26 Aug

A hidden gem!

IMG_2704There are so many hidden gems in London. When I decided to visit Kenwood House, a mansion from the 18th century, it was purely because I wanted to see the location of a scene from Notting Hill. For those who know the movie; I’m talking about the scene where Anna Scott is filming and William overhears her dismissing him to a fellow actor.

Little did I know that Kenwood House has a truly exceptional collection of paintings by Rembrandt, Vermeer, Gainsborough, Turner and Reynolds, not to mention the 112 acres of glorious parkland. It’s the perfect place to visit if you want to spend a day admiring art and be able to take a stroll in beautiful surroundings as well. It’s also interesting to walk around the house and explore the stories of it’s inhabitants and if you are hungry there’s a restaurant on the grounds, offering food that’s nice.

Kenwood House was built by Robert Adam for the 1st Earl of Mansfield and saved for the nation by Edward Cecil Guinness, 1st Earl of Iveagh.

I highly recommend a visit to Kenwood House if you’re traveling to London.

Mother of all selfies. Rembrandt van Rijn - Portrait of the Artist.

Mother of all selfies. Rembrandt van Rijn – Portrait of the Artist.






27 Jul

Celebrating Dame Helen Mirren!

I adore Dame Helen Mirren! She’s one of my favourite actresses and simply a great role model as well. She stands out for her incredible versatility as an actress,  she’s feisty, very intelligent, has a great sense of humour and is never afraid to get her opinions across.

Yesterday Helen Mirren turned 70 and in her honour I have chosen a few clips from her career to show you. Enjoy!

When she talked about Caligula she was spot on!

Jane Tennison is still my favourite detective.

And finally a recent interview where she talks about the theatre, her career, her parents and more. It’s very good.


16 Jul

Emma Thompson outdoing herself?

In my humble opinion, UK cinema is the best in the world and most of my favourite TV-series are also from here. This morning I watched an interview with actor Robert Carlyle (Trainspotting, The Full Monty) where he talked about the first feature he directs. I simply can’t wait to see it. It’s called The Legend of Barney Thomson and Carlyle plays the lead himself. The other leading role is in the capable hands of Emma Thompson and I cracked up more than once when I watched the trailer. The movie is coming to theatres here in the UK on the 24th. Looking forward to this one!


13 Jul

Curious Björk in 1988

This little gem of a video shows that Björk has always been curious about science and how things work. It becomes clear that her technological project Biophilia is based on an open mind and long lasting explorations.

One of my favourite TV programmes is a documentary when two of the most iconic thinkers of our time meet and have inspiring discussions about nature and science. Here’s the trailer for When Björk met Attenborough.

And here’s a fan made video with excerpts from the documentary.

You can watch When Björk met Attenborough on iTunes for example.



11 Jul

Life in a Fishbowl

IMG_6522When the sun is shining bright, on one of the most beautiful Saturdays of the summer, going to a Film Festival is perhaps not what most people choose to do. Let alone to watch a pretty bleak Nordic film. A few film enthusiasts did so anyway to watch Baldvin Zophoniasson’s second feature, Life in a Fishbowl at the East End Film Festival.

The film follows three very different characters offering a cross section of society after the financial crash in Iceland 2008. A kind-hearted single mother takes on a demeaning career to stay afloat and protect her child; a dishevelled drifter drinks in order to forget his past; and an ambitious businessman wrestles with his conscience in the face of corporate fraud.

I talked to some audience members after the screening and they all liked the film. A few talked about how gripping it was and one said she wanted to marry Móri. Most of the people were eager to run out and bask in the sunshine but I managed to get an interview with Tim Evans, who was kind enough to sit down with me and share his thoughts on the film.




10 Jul

London in the Roaring Twenties

A few days back I posted a video of Reykjavik back in 1926. Now it’s time for London films from the same period.

The BFI has a whole lot of footage from each and every decade since filming began. For those living in the UK it’s easy to get lost for hours watching the captivating regional clips now available on BFI player. Britain on Film makes it easy to explore films with the help of a Film map. Brilliant idea! Unfortunately, due to rights restrictions, they can only make BFI Player available in the UK for now.

However, BFI has a Youtube Channel with a lot of accessible footage.

Now, this film from London’s Screen Archives is lovely.

And this footage from nightlife in the twenties always makes me smile.

Finally, London after dark. The old ladies in the end of the video are so amusing!

06 Jul

A Song for Jenny

Programme Name: A Song For Jenny - TX: n/a - Episode: n/a (No. 1) - Picture Shows:  Julie Nicholson (EMILY WATSON) - (C) BBC - Photographer: Nicola Dove

Last night I watched the film A Song For Jenny on BBC1. Even now my eyes water when I think about scenes from the movie. It’s heartbreaking to watch but worth it.  A Song for Jenny is based on a book by Julie Nicholson, a mother who lost her daughter during the 7/7 attacks in 2005. The book was adapted for television by the Irish playwright Frank McGuinness and Brian Percival directs. It’s very well written and directed. It’s often said that storytelling is all in the details and this screenplay is a proof of that. Emily Watson gives an incredible performance as Julie, one you’ll never forget.

Julie is struggling to accept her daughter’s death in the suicide bombing at The Edgware Road tube station. As viewers, we can feel the raw emotions through Watson’s performance, the anguish, the devastating wait for the worst news possible. Then the death of hope, the anger and the hatred, but also the complicated and mixed feelings when she tries to honour her daughter by letting go of the hatred, failing at first.

In this interview with The Express, Emily Watson talks about how she met Julie ahead of filming; ‘Julie was amazingly generous. She is a natural storyteller and has a sense of the poetic, despite her own grief,’ says Emily. ‘I asked her a lot of really direct questions and she answered them completely. Although she kind of lost her faith, she came through it and chose life and love and not hatred.’

If Watson will not take home a lot of awards during next awards season, I’ll be surprised. It’s not often we see acting on this level, not even in England.

A Song for Jenny is one of the most powerful explorations of grief I’ve ever seen.



03 Jul

Downton Abbey finale

10639717_10203663541923167_8469119200001364709_nThe last day of filming the very last episode of Downton Abbey took place in Highclere Castle yesterday. The series will air here in the UK this autumn, and as expected the last episode will be on Christmas Day.

There will be carolling, that much we know already. There is also a new puppy called Pringles and… drumroll please! Carson will spill some wine! Oh my! Has good old Carson lost his touch? Will he and Mrs. Hughes get married? What will happen to Mary or poor Edith? Julian Fellows has not said much, but at least he’s said the theme of series six is resolution.

ITV’s much loved period drama has been a worldwide hit. It regularly pulls in 11 million viewers in the UK alone and 25.5 million viewers watched series five. There have been rumours that there might be a Downton movie in the pipes. We’ll see!

The photos are from my visit to Highclere Castle in August, when I interviewed Lady von Carnarvon for RUV. Now the media has been banned from taking photos of the paintings in the castle so this first photo is a bit special.



26 Jun

The Hot Tub

11654059_10155754922810472_1215289369_oI can’t think of anything more Icelandic than soaking in a hot tub on a cold starry night.

The Hot Tub is a short documentary by Harpa Fönn Sigurjónsdóttir & Askja Films. The film is due to be released in the autumn and is seeking funding on Karolina Fund. A worthy cause to support.

The Hot Tub captures the unique culture of the Icelandic HOT TUBS. Iceland has long been known for its natural, warm water due to geothermal activity. Hence our great, warm swimming pools all around the country with traditional hot tubs on the side. After a good swim it has become a tradition for many Icelanders or “Hot-tubbers” to relax in the hot tub and socialise. On a cold winter morning, this is something that cannot fail.

For some, this has become more than just a tradition, but rather a fundamental ritual to start out the day. In the documentary, we get to know these people and what it is that drives their dedication to the hot tub, what makes them tick, what makes them laugh and what makes them cry.


Anna Sæunn, Harpa Fönn and Eva

Directed by: Harpa Fönn Sigurjónsdóttir
Produced by: Eva Sigurdardottir & Harpa Fönn Sigurjónsdóttir
Production Manager: Anna Sæunn Ólafsdóttir
Animation: Lára Garðarsdóttir
Music by: Kira Kira

Production Company: Askja Films
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24 May

‘Rams’ win Cannes

RAMSenYesterday was a grand day for Icelandic film history. I’m still smiling.  An Icelandic feature won the ‘Certain Regard’ prize at the Cannes Film Festival. It’s the first time an Icelandic feature gets this prestigious award. The movie is called Rams and it’s director Grimur Hákonarson’s portrayal of the relationship between farmers and their animals in a remote Icelandic valley. I mentioned it in my first entry. The result was not that surprising, after all Rams had gotten great reviews in the media;


Screen Daily

The Hollywood Reporter

The top prizes for the main selection will be awarded tonight during the closing ceremony at the Palais des Festivals in Cannes. Jury presidents, the Coen brothers, will announce the winners. The big question of the day is who will go home with the Palm d’Or!