Cool and Crazy

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Sociopolitical, Arts Documentary published by Barentsfilm AS in 2001 - Norwegian narration

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AKA Heftig og begeistret

Cool & Crazy is a charming film about a number of ageing men who get together to form a choir in Berlevag, a village in northern Norway, just inside the Arctic Circle.

If you don't like singing, don't worry, much of the film is taken up with a melancholy exploration of male sexuality and abandonment. And in case you think all Scandinavians are gloomy, prepare to be surprised by the resilience and good humour of these frost-bedecked ancients.

It is about a male voice choir from a remote fishing village in Norway who sound like a very, very depressed Buena Vista Social Club. Director Knut Erik Jensen's film is unfussy; it does not use a voiceover, nor does it record the questions that elicit reminiscences from the (mostly very elderly) Norwegian gentlemen as they put in a full rehearsal schedule in preparation for a big tour of Russia.

Their music is hauntingly sad: dominated by lyrical evocations of nature and the brevity of man's life. The choristers' attitude to their ensemble is a haunted gratitude for the respite it offers from a pretty bleak, islanded existence on the Finnmark coast. The choir rub along together well enough, until their tour takes them to Murmansk, its environment poisoned by collective Soviet industry, and the choir's one communist becomes involved in a furious row with everyone else. "Lenin was the greatest man of the 20th century!" he roars. "You lot probably think Bjorn from the Fishermens' Union was the greatest!"

The film was smash hit in Scandinavian cinemas, and in Norway topped the box office charts for many weeks.

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[edit] Technical Specs

Video Codec: XviD
Video Bitrate: 1841 kbps
Video Resolution: 704 x 384
Video Aspect Ratio: 1.833 (11:6)
Audio Codec: AC3
Audio BitRate: 224 kbps
Audio Language: Norwegian
RunTime Per Part: 1:39:18
Number Of Parts: 1
Part Size: 1,492MB (1/3 DVD)
Subtitles: English, permanent
Ripped by Dentje

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