Metalhead

Iceland | 2013 | 97 mins | Icelandic w/ English subtitles
Drama

One Screening Only
Date: Thursday September 25, 2014
Time: 7:00
The Broadway Theatre
$10 (Admittance restricted to persons over 18)
Film contains sequences of language, sexual content, nudity and brief drug use.
Certifications:   Australia:MA15+ (2014) / Sweden:11

Director: Ragnar Bragason
Screenplay: Ragnar Bragason
Cast: Ingvar Eggert Sigurðsson, Sveinn Ólafur Gunnarsson and Thora Bjorg Helga
Producers: Árni Filippusson and Davíd Óskar Ólafsson
Company: Raven Banner Entertainment

IMDB Profile

Screens with short film: SERPENT’S LULLABY

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Synopsis

Fueled by a remarkable breakout performance by actress Thora Bjorg Helga, director Ragnar Bragason’s intense drama of loss, faith, redemption, Megadeth and Judas Priest begins with a farming accident in the 1980’s that sends a young girl, Hera, and her parents into a tail-spin of grief over the death of her heavy metal music-obsessed older brother. A decade later and Hera is transformed into a sexy, surly headbanger and DIY musician, dressed in black leather and a Slayer t-shirt, clutching her dead brother’s electric guitar as she howls anthems of rage to a barn full of cows. Seemingly trapped in a haunted landscape of slaughterhouses and barren winter fields, making all the wrong choices in her life – including coming on to the local priest and sleeping with her platonic best friend – Hera slowly, painfully comes to terms with her family’s loss and the sound of her own true voice. Partly inspired by the Norwegian black metal church burnings in the early 1990’s, and featuring a soundtrack of 1980’s and 1990’s headbanging classics by Riot, Teaze, Savatage, Lizzy Borden and Megadeth, METALHEAD has been praised as “a powerful portrait of grief never dealt with … an impeccably crafted and beautifully performed film” (Todd Brown, Twitchfilm). Winner of 8 awards at the 2014 Icelandic Film Awards including Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor & Actress, and Original Score. In Icelandic with English subtitles. A selection of the Toronto Film Festival.

METALHEAD is the latest feature film from acclaimed Icelandic director Ragnar Bragason. A dark, intense drama of faith, loss and heavy metal music in the 80’s and early 90’s.  Includes music from Judas Priest, Megadeth, Savatage, Riot, Lizzy Borden, Solstafir and more

Awards

  • Metalhead has been nominated for 6 jury awards for the 9th Annual Hell’s Half Mile Film & Music Festival in the US – Best Feature Film, Best Lead Actress (Thora Bjorg Helga), Best Supporting Actor (Ingvar E.Sigurdsson), Best Supporting Actress (Halldóra Geirhardsdóttir), Best Screenplay, and Best Soundtrack.
  • Winner of 8 awards at the 2014 Icelandic Film Awards including Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor & Actress, and Original Score. In Icelandic with English subtitles. A selection of the Toronto Film Festival.

Buzz

“Poignant and sweet but at the same time painful and fierce… Any true metalhead should see it” – Daily Best (Italy)

“Probably the best film ever made on Heavy Metal… treating the subject seriously, far removed from the parodies and clichés of Hollywood… A film that will leave no Metal Heart untouched” – Church Of Nowhere (France)

“Metalhead is a remarkable movie (probably the best movie I have seen in 2014) that never wavers from its commitment to tell a true story – a story about what it means to become a person…” – Fantasia

“A touching drama with a heavy soundtrack” – Rolling Stone

“One of the decade’s most important films” – FromBeyond

Programmer’s Opinion

Ragnar Bragson’s Metalhead is a haunting and powerful look at dealing with grief and loss. Centering around Hera Karlsdottir (Þorbjörg Helga Dyrfjörð), a young woman who hasn’t let go of the memory of her brother Baldur, who died when she was a young girl as the result of a tragic accident on the family farm, for whom she now embodies by the way she presents herself – as a metalhead. Not able to communicate with her parents, and trying to find her own way in life, Hera holds onto the memory of Baldur in more than just dressing in black band T-shirts and blasting Iron Maiden. And her family and community don’t seem to understand why she would want to dress like such, or listen to such, which only causes more alienation for Hera. But when she discovers black metal one night, she feels that this music, these low-fi, intense, and haunting riffs, are her way to express her pain, and she takes to writing her own music. Metalhead, despite the title, is not a movie geared specifically at the metal music crowd but those who are into the genre of music might have a greater appreciation for some of the hurdles Hera goes through. It’s a moving drama that’s relatable, yet something fresh that this particular story, the age-old tale of finding oneself and letting go of the past, severely needed. Þorbjörg Helga Dyrfjörð is mesmerizing in the lead role, providing a full range of emotions to a fully realized character. Also drawing you in is the stark yet boldly beautiful cinematography by August Jakobsson, making the cold landscape of Iceland feel like the grim places told about in the music of Darkthrone and others. Metalhead is a powerful drama full of hurt and heart, and easily one of the best films of the year. – Tyler Baptist

Trailer

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