Dagur Kari's Noi the Albino

Bjorn Nordfjord

  • Published: July 2015
  • Subject Listing: Scandinavian Studies; Film and Media Studies
  • Bibliographic information: 144 pp., 10 illus., 5.50 x 7.50 in.
  • Territorial rights: Not Avail Uk, Eire, Cont Eur
  • Series: Nordic Film Classics
  • Contents

Dagur Kari's Noi the Albino (Noi albinoi, 2003) succeeded on the international festival circuit as a film that was both distinctively Icelandic and appealingly universal. Noi the Albino taps into perennial themes of escapism and existential angst, while its setting in the Westfjords of Iceland provided an almost surreal backdrop whose particularities of place are uniquely Icelandic. Bjorn Nordfjord's examination of the film integrates the broad context and history of Icelandic cinema into a close reading of Noi the Albino's themes, visual style, and key scenes. The book also includes an interview with director Dagur Kari.

Noi the Albino's successful negotiation of the tensions between the local and the global contribute to the film's status as a contemporary classic. Its place within the history of Icelandic cinema highlights the specific problems this small nation faces as it pursues its filmmaking ambitions, allowing us to appreciate the remarkable success of Kari's film in relation to the challenges of transnational filmmaking.

1. Icebreaker
2. Islands
3. Iceland
4. Isolation, or the Nausea of Noi

In Lieu of a Conclusion
Interview with Dagur Kari

"[Nordford's] expert knowledge of Icelandic national cinema and world cinema is much in evidence here. . . . A detailed and wide-ranging study of Noi the Albino."
-Christine Welsh, Scandinavian-Canadian Studies, Vol. 20 (2011)

"A helpful, lucid account of both text and context. . . . The study is most illuminating when dealing with the aesthetics and recurrent images of the film: its use of colour, its place in a cinema that is concerned with Islands, and with maps."
-Edward Gallafent, Viewfinder, October 2011