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DARK HORSE

Director: DAGUR KARI

DENMARK-ICELAND • 2005 • SUBTITLED • BLACK AND WHITE • DOLBY DIGITAL STEREO • 105 MIN


THIS LATEST FILM FROM ICELANDIC FILM-MAKER DAGUR KARI—FOLLOWING HIS VERY SUCCESSFUL DEBUT WITH 2003’S NOI ALBINOI—REINFORCES THE DIRECTOR’S PROPENSITY FOR OFFBEAT HUMOUR, A LAIDBACK TONE, FUNNY DIALOGUE AND AN HONEST DESCRIPTION OF PEOPLE’S EMOTIONAL STATE OF MIND.
Bold, often hallucinatory black and white cinematography, carefully constructed otherworldly soundscapes and a cast of well drawn oddballs inhabiting an engaging slacker universe are some of many idiosyncratic charms of Dark Horse. Like Noi Albinoi, this innovative second feature focuses on a young man slightly at odds with the world around him. Daniel (Jakob Cedergren), a Copenhagen based graffiti artist, has relied on his indolent charms to see him through years of life outside the system. When he meets a girl and falls in love, he finds his anarchic attitude towards responsibility might not be what she’s really looking for.
Rarely seen without his headphones, and often lost in his own musical world (as in Noi Albinoi, Kari’s own band ‘slowblow’ contribute the soundtrack), Daniel embarks on a personal odyssey affecting and affected by those he encounters on the way. Kari intriguingly claims that his aim was to create a film which looked like Kieslowski directing an episode of Seinfeld. As a French-born Icelander, the director can certainly claim an outsider’s perspective, and as such is well placed to probe the downbeat comedy inherent in Daniel’s world. ‘The movie is about people who don’t fit into society,’ Kari explains. ‘Either they create an alternative reality of their own, or strive to find it.’—Sarah Lutton.

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