Arctic: Special Screening with Mads Mikkelsen

In Russia February is called ‘the month of wicked roads’: snow-covered streets, bone-chilling wind, spring-awaiting anxiety. These winter days Moscow was warmed up by Arctic vibes and Scandinavian charm. How the north can be so hot – ask Mads Mikkelsen about it. The acclaimed actor came to Moscow to present Arctic, his new survival film first released at Cannes Film Festival 2018.

Being a Scandinavian himself, Mads Mikkelsen has a kind of karma for having Iceland as shooting location: Danish drama Vildspor (1998), Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2006) and now Arctic (2018) were all filmed in different parts of the mysterious island country, and it seems that he really adores it. However he admits that Arctic was probably the hardest shooting time in his entire career. No wonder, cast and crew spent 20 days on a glacier making the film sharp and natural, not too hard-hitting handheld reality show, but neither a Hollywood fairytale. Just a pure thrilling lifeline on the snow, trembling in desperate hope and will to survive.

There is no need for spoilers in survival stories, especially in solos. It is the greatest art of showing strong will and last hopes using landscape and light instead of words. “Don`t bother reading the subs, there are not many words for me in this film”, smiled Mads describing his almost silent role. Visual perception is the key to atmosphere and thrill of the movie, and director of photography Tómas Örn Tómasson caught the wildest and coldest image of polar environment in his lens. The nature in Arctic displays itself as a mighty observer and the only master that reigns over these gorgeous but lonely and frightening lands. Sometimes it interferes into the poor stranded man`s fate, sometimes stays away watching what he would do, if he dares.

Regardless how freezing the film may seem, it is full of soul and emotion, highlighted by exquisitely ice-crystal soundtrack by Joseph Trapanese. The composer has gained fame due to The Greatest Showman and Robin Hood, but trust me the Arctic soundtrack is much more touching and powerful, and I hope to see its LP release one day.

Arctic gained a warm welcome in Moscow, and Mads was pretty much surprised how many fans came from different Russian cities to see him. “In fact I was expecting about 200 people in the cinema, but this theater seems to be bigger than entire Denmark”, he joked as he appeared on the stage. Wearing Scandinavian Midsummer flower crown, he saw countless Danish flags and same crowns up front, the audience applauded each time he tried to repeat some Russian words (charmingly and successfully) – that`s how the spring comes.

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