Cool & Crazy (2001)
Berlevag is a small city in the far north of Norway. The town has fallen on hard economic times in recent years, and many of the city's younger citizens have moved away in hopes of finding a better life elsewhere, but Berlevag still has one thing it can point to with pride -- the Berlevag Male Choir, a men's chorus that has found acclaim both at home in Norway and on concert tours overseas. Heftig Og Begeistret is a documentary directed by Knut Erik Jensen that offers an inside look at the men of the choir, whose vocalists range in age from students in their early twenties to one man in his mid-nineties, as well as the city that brought them together. Heftig Og Begeistret shows the choir performing at home in Berlevag (often outdoors, regardless of the weather), as well as on tour in Russia, where they are received with wild enthusiasm. Despite its subject and approach, neither of which would seemingly guarantee a hit at the box office, Heftig Og Begeistret turned out to be a surprise box-office success in Norway, and was warmly received at the 2001 Gothenburg Film Festival in Sweden. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi … More
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Critic Reviews for Cool & Crazy
So thoroughly engaging, so beautifully made, strikingly shot and chock-full of humor and humanity, I can't imagine any intelligent audience not falling in love with it.
It's not bad per se, but it would probably play better on the small screen.
Far from being a collection of stoic cliches, the singers are vibrantly individual, and their stories form the film's core.
Cool and Crazy, not only does music have charms to soothe the savage breast, but also warmth to melt the endless Norwegian winter.
An unusual and utterly disarming documentary.
Although Jenson's film is of that peculiarly insular, homespun variety, it nevertheless manages to fend off the blight of boredom with its sheer exuberance and authentic appreciation of its subject.
A beguiling documentary about a 30-man choir in a tiny Norwegian fishing village that salutes the cathartic effect of singing.
Jensen lets us understand these men who keep their souls alive through song.
If you appreciate an intimate and real view of another culture ... then you are bound to like this movie and get a charge out of the choir singers who are innately entertaining people.
As effortlessly uplifting as last year's 'Down from the Mountain,' and the music, while very different. is also wonderful.
Jensen paints a vivid portrait of quirky eccentricity and uncommon dedication to a seemingly irrelevant pursuit.
You can't help but come away from the movie with a smile on your face and an urge to buy their music.
Like all good documentaries, this is an enlightening insight into a previously unexplored world, to which the viewer feels privileged to have been introduced.
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