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The Cinema of Iceland

Between Tradition and Liquid Modernity


Sebastian Jakub Konefał

The last decade was an exceptional period for the Icelandic cinema. The films produced during this time have won many prestigious awards at international festivals. Cinematic images of Iceland eclectically interlace myths, stereotypes and postmodern means of expression. At first glance, the local films obsessively repeat the same themes which might be incomprehensible for a foreign viewer. However, academic research on the most interesting motion pictures creates an opportunity to study the birth and development of small, but energetic and ambitious cinematography. Such an experience also allows analyzing problems related to the system of film production in this sparsely populated country and helps identify challenges during the process of introducing a local culture abroad. Finally, studying Icelandic cinema gives a chance to go on the audiovisual journey through the fascinating culture and unique landscapes.

The author of the book analyses popular topics and narrative strategies in Icelandic films. The research covers local versions of black comedies, road movies and crime stories as well as different figures connected with the motif of struggle between tradition and modernity.

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Bibliographic Information published by the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek

The Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the Deutsche Nationalbibliografie; detailed bibliographic data is available in the internet at

This publication was subsidised by The Vice-Rector for Research and Foreign Cooperation of the University of Gdańsk, the Dean of The Faculty of Languages and The Director of The Institute of Culture Studies.

Cover Image: The photo on the front cover comes from the movie Virgin Mountain (Fúsi, 2015) and is used by the kind permission of Dagur Kári (the director of the film) and Agnes Johansen (Sögn & RVK Studios).

Printed by CPI books GmbH, Leck

ISSN 2364-3919

ISBN 978-3-631-77864-7 (Print) • E-ISBN 978-3-631-77915-6 (E-PDF)

E-ISBN 978-3-631-77916-3 (EPUB) • E-ISBN 978-3-631-77917-0 (MOBI)

DOI 10.3726/b15131

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