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Palm Springs

The Palm Springs International Film Festival plays host to a fabulous array of movies and movie stars. The Festival features a stellar line-up of more than 175 films from 60 countries, special events and gala receptions. 

The Palm Springs International Festival of Short Films has become known world-wide for the extraordinary community of filmmakers it attracts, and for the quality and scope of its programming. This celebrated event is the largest festival of its kind in America, showcasing over 320 short films each year from more than 40 countries, with a library of more than 2700 films available to film buyers, industry and press in the Film Market running concurrently with the Festival.



VOLCANO (ELDFJALL, Iceland, 2011), Iceland's official Oscar entry for 2012 screened this week at the 23rd Palm Springs International Film Festival. 

Few films can boast such raw and gritty realism as VOLCANO (ELDFJALL, Iceland, 2011). While the film is set in its native Iceland, it is a far cry from the expansive Nordic Eden we have been exposed to after Eastwood's FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS (2006) and TOMB RAIDER (2001), with VOLCANO exposing the more tangible truth of everyday life in Iceland of a fisherman (Hannes) and his wife and the driest peak in their lives, where everything they once knew is about to erupt and explode into an even tougher existence than ever before.

Instead of wide mossy spaces, volcanic black beaches, glistening glaciers, blue thermal lagoons, rushing waterfalls; here, in fact, we see the hard reality of a weathered older couple near retirement facing all the beauties and terrors of life, hopelessness and loss. This is existentialism at its best and we wonder how Hannes (played by Theodór Júlíusson) will cope with his change from a sense of meaningless existence and seemingly ungrateful attitude towards his subservient wife and family to becoming sole caretaker to his wife after she suffers a life-threatening stroke. Will Hannes continue to wallow in self-pity and question his seemingly pointless existence or will he step up to the plate and take charge of the situation at hand? It is all in his hands to manage and live with or hide from the ever present, ever turbulent and unpredictable volcano.

VOLCANO (2011) by Icelandic director Rúnar Rúnarsson, which held its world premier at Cannes this year and was nominated for Camera d'Or, opened to home audiences during the 8th annual Reykjavik Film Festival (RIFF), 2011. 

written by Vanessa McMahon



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Lee David


Palm Springs,

United States

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