Showing posts with label Stellan Skarsgård. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Stellan Skarsgård. Show all posts

29 October 2012

King Of Devil's Island DVD Review

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King of Devil's Island (2010), though not an easy film to watch, is a drama which demands to be seen. Starring Stellan Skarsgård, Kristoffer Joner and Benjamin Helstad and directed by Marius Holst, this is a harrowing lesson in the harsh reality of human nature and man's inner strength in the face of adversity.

Based on true events, the story is set in the infamous correctional facility of Bastøy on a remote and inhospitable island in the Norwegian fjords, during the early part of the 20th century. When a new and headstrong boy called Erling (Helstad) arrives it soon becomes clear to everyone, especially Bastøy's governor Håkon (Skarsgård), that this troubled young man is not ready to conform to the strict regime on the island. Before long Erling's rebellious nature comes to the fore with life changing results for them all.

King of Devil's Island is a devastating film. Shot on location in Estonia and Norway, the mesmeric natural beauty of its setting and the minimal style and colour palette in which it is shot is breathtaking. Both the snow and ice covered countryside outside backing onto a seemingly endless sea which stretches beyond the island's rough beach, and the facility's interior monotone colour scheme of grey and white, create perfect neutral surroundings against which the action plays out.

This harsh air continues with the film's overriding realism - both in the conditions in which the boys live and in the brutality of the men who run the concentration camp facility - and at points threatens to engulf the viewer with its seeping sense of despair and hopelessness. From this angle the film works marvellously, leaving you with a real feeling of what these young men (one of whose only crime had been to steal a few pence from a church offering plate) went through, and hence an admiration for their stoic perseverance to survive in the face of insurmountable odds.

Ultimately however this film revolves around three people - Erling, Håkon and Brâthan (Kristoffer Joner) the sadistic head of Erling's section within Bastøy. That by the end of the film it is Erling and his fellow inmates with whom the viewer sides will come as no surprise. However it is the performances of the actors who bring these three disparate characters to life which is undoubtedly the most memorable aspect of the film. From the outstanding performance of newcomer Helstad as the damaged Erling to Skarsgård as the ineffectual and ultimately weak Håkon and Joner as his twisted subordinate, the relationship which plays out between these men will hold your attention until the film's final reel.

Shocking, moving and mesmeric in equal proportions, King of Devil's Island makes essential viewing if only as a warning against the extremities of human nature and man's cruelty against his fellow man.

Cleaver Patterson


UK DVD/BD Release Date: 29th October 2012
Directed By: Marius Holst
Cast: Stellan Skarsgård, Benjamin Helstad,Kristoffer Joner, Trond Nilssen
Buy King of Devil's Island:DVD / Blu-ray

16 September 2012

King Of Devil's Island Coming To DVD/Blu-Ray This October

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Based on a true story, King of Devil’s Island follows the hope and friendship of the boys
of Bastøy in the face of adversity
Starring Stellan Skarsgård, Kristoffer Joner, Benjamin Helstad, and Trond Nilssen.
King of Devil’s Island is the latest stunning offering from Scandinavia. Set in 1915 enter the unsettling world of a group of young delinquents banished to the remote prison of Bastøy. King of Devil’s Island is out on DVD and Blu-rayfrom 29th October.

  Under the guise of rehabilitation, the boys’ daily regime is dictated by mental and physical abuse at the hands of their wardens. The arrival of new boys Erling (Helstad) and Ivar (Magnus Langlete) sparks a chain of events that ultimately ignite rebellion. King of Devil’s Island explores a sinister moment in Norwegian history that won’t be forgotten.  
Governor of the institute Håkon played by Stellan Skarsgard (The Avengers, Mamma Mia, Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) was praised for his performance, The Guardian said he “gives a wonderfully weighted and authoritative performance”, while The Observer said “There’s an impressive force to the performances and, amid the ice and snow, the film burns with a sense of injustice”. The majority of the cast were unknown and selected based on their authentic appearance to bring the film alive. Novice Trond Nillsen “has proven to be a genuine film talent” (Marius Holst). Winner of Best Film and Best Supporting Actor (Trond Nilssen) at the Norwegian International Film Festival (2011) and Best Feature Film at Lübeck Nordic Film Days (2011), the film stars Stellan Skarsgård (Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Angels and Demons, Pirates of the Caribbean, Good Will Hunting), Kirstoffer Joner (Shooting Star), and rising talent Benjamin Helstad (Body Troopers, Angel) make up a strong ensemble cast.  

Director Marius Holst (Cross My Heart and Hope to Die, Dragon Fly, Mirush), brilliantly captured the hardship the boys go through in the ice-crescent enclosure. Holst described the story behind the film as a timeless tale of injustice, repression and revolt. He felt this was a story that begged to be made into film, thus exposing the unwanted boys’ destinies.
The prison uprising is a stirring and thrilling finale” Daily Star Sunday
Set for release on DVD and Blu-Ray in the UK on 29th October, King of Devil’s Island is a desperate attempt to overthrow a brutal regime in the name of freedom.

Pre-Order/Buy The King Of Devil's Island: DVD / Blu-ray