Still go-go in Fridriksson, now preparing Staying Alive
by Jorn Rossing Jensen
22/05/2012 - No stranger to filming funerals - "and although my lesbian experiences are somewhat more limited, I am eager to learn" - Icelandic director Fridrik Thór Fridriksson (photo) is preparing to shoot Staying Alive next summer in Reykjavik, about a lesbian spinster who is obsessed with funerals.
In Cannes Icelandic producers Hrönn Kristinsdóttir and Anna María Karlsdóttir, of Iceland's Ljósband, who will stage the project with UK's Film & Music Entertainment (F&ME), are currently concluding the financing of the €1.5 million feature, which is Fridriksson's first after Mamma Gógó [trailer] (2010), about a mother's affliction from Alzheimer's, which was awarded three Eddas, Iceland's national film prize.
A comedy-drama from an original script by Bardi Gudmundsson, Staying Alive follows a 43-year-old woman who after 25 consecutive years as Employee of the Month loses her job at a sewing factory, as hard times force it to close. To kill time, she starts going to funerals of total strangers, and one day she meets Greta, her lesbian friend from boarding school.
"I also see this film an ode to - and vehicle for - the multitude of excellent actresses who have hit middle age at the very peak of their professional and artistic abilities," said Fridriksson, whose Children of Nature (1991) was nominated for an Oscar as Best Foreign-Language Feature.
"When showing my films abroad I have realised the large role funerals play in them (the other theme pointed out to me was broken families). Reading Gudmundsson's script I felt it was tailored for me, or at least for someone with the same keen sense of fashion, as funerals are at the very heart of the story."
"It also appealed to me because it presents a world of blue collar women and a gay subculture that is quite alien to myself, though gay people are outsiders like most of my characters, and have to fight for their basic rights," concluded Fridriksson, who is now casting the movie, which will be delivered in February 2014.