Englar Alheimsins

Iceland 2000


ANGELS OF THE UNIVERSE portrays the life of Paul, who suffers from schizophrenia, and the way people react to his illness. At first we see him with his family, childhood friends and the girl that he loves, and then we follow him into the psychiatric hospital. There we meet his colourful companions Öli Beatle, who believes he has written all the Beatles' songs and sent them to the group as telepathic messages; the sophisticated and erudite Viktor, who sometimes suddenly turns into Hitler; and Peter, Paul's room-mate, who has freaked out on acid and is under the impression he wrote a doctorate about Schiller at a Chinese university.

Director Fridrik Thor Fridriksson and Einar Mär Gudmundsson join forces again in ANGELS OF THE UNIVERSE adapted from Gudmundsson's award winning novel (e.g. Nordic prize of Literature in 1995). The story is a testimony to a unique life, a homage to those who are relegated to the sidelines and condemned to observe. But ANGELS OF THE UNIVERSE preach no sermons. In a subtle blend of humour and zest, the film delicately charts the uneasy border zone where the comic and tragic fuse.

Director's Biography

FRIDRIK THOR FRIDRIKSSON (b. 1954) started making 16mm films while still in high school. He ran the University's film club, founded Iceland's first film magazine and helped set up the Reykjavik Film Festival which he chairs at present. Fridrikson is the chairman of the Icelandic Directors' Guild, a member of the board of the Association of Icelandic Film Producers and the Icelandic Film Academy. He is a member of the European Film Academy.

Fridriksson directed non-conventional documentaries, such as The Blacksmith (1981), Rock in Reykjavik (1982) and Icelandic Cowboys (1984), before his first feature, White Whales (1987). He then directed several films for Icelandic Television before making Children of Nature (1991), which was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 1992 and received no less than twenty three other international prizes.

Movie Days (1994) followed up an the success of Children of Nature with a wider cinema release abroad than given to any Icelandic film before. lt was awarded the "Nordic Amanda" prize as the best Nordic film of 1994.

Cold Fever (1995), FRIDRIKSSON's most international production, has earned a world-wide distribution and been enthusiastically received by critics and audiences alike. Its many international prizes include "The Rosebud" at the Edinburgh Film Festival in 1995.

Devil's Island headed the top ten in Iceland in 1996 and again Fridriksson got the Nordic Amanda prize for the best Nordic film of 1997.

Angels of the Universe had its international premier at the Karlovy Vary Int. Film Festival. The film was given the FIPRESCI Main Prize and a Special Mention from the Grand Jury.

FRIDRIKSSON's company the Icelandic Film Corporation has been involved in almost every Icelandic film made in recent years as well as co-producing several international productions.

Cast & Crew

Directed by : Friðrik Þór Friðriksson

Written by : Einar Mar Gudmundsson

Produced by : Friðrik Þór Friðriksson

Director of Photography : Harald Gunnar Paalgard

Editor : Sigvaldi J. Karason, Skule Eriksen

Production Design : Jón Steinar Ragarsson

Costume Design : Helga I. Stefánsdóttir

Composer : Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson

Main Cast : Ingvar E. Sigurdsson (Paul), Hilmir Snaer Gudnason (Pétur), Björn Jörundur Friðbjörnsson (Viktor), Baltasar Kormákur (Oli)

Nominations and Awards

  • European Actor 2000
  • EFA Feature Film Selection 2000