by R.C. Samo
Iceland’s official entry into the 2014 Palm Springs Film Festival, the 2014 Scandinavian Film Festival LA and winner for Best Director at the 26th Annual Tokyo International Film Festival and nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Film is Benedict Erlingsson’s Of Horses and Men.
There are several interconnecting stories between equestrian villagers. Kolbeinn and Solveig are in love, the only problem is Solveig is only second saddle to Kolbeinn’s beloved mare, Grana, you would think that Grana being infatuated with Sloveig’s stallion Brunn would be a-match-made-in-heave, until Kolbeinn is embarrassed in front of the whole village, when Brunn mounts Grana while he’s still riding her.
Roman, death, spirituality, nature, and horses are all themes present in this film about herding these majestic creatures. Erlingsson’s use of scenery or dialogue makes the audience focus on the beauty of nature, the movement of the horses and sounds of the Icelandic wildreness. It is no wonder why this film won best director in Tokyo and predominately featured in two Southern California film festivals along with an Oscar nod for Best Foreign Film.
A fantastic ensemble, Of Horses and Men, is a great escape from the loud, bombastic, adrenaline films of the past summer. Heavy on emotion and story, Of Horses and Men deserves all the accolades it has received.
The Palm Springs Film Festival runs between January 3 – 13
The Scandinavian Film Festival LA runs from January 18 – 26