Moland’s new film makes revolutionary start
by Annika Pham
High School Teacher Pedersen, the highly anticipated new film from one of Norway’s top directors, Hans Petter Moland, took the Norwegian box office by storm last weekend.
Released on 35 screens by Sandrew Metronome (SM), the film totalled 28,062 admissions in three days, ahead of other strong openers such as Bambi 2 (17,440), Terence Malik’s The New World (6,229) or George Clooney’s Good Night, and Good Luck (2,080). Now five days into its release, the film has attracted 33,000 people, almost as much as the total admission figures for Moland’s previous film, Beautiful Country.
Jarle Namtvedt, head of Publicity at SM, told Cineuropa: “The first week is going to be bigger than Moland’s last movie, which sold 46,000 tickets [overall]. But the film is based on a best-selling novel, the two lead actors – Kristoffer Joner (crowned Best Actor at the 2005 Amanda Awards for Kissed by Winter [+see also:
film profile]) and Ane Dahl Torp (Norway’s Shooting Star 2006) – are big stars in Norway, and we’ve put together a huge P&A campaign, so everyone knows about the film”.
A film graduate from Emerson College in the US, Hans Petter Moland is a household name in Norway, known not only for his four previous feature films – The Last Lieutenant (1993), Zero Kelvin (1995), Aberdeen (1999) and Beautiful Country, which screened in competition at Berlin in 2004 – but also for his many award-winning commercials. High School Teacher Pedersen is based on a best-selling novel by top Norwegian writer Dag Solstad about Norway’s Marxist-Leninist movement of the 1970s.
Set in 1968, the film focuses on high school teacher Knut Pedersen, a gentle intellectual man who is drawn to the seductive Marxist/Leninist AKP Party. He falls for another AKP activist, the medical doctor Nina Skåtøy, and they embark on a love story. Although she decides to “sacrifice” her love to commit herself entirely to her revolutionary ideals, he stays by her side as friend and “knight” throughout AKP’s fall.
SM will also handle theatrical distribution in Sweden, Denmark and Finland.
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