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Of Horses and Men 2013

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Winner of the Best New Director award at the San Sebastian Film Festival, Benedikt Erlingssonâs critically acclaimed debut feature OF HORSES AND MEN is a darkly comic country romance about the human streak in the horse and the horse in the human. Set in the stunning Icelandic countryside, love, death and sex become interlaced in this playful, affectionate yet unflinching portrait of a remote valley community as seen from the horsesâ perspective. Unique and highly entertaining, OF HORSES AND MEN was Icelandâs official submission for the 2014 Oscars and won in six categories at the 2014 Edda Awards (the Icelandic Film and Television Academy), including Director of the Year, Screenplay of the Year and Best Film.

Starring:
Maria Ellingsen, Helgi BjöRnsson
Rental Formats:
DVD, Blu-ray

Product Details

Discs
  • Feature ages_15_and_over
Runtime 1 hour 21 minutes
Starring Maria Ellingsen, Helgi BjöRnsson, Charlotte BøVing, Kristbjörg Kjeld, Halldora Geirhardsdottir, Juan Camillo Roman Estrada, SigríðUr MaríA EgilsdóTtir, Steinn Armann Magnusson, Erlingur Gislason, Ingvar Eggert SigurðSson
Director Benedikt Erlingsson
Genres Comedy, Romance
Studio AXIOM FILMS
Rental release 22 September 2014
Main languages Icelandic
Subtitles English
Discs
  • Feature ages_15_and_over
Runtime 1 hour 21 minutes
Starring Maria Ellingsen, Helgi BjöRnsson, Charlotte BøVing, Kristbjörg Kjeld, Halldora Geirhardsdottir, Juan Camillo Roman Estrada, SigríðUr MaríA EgilsdóTtir, Steinn Armann Magnusson, Erlingur Gislason, Ingvar Eggert SigurðSson
Director Benedikt Erlingsson
Genres Comedy, Romance
Studio AXIOM FILMS
Rental release 22 September 2014
Main languages Icelandic
Subtitles English

Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By B Keeler on 7 Dec. 2014
Format: Blu-ray
What at first seems like a lot of horsing around makes way for some beautifully dark and poignant set pieces executed delicately with less emphasis on dialogue than you may expect. Starting off on a trot, the film eventually gallops as the 'chapters' cross paths and the stories start to make sense as a moving fresco and an excellent representation of the themes in the very title of the film - one of few films these days whose title is very literal, and therefore honest.

Found myself smirking and cringing at the same time at several moments in the film which is a delightful combination that works so well and is most representative of the Icelandic sense of humour. I loved the exploration of the beautifully windswept landscape, as well as the subtlety to subjects of outside interaction - both tourism and trading. Comically morbid at points - the funeral scenes, in which the ceremony is used as some kind of flirting ritual by some of the characters. Clever in its use of repetitive imagery - punctuated with shots of the reflection in a horses eye, used as an establishing shot and somewhat foreshadowing the scene about to unfold.

A very clever little film, with nothing much profound to say other than a love for a particularly abundant animal in Iceland, but a great exercise in both minimalism and awkward humour. An enticing ride and one I'm glad I took.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Hingston on 27 Sept. 2014
Format: Blu-ray
A quite stunning film set amongst a horse breeding community in Iceland. Anyone expecting a romanticised and sanitised story about people and animals will be surprised, though. The film is episodic, with the relationship between the events and characters emerging only through the film, humour mixes with tragedy, and the squeamish have to wait for the end for reassurance that the film was made by horse lovers and no horses were harmed. That the actors and crew were all experienced in working with horses is very clear from the start, and, yes, they do speak Icelandic or in one case Swedish, though the subtitling is well done. A film by adults, for adults.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Crazy Cy on 24 Sept. 2014
Format: Blu-ray
Really enjoyed this film! A pleasingly odd little gem full of striking images. Realistically I'd give it 4/5 but have added an extra star to counter the idiocy of the last 'review'!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By william glen on 26 Oct. 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
A strange film, i liked it but my wife who was the prime mover in buying this film had reservations. She thought it would be more documentary than what we viewed. The horses in it were wonderful, but the men left much to be desired. And yes, i realise they were characters in a film narrative, but i think i would have preferred the company of the wonderful and beautiful horses to any of the men portrayed. But maybe the harsh and at times beautiful landscape and the difficulty of scraping a living in such a harsh environment molded them as harsh and brittle.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Philoctetes TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 25 April 2015
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
A bracing and darkly comic, and decidedly offbeat movie from Iceland about the occupants of a valley and their ups and downs with their horses (not to mention each other). The focus upon the faces and eyes of the horses put me in mind of Vacas (1992) by Julio Medem and there's even a wandering Spaniard in the valley who in one grisly scene gets caught in a blizzard and must take desperate measures to survive.

Elsewhere we encounter a spirited young lass determined to bridle an unruly mare, a reckless rogue who rides his horse into the icy waters in pursuit of a Russian ship and its hooch, the hazards of cutting barbed wire and of course that bit in the trailer with the stallion covering the mare much to her owner's dismay.

One or two grim moments but generally this is a refreshing romp with an accordian and clikety-clack soundtrack which keeps things cantering along.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A. P. Reeves on 26 May 2015
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
No subtitles, but it didn't matter. There's very little dialogue & the images speak for themselves. A series of vignettes, some shocking, some amusing but always eccentric, unsentimental & in the end, quite endearing. Recommend it if you are looking for something original & unique.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By K. Lynn on 18 Jan. 2015
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
A beautifully shot film of horses and Iceland (and people as well). The film premise is to tell rural stories in the rugged wilderness of Iceland's 'outback'. from the horse's perspective. Minimal dialogue - the landscape outline the stories. Not by any means a disneyfied' film but if you like your international cinema then you may love this - I did. PS Some scenes will be upsetting for children even thought the filmmakers claim no horses were harmed in the making of this film.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jasper on 10 Oct. 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
An engrossing movie even for non-horse people and apparently an insight into a mysterious country. No plot in the conventional sense but as a slice of exotic life it's fascinating. However - some people have been getting exercised over subtitles in recent reviews so be warned - some parts of the film have none.
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