January 24, 2010

Variety reviews Nuummioq


By Todd McCarthy
Purportedly the first locally produced feature film ever made in Greenland, "Nuummioq" is an engagingly low-key and increasingly contemplative look at a man's journey across land and water to new-found self-awareness. Never less than a pleasure to behold thanks to the stunning landscapes and nimble handheld lensing, the mischievously humorous picture maintains an unemphatic but steady grip on its protag's largely unarticulated emotional awakening. Unassuming, sympathetic effort will gain automatic entree to fests around the world based on the novelty of its origins alone and has a sliver of commercial potential in specialized Euro and North American markets.

That the film has turned out well at all perhaps rates as a mild surprise, not only because of the lack of filmmaking infrastructure in the sparsely populated nation (which is still largely administered by Denmark), but also because of its fractured production history; original director Otto Rosing reportedly became severely depressed and departed the production immediately after principal photography was finished in the summer of 2008, whereupon screenwriter Torben Bech assumed co-director status and oversaw editing and post-production with producer Mikisoq H. Lynge.

As it is, the pic is marked by a fleet editing style that skips from moment to moment while still allowing the story's meditative aspects to take hold, although some patchwork is visible via the abundant layering of moody pop tunes, many of them in English. Importantly, however, the storytelling maintains its throughline and slowly develops heft despite the relative ordinariness of most of the action.
Comment:  For more on the subject, see Preview of Nuummioq and The Best Indian Movies.

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