Fifth about The Seventh

Echo (Bergmál)

Echo: Rúnar Rúnarsson’s drama doesn’t have a story or a central character; instead, it offers a mosaic of life in Iceland during the Holidays through a number of unrelated, small vignettes that take place both in cities and in rural areas. Each section is realistic and believable by itself, and they share a sense of community but also of individual isolation; of melancholy even during times of merriment. The film seeps humanity. The performances are adequately subdued, not enough to be considered emotionally morose. The work of cinematographer Sophia Olsson is exquisite: the camera is static and neutral, capturing the whole vignette in a single shot, but the framing (and the performers’ blocking) is very precise. The scenes are stunningly lit as well, and it all highlights the production designer Gus Olafsson’s detailed and elegant work, as well as the cold beauty of the Icelandic landscape. The original musical score, by Kjartan Sveinsson, as well as the licensed tracks, match the material.

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