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Mamma Gógó

Mamma Gógó

Fridrik Thor Fridriksson

  • Country: Iceland
  • Year: 2010
  • Language: Icelandic
  • Producer: Gudrun Edda Thorhannesdottir, Fridrik Thor Fridriksson
  • Screenplay: Fridrik Thor Fridriksson
  • Runtime: 87
  • Programmes:

Icelandic master Fridrik Thor Fridriksson returns with this disarmingly honest, semi-autobiographical portrait of a filmmaker's relationship with his ailing mother. Simultaneously poignant and funny, Mamma Gógó is fuelled by compassion for those who brought us into this world and also pays tribute to the director's artistic influences.

screening times

    • Sunday September 12
    • 8:00:00 PM
    • Monday September 13
    • 9:00:00 AM
    • VARSITY 7
    • Sunday September 19
    • 12:30:00 PM

Note: indicates Premium Screening.

official description

Longtime Festival favourite Fridrik Thor Fridriksson returns with the smart, sly and affecting Mamma Gógó. A tribute to his mother, Mamma Gógó is a heavily fictionalized yet boldly honest self-portrait, as well as a sharp satire about the film industry and contemporary Icelandic society.

Suffused with a love of movies and packed with allusions to other films, Mamma Gógó centres on the relationship between the eponymous heroine, an ailing woman (Kristbjörg Kjeld) struggling with the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, and her favourite child, a film director (Hilmir Snær Guðnason) who has just made his debut feature. This film-within-a-film happens to be a serious, somber portrait of the neglect faced by elderly people in contemporary society, particularly in Iceland, a subject similar to that of Fridriksson’s own second film, Children of Nature.

At the film’s premiere, the director introduces it, somewhat pompously, as a tribute to the disappearing Iceland he grew up in. But when the film flops at the box office, he proceeds to ignore his mother, and his finances and career begin to go off the rails. In a panic, he hounds his friend the prime minister to help him, desperately trying to pump up the movie by bragging about awards from festivals he’s only heard of.

Meanwhile, his mother’s behaviour grows increasingly erratic – a condition her son doggedly tries to ignore. She’s being visited regularly by her dead husband, who complains bitterly about unkept promises and how shabbily she’s being treated, which only spurs her into increasingly dangerous behaviour. (The exquisite hallucination and flashback sequences use scenes from The Girl Gogo, one of the first big domestic hits in Iceland, which also starred Kjeld.)

Central to the film is the notion that we’re seldom aware of changes that happen right before our eyes – and on the most personal level – preferring instead to chase after phantoms. Holding rancour and tenderness, regret and self-delusion in potent tension, Mamma Gógó rivals Fridriksson’s best work and may, in fact, be his masterpiece.

Steve Gravestock

director bio

Fridrik ThorFridriksson was born in Icelandand is a self-taught filmmaker. He is the founder of Iceland’s Film Corporation. Hissecond feature, Children of Nature(91), was nominated for an Academy Award® for best foreign languagefilm. His other features include WhiteWhales (87) and the Festival presentations Movie Days (94), Cold Fever (95),Devin’s Island (96), Angels of the Universe (00), Falcons (02), Niceland (04) and Mamma Gógó (10).

full credits

Principal Cast: Kristbjörg Kjeld Hilmir Snær Gudnason Margret Vilhjalmsdottir Gunnar Eyjolfsson
Gudrun Edda Thorhannesdottir, Fridrik Thor Fridriksson
Ari Kristinsson
Anders Refn, Sigvaldi J. Karason, Tomas Potocny
Merete Mongstad, Sigurdur Sigurdsson
Hilmar Orn Hilmarsson
Production Designer:
Árni Pall Johansson
International Sales Agent:
 Bavaria Film International
Production Company:
Spellbound Productions
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