(Á köldum klaka
) is a 1995 Icelandic film
directed by Friðrik Þór Friðriksson
. It is a road movie set in Iceland
and was the first of Friðrik's films to be made in the English language
. The movie depicts the travels of a Japanese man
across Iceland. It was jokingly promoted as the best Icelandic-Japanese road movie of 1995.
Hirata (Masatoshi Nagase) is a successful Japanese businessman whose plan for a two-week holiday in Hawaii changes when his grandfather (Seijun Suzuki) reminds him that he should go Iceland.
Hirata’s parents died there seven years ago, and the seven year death anniversary is a significant event in Japanese culture. Hirata must perform a ceremony in the river where they died - the drowned must be fed by the surviving family members if they are to find peace.
Hirata goes to Iceland - to Reykjavík. His final destination is a remote river on the far side of the island. He decides to purchase an ancient, bright red Citroën DS to make the journey and meets several strange people along the way. These include the mystical woman who sells him the car, that only plays one radio station, a woman who collects photographs of funerals, two American hitchhiker/fugitives (Lili Taylor and Fisher Stevens), who turn out to be armed and dangerous, and nearing his destination, an old man (Gísli Halldórsson) who teaches Hirata how to drink the most potent alcoholic beverage in Iceland.
The film is humorous in tone with an unpredictable plot. The cinematography
highlights the beauty of Iceland's glaciers
, rivers, and volcanic
formations; to accentuate this, the brief scenes in Japan
were shot with the television aspect ratio of 1.33:1, while in Iceland
the aspect ratio changes to the cinemascope (2.35:1).
The film bears resemblance to the understated style made popular by director Jim Jarmusch.
is about the value of striving hard for goals, but suggests that our most rewarding experiences are not planned, but come out of the blue.
* Cold Fever at the Icelandic Film Corporation