Films past

Nothing to Laugh About New Nordic Cinema


WED—February 15—7 PM
90 min. In Norwegian with English subtitles
$13 ($8 ASF Members)

“Warm, heartfelt, and offering surprisingly much to laugh about” — see the touching Norwegian dramedy Nothing to Laugh About /Ingenting å le av (dir. Petter Næss, Norway, 2021) this February at Scandinavia House. Successful stand-up comedian Kasper Berntsen has everything a man could ask for: a regular gig at the city’s top comedy club, a beautiful girlfriend and a fabulous life as a public figure. Until suddenly everything crashes down around him — after losing his comedy gig and girlfriend on the same day, he’s faced with the worst nightmare imaginable when a doctor informs him that he has incurable cancer. Left with life in shambles, Kaspar must ask himself: give up or fight on? And in his search for identity he begins to discover new sides of himself — giving new life to his comedy as he uses humor as a disarming and life-giving force. Written by and starring Norwegian comedian Odd-Magnus Williamson (Kon Tiki), this heartwarming story explores how to gain newfound self-belief and find laughter again.

Nothing to Laugh About takes us on the journey of somebody who, with nothing to lose, proceeds to find himself and those aspects of his life most important to him”  (BMA Mag).

About the Director

Petter Næss (b. 1960) has worked as an actor, screenwriter and director in film, television and theatre since the early eighties. He started his career as a production assistant in television, and — classical dance, tap dance, jazz dance, and method acting — was active as an actor between 1985 and 1996, when he started as a director at the Oslo theater Centralteatret. After directing several successful stage plays, including Gone with the Woman and Elling, which he later would make successful film adaptations of, he made his debut as a film director with the comedy-drama Absolute Hangover in 1999. In 2001 he premiered his next film, Elling (an adaptation of Ingvar Ambjørnsens novel Blood Brothers, and the stage play previously directed by himself), to unison critical acclaim and some of the best attendance figures at the Norwegian box-office ever.

The film won numerous awards at many international film festivals, such as Lübeck, San Sebastian International Film Festival and Würzburg, and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. In 2005 Næss also directed Love Me Tomorrow, the final film of the Elling-trilogy. His other films include the youth film Just Bea (2003), the Swedish children’s film Leaps and Bounds (2007), Gone With the Woman (2007) and his Hollywood debut Mozart and the Whale (2005). In 2008 he also made a rare return in front of the camera, playing the small role of Capt. Martin Linge in the epic WWII film Max Manus (a.k.a. Max Manus – Man of War).


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