arts   |   iu cinema

Try a taste of Scandinavian film with ‘Under the Tree’



"Under the Tree" is a part of the International Arthouse Series at the cinema, which features new films from around the world, according to the IU Cinema’s website. At 7 p.m. on Aug. 30 at the IU Cinema, students and Bloomington residents were able to see the film.

The series is co-sponsored by the Ryder Film Series, which present films and documentaries from around the world that you won’t find on the big screen. 

The film is in Icelandic, but had English subtitles at the showing in the IU cinema. It is considered to be a comedy, but has dark humor, as is typical of Scandinavian films. It was directed by Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurðsson, and has won 15 awards since its premiere in 2017, according to IMDB.  

“What I most liked about the film is that it practically forces you to laugh at situations you know you probably shouldn’t, because it’s so brashly irreverent at many points," Brittany Friesner, associate director of the IU Cinema said. "It does a fantastic job of building tension and leveraging humor to explore relatable topics like parent relationships, marriage, and annoying neighbors,” 

In “Under the Tree," the main character moves back in with his parents after getting into a detrimental argument with his wife. He is then dragged into an argument between his parents and their neighbors about a tree in his parent’s yard. The petty argument ends up spiraling out of control, and reaches an unexpected and violent end, according to the IU Cinema’s website.

“It was unexpected, and the ending did not wrap up the plot very well,” Maggie Lowenhar, an athletic training major and member of the audience, said.

The IU Cinema will be showing “Under the Tree” a second time at 7 p.m. Aug. 31. Tickets for students are $4, tickets for non-students cost $7. 

“I really liked it. It sparks very complicated feelings and emotions," Ata Tuncer, a linguistics major, said. "It was real."

Another film coming up in the International Arthouse Series is “Madeline’s Madeline,” directed by Josephine Decker, which follows a girl who is part of a local theater troupe. The director forces her to put all of her troubles in her acting, which blurs the lines of reality and theater, according to the IU Cinema’s website. The first showing will be at 7 p.m. Sept. 13 and the second will be at 10 p.m. Sept. 14. Both films will be at the IU Cinema, and tickets cost $4 for students and $7 for non-students. 

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