This fall at Scandinavia House, experience Nordic comedy at its darkest with “Svart Humor”! “If there’s a dead body in Denmark, someone is going to make a joke about it,” director Anders Jensen once said; Nordic comedies are as known for their deadpan, dry wit as for their occasionally noir subject matter, celebrating the “svart/sort” (dark) side of life’s hilarities.
On October 4, see Hilmar Oddsson’s “enjoyably dark and dour comedy road movie” (Screen Review), Driving Mum (Iceland, 2022)! When Jon’s (Prostur Leo Gunnarsson) mother passes away in 1980s Iceland, he loses his anchor and the single most dominant person in his life.
Compelled to honor her last wish to be buried in her home village of Eyrarbakki, he sets out on a road trip to take her there — by propping her up in the back seat of his car. Accompanied by the family dog Bresnef (and an imaginary Greek chorus in the background), he soon finds himself on a journey of discovery, meeting a world and its many inhabitants he has never otherwise encountered.
Winner of the Grand Prix at PÖFF – Tallinn Black Nights 2022 and Best Actor at Bifest 2023, Driving Mum is a belated coming-of-age comedy and touching tale of self-discovery, albeit one with a corpse in the backseat.
“The comedy here, drawn from the son’s abrasive character and from his late mama’s acerbic commentary from beyond the grave, is sandpaper dry; the black and white cinematography captures the majestic indifference of Iceland’s sparsely populated northwestern reaches”—ScreenDaily
“Oddson maintains a melancholy mood and finds ways to shift his narrative from everyday absurdity to full-on surreality”—EyeForFilm
“Funny and heartwarming…at heart a tender story of discovery”—FilmHounds
About the Director
Hilmar Oddsson is an Iceland film director, screenwriter, film producer and musician. When he turned 60, he resigned from his near-decade-long position as an Icelandic film school rector to return to filmmaking.
Having carried the idea for Driving Mum with him for three decades, it became his first new film, which has screened at festivals including TIFF Romania 2023, Shanghai IFF 2023, Golden Horse Fantastic FF 2023, and others.