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LOVERS OF THE ARCTIC CIRCLE

SYNOPSIS:
Ana (Najwa Nimri) and Otto (Fele Martinez) are brought together as children, when their respective single parents become involved with each other. But is it purely chance, or were they fated to be together? As they grow, their love for each other becomes stronger. But circumstances intervene, and the lovers are separated. Now, through a combination of luck and conscious will, they are about to be reunited at the edge of the world - the Arctic Circle. They recount the events that have led them to this point.

"While the location of its title may conjure up icy images that chill you to the bone, Lovers of the Arctic Circle radiates in the glow of its emotions. Passionately melancholy, Julio Medem's intense love story is seen from the personal point of view of both lovers. We sense their uncertainty, we smile at their discoveries, we feel their yearning, we ache for their pain. Lovers of the Arctic Circle evokes melancholy – from its very structure to its pensive cinematography to Alberto Iglesias' beautiful reflective music. We are the sum of our experiences; we respond because of who we are and how we were brought up. Each of us has perceptions that are unique to us. How many times have you heard – there's my story, your story and the truth? I found the sequences when Otto and Ana were children the most moving – little things like a tossed paper aeroplane are indelibly stamped in the psyche forever. It's a story about feeling – how we pain, agonise and rejoice. I do have a few reservations – namely its length, too many segments that fragment the story and I did find the constant reference to coincidence heavy handed. Performances are wonderful – I especially enjoyed the opening of the young Otto's eyes and heart. Romantic and poetic, Lovers of the Arctic Circle is a perceptive story of the heart that journeys life's long path."
Louise Keller

"If you like your films lush, filled with fantasy and wonder, and very European; then Lovers of the Arctic Circle is one for you. This ravishingly shot and beautifully constructed film confirms its Spanish director Julio Medem as one of the brightest filmmaking talents working in Europe today. Its elliptical story of love, faith and destiny, interwoven with breathtaking visual moments, evokes Krzysztof Keislowski’s La Double vie de Véronique (The Double Life of Véronique); one of my all-time favourites. Be warned though - some will find the sequence of coincidences played out between the protagonists too much to handle. No doubt there is an element of contrivance in the screenplay, but it’s in the interests of creating a uniquely imaginative and compelling story of romance and devotion. My advice is to ignore any naysayers you come across and simply let this wonderful reverie wash over you. Despite its almost epic scope, Lovers of the Arctic Circle is very much a two-hander, with Najwa Nimri and Fele Martinez basically carrying the film as Ana and Otto. Both are fine in their roles; segueing easily between past and present, fantasy and reality. They are given solid support by Nancho Novo and Maru Validivieso as their parents; and by Kristel Diaz and Victor Hugo Oliveiera (what a name!) in the adolescent roles. Lovers of the Arctic Circle has been a favourite on the international film festival circuit this year and it’s not hard to see why. Medem has created a lush, mesmerising and totally engrossing experience. Highly recommended."
David Edwards

"For Australian audiences, this film offers a change of pace and scenery, and a beguiling sort of cinema: it's not straight and it's not obvious. The lack of signposting as to which part of the story is illusion/imagination and which is real could alienate some, but even they will be mesmerised by the rampant romanticism of the film, and its alluring story. I am less bothered by the coincidences than my colleagues (actually find that aspect very easy to accept as a reality of this crazy world as I've experienced it) than by the loss of economy in the filmmaking. I enjoy being perplexed by movies as long as there is a payoff of some kind, and this film half delivers on that score, with its beguiling shuffle at the end. This is a film for the curious, the film literate and those affluent in time."
Andrew L. Urban

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 2
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 1

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TRAILER

SOFCOM MOVIE TIMES

LOVERS OF THE ARCTIC CIRCLE (tba)

(Denmark)

CAST: Fele Martinez, Najwa Nimri Nancho Novo, Maru Valdivielso, Peru Medem, Sara Valiente, Victor Hugo Oliveira, Kristel Diaz, Pep Munne, Jaroslaw Bielski, Joost Siedhoff, Beate Jensen

DIRECTOR: Julio Medem

PRODUCER: Fernando Bovaira, Enrique Lopez Lavigne

SCRIPT: Julio Medem

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Kalo F. Berridi

EDITOR: Ivan Aledo

MUSIC: Alberto Iglesias

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Satur Idarreta

RUNNING TIME: 112 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Dendy

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: November 11, 1999

DANISH, WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES







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