Saturday, June 23, 2012

Ice and Rocks in Bed

Things are changing everywhere, including Iceland. 101 Reykjavik, an Icelandic film from 2000, at first seems to be a story about the eccentricities of Iceland's capital and gradually becomes more about the changes to the basic social framework in the city, changes that resemble those taking place throughout Europe at the time. It's a sometimes funny and sexy movie, though it's slightly too broad to effectively bring its point across.

The film follows a 29 year old NEET named Hlynur, who lives with his mother in Reykjavik. There's not a lot to do in the city--as one character observes, the only reason to live in Reykjavik is if you were born there. But Spanish Flamenco teacher Lola does decide to move in with Hlynur and his mother, fundamentally altering his lifestyle that involved Internet surfing and watching porn during the day and clubbing at night.

Hlynur seems improbably lucky with women for a NEET. Even before the lesbian Lola mysteriously falls for him, a cute blonde is shown frustrated, pursuing him nightly. The two women eventually seem to engage in a brief, coy war of words over the boy.

Hlynur describes the clubbing community as being so small that pretty much everyone has had sex with everyone else at some point. His boredom with the city's nightlife seems to reflect the austere natural environment around the city and the apparent pointlessness of accepting the always available government jobs offered. In one somewhat cartoonish scene, he starts putting money into parking meters for other people's cars, causing a nervous parking attendant to call for backup.

The end of the movie reminded me of Ang Lee's Eat Drink Man Woman, and the subject matter of the film would probably have been better served by Lee--he loves and excels at stories of misfits dealing with a world that's changing around them. 101 Reykjavik is a curiosity as it is, though, and gives some perspective on a culture in Europe that may be endangered now by the current economic crises.

Twitter Sonnet #398

Oil shoulders slant on skies of a flank.
Cloudy ribbons arch in row formation.
Boxer barrels are swapped out for a tank.
Bloodless cheese is chosen for claymation.
Exquisite purple anvils soon wither.
Cardboard rockets appeal to cigar fish.
Fear's loud joy was a bad kid to Ritter.
Captive stockings collect a leggy dish.
Sterile stereos stop binary germs.
Used yarn falls from sweater shoulders too soon.
Earliest birds can only dream of worms.
Prussian trumpets erupt on Greece's spoon.
Honest staples hallow married paper.
Flamingos fall before the landscaper.

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