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Síðasti bærinn í dalnum (The Last Farm in the Valley) is a watershed work in the history of Icelandic film. This first acted film by Óskar Gíslason was premiered in 1950 and was wildly popular. The score, written by Jórunn Viðar, was the first full-length movie soundtrack composed in Iceland. To commemorate the centennial of Jórunn’s birth on 7 December 1918, the film will be shown with live accompaniment by the ISO. The sheet music to Jórunn’s score was long since lost, but composer Þórður Magnússon has transcribed it from the film and prepared it for performance.
The subject of the film is in the spirit of the old folk tales, classic adventures featuring the battle between good and evil. In a country community, all of the farmers have fled because of persecution by trolls. One farmer remains with his family, however, as the grandmother possesses a magic ring that protects them from all evil. The trolls try to steal the ring from her, triggering a series of events involving supernatural beings, including an elf queen and a dwarf who can make himself invisible. Jórunn Viðar’s folk style is uniquely suited to the subject. The ISO is particularly gratified to make this magical tale accessible to a new generation.
Bjarni Frímann Bjarnason
The event is in collaboration with the National Film Archive of Iceland.