Scandi period pieces look back to the 1960s music scene
“One of the biggest love stories in Denmark, or in the whole Scandinavia,” said Ole Christian Madsen on his colorful drama “Itsi Bitsi” (pictured). Like Peter Flinth’s Norwegian project “Beatles,” Madsen’s pic recalls the 1960s Scandinavian music scene. The two titles featured at a work session at Sweden’s Goteborg Fest Nordic Film Market.
“Itsi Bitsi”, repped by The Match Factory, one of Europe’s top arthouse sales agents, is produced by Lars Bredo Rahbek at Nimbus. Madsen is known for chamber play “Prague” and the award winning World War II-drama “Flame & Citron”, both with Mads Mikkelsen, star of the Oscar-nominated “The Hunt.”
“Itsi Bitsi” takes place in several countries, in Paris and France not the least, but kicks off in Denmark in 1962, with a young generation rebelling against the establishment. Pic turns on a triangular love story, peace activism, sexual freedom, drugs and the destined-to-become-legendary band Steppeulvene.
It also includes songs by Bob Dylan and “L’amour est bleu” in a drama laced with comedy and melancholy.
“I’ve wanted to make this film for a long time, and I’m very glad that I now have the possibility,” said Madsen. “These characters were before the Beatniks and the hippies in Denmark. In Scandinavia, they were the first step towards 68, the pioneers.”
Joachim Fjelstrup, Marie Tourell Soderberg, Christian Gade Bjerrum play the leads; Thure Lindhardt and Swedish thesp Ola Rapace have secondary roles.
“The film will be finished this summer and we’re aiming for an international release at an A-festival,” said Madsen.
Pic will bow domestically on Jan. 15, 2015.
Peter Flinth’s “Beatles” centers on four teenage boys growing up in Oslo at the time when Beatlemania hits Norway. The work in progress at Goteborg suggested a coming of age inspired by “Stand By Me.”
Produced by Storm Rosenberg AS, the pic is one of the first to be authorized to use original Beatles recordings.
Over recent years, Danish helmer Flinth has directed a couple of Swedish productions, among them “Arn: The Knight Templar” and ”Arn: The Kingdom at the End of the Road,” with Stellan Skarsgard and Gustaf Skarsgard.
Flinth and Madsen both graduated from the Danish Film School, together with Per Fly and Tomas Vinterberg.