Waiting Room. In contrast to three in the second dozen: Stelling’s The Gas Station, Hal Hartley’s Kimono, and Fridrik Thor Fridriksson’s On Top Down Under. Fridriksson’s Erotic Tale is all the more singular because it’s set on different continents - indeed, on opposite corners of the world - yet linked by real time and parallel occurrences that almost impinge on each other. Thus, words would only disturb. Quite simply, the story has to be told by challenging the viewer to accept the logic of coincidence and suspending for a moment the natural laws of the universe.
This is not the first time the Icelandic writer-director-producer has imbued his theme with the spiritual, the metaphysical, the clairvoyant, the mystical. In Children of Nature (1991), nominated for both an Oscar and a Felix, two senior citizens escape from an Old Peoples Home to set off on a journey to commune with the natural forces of nature. In Cold Fever (1994) a Japanese businessman travels through an Icelandic winter landscape to perform a symbolic burial ritual for his parents. And in Angels of the Universe (1999) a young schizophrenic is committed to an asylum, where hearing voices and mental telepathy are the rule rather than the exception.
“On Top” is, of course, Iceland - in contrast to “Down Under” Australia. As the evening shadows fall over an isolated lighthouse, a young girl recalls the joys of a past summer with her lover at a geyser. As the day wears on in the blazing desert, the young man of her dreams transports blocks of ice to a lonely shack out in the bush. Somehow, their fates are shared - much as in the last sonnet penned by the young John Keats.

Synopsis
ON TOP - Iceland, a lighthouse, a cold winter evening. Her thoughts drift back to that summer ... to bathing in the hot springs ... to when they first met ... and embraced. DOWN UNDER - Australia, the desert, a blistering heat wave. His pickup stops at an icehouse ... he lays the blocks neatly on the buckboard ... and drives off haunted by a aching memory. Without dialogue or comment, save for verses from a sonnet by John Keats, Fridrik Thor Fridriksson links the thoughts, the emotions, the sensual longing of young lovers at opposite ends of the world. A tone poem, a collage of sight and sound.

ON TOP - Iceland, a lighthouse, a cold winter evening. Her thoughts drift back to that summer ... to bathing in the hot springs ... to when they first met ... and embraced. DOWN UNDER - Australia, the desert, a blistering heat wave. His pickup stops at an icehouse ... he lays the blocks neatly on the buckboard ... and drives off haunted by an aching memory. Without dialogue or comment, save for verses from a sonnet by John Keats, Fridrik Thor Fridriksson links the thoughts, the emotions, the sensual longing of young lovers at opposite ends of the world to a visual poem.

Besetzung

Nina Gunnarsdottir, Hilmir Snaer Gudnason

Stab

Regie
Fridrik Thor Fridriksson

Drehbuch
Fridrik Thor Fridriksson

Kamera
Ari Kristinsson

Schnitt
Sigvaldi J. Karason, Sigridur Margret Thorkelsdottir, Karola Mittelstädt

Ton
Dolby SR

Musik
Tamas Kahane

Szenenbild
Eggert Ketilsson

Producer
Mariette Rissenbeek, Tanja Meding

Produzent
Regina Ziegler

Redaktion
Karin Zahn, WDR

Infos

Genre
Short Feature

Format
35mm; colour; 1:1,85

Länge
27 min.

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