Archive of films Cool and Crazy / Heftig og begeistret

2000, 105 min

Section: Documentary Films in Competition
Year: 2001


This ‘documentary musical’ gives us a closer look at the fishing village of BerlevĆg on the Barents Sea, a place made famous by Isak Dinesen’s novel Babette’s Feast. Today, its musical group, a thirty-member male choir, is the village’s main tourist attraction. Norwegian director Jensen has returned to themes and places he’s featured in his films many times before – the wild, frozen landscape and its fascinating inhabitants living according to the rhythm of the sea, the quiet lifestyle, and a landscape trapped for most of the year in the bitter winter cold. Jensen captures his protagonists at work and in interviews, speaking to them and their families about life under extreme northern conditions and about the importance of music to them. He also portrays members of the choir singing in church, in the freezing snowy streets and also on the seashore – gazing at the midnight sun. He travels with his protagonists on a trip to Russia, where the choir, under the leadership of their conductor Oddo Marino Frantzen, enjoys exceptional success.

About the director

Knut Erik Jensen began attending the London International Film School while studying Russian, French and history. In 1978 he began working for Norway’s NRK Television where his experience with documentary and short films (which he’d been making since 1973) came in handy. His movies have met with tremendous critical acclaim at a number of film festivals. Selected filmography: the medium-length documentaries Farewell Then, Old Kjelvik Mountain (1974, Farvel da gamle Kjel vikfjell), and Ing-y on Ing-y (1976, Ing-y pa Ing-y), the television series Fishing Villages Facing the East (1980, Fiskev aerene mot Ost), the documentary Cultural Collision in Lapland (1980, Kulturkollisjon i Kautokeino), the dramas The Violent Gatherers (1981, Fiolplukkerne), Black Sea (1978, Shart hav), Stella Polaris (1993), Burnt by Frost (1997, Brent av Frost).

About the film

Black & white, 35 mm

Section: Documentary Films in Competition
Director: Knut Erik Jensen
Dir. of Photography: Svein Krovel, Auslag Holm
Editor: Auslag Holm
Producer: Tom Remlov, Jan Erik Gammieng
Production: Norsk Film AS
Cast: Berlevag Mail Choir

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