Ahead of Time official entry
by Annika Pham
Veteran director Agust Gudmundsson is Iceland’s film ambassador for the 2006 Oscars nominations race with his seventh feature film Ahead of Time, Iceland’s most popular local film in 2004 with over 34,200 admissions. Gudmundsson’s previous feature film The Seagull’s Laughter was also Iceland’s entry for the Oscars nominations in 2002.
Ahead of Time is a sort of sequel to the director’s 1982 musical hit On Top, one of Iceland’s all time favourite films. The film features a pathetic aging pop group (nicknamed the ‘seven Icelandic fruitcakes in ugly clothes’) who suddenly seems fit to stage a comeback after 20 years. Indications point to a great future until the ghosts of the past catch up with the band in the form of a single mother and a jolly roadie. We follow the band not only through the magnificent Icelandic landscape but also through two continents and a brief spell in the otherworld.
The film starring Eggert Thorleifsson, Egill Olafsson, Ragnhildur Gisladottir and Studmenn is produced by Jakob F. Magnusson for Bjarmaland. The film was released by Sena in Iceland in late 2004 and is sold internationally by Gudmundsson’s company Isfilm.
Born in Reykjavik in 1947, Gudmundsson is considered as one of the founding fathers of Icelandic cinema with his 1980 film Land of Sons. His second film Outlaw-The Saga of Gisli was an international hit and his 1982 musical film On Top is one of Iceland’s best local film ever. His political satire Golden Sands won the Lübeck Film Lense in 1985 and for The Dance made in 1998, Gudmundsson won the Best Director Award in Moscow. The Seagull’s Laughter won as many as six Edda awards (local Oscars) in 2001 and Ugla Egilsdottir won the Best actress award for the film in Karlovy Vary 2002.
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