Cast: Björk Guðmundsdóttir, Bryndis Petra Bragadóttir, Valdimar Örn Flygenring
Studio: Arbelos Films
Catalog #: AR0003BD
Number of Discs:
Picture Format:Widescreen 1.66:1
Audio Format:Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo
An unsung talent in her lifetime, director, professor and Fulbright scholar
Nietzchka Keene’s stark, stunning debut feature THE JUNIPER TREE is loosely
based on a Brothers Grimm fairy tale of the same name, and stars Björk in her
first on-screen performance. The film premiered to glowing reviews at the
Sundance Film Festival in 1991 and led Keene to further direct HEROINE OF HELL
(1996) starring Catherine Keener and BAREFOOT TO JERUSALEM (2008), the latter
completed after her tragically early death in 2004.
Set in medieval
Iceland, THE JUNIPER TREE follows Margit (Björk in a riveting performance) and
her older sister Katla (Bryndis Petra Bragadottir) as they flee for safety after
their mother is burned to death for witchcraft. Finding shelter and protection
with Johan (Valdimar Orn Fygenring), and his resentful young son, Jonas
(Geirlaug Sunna Pormar), the sisters help form an impromptu family unit that’s
soon strained by Katla’s burgeoning sorcery. Photographed entirely on location
in the stunning landscapes of Iceland in spectacular black-and-white by Randy
Sellars, THE JUNIPER TREE is a deeply atmospheric film, evocative of Carl
Theodor Dreyer’s DAY OF WRATH and Ingmar Bergman’s THE VIRGIN SPRING, and filled
with indelible waking dream sequences (courtesy of legendary experimental
filmmaker Pat O’Neill). A potent allegory for misogyny and its attendant
tragedies, THE JUNIPER TREE is a major rediscovery for art house audiences.
New restoration by the Wisconsin Center for Film & Theater Research and The Film
Foundation, with funding provided by the George Lucas Family Foundation.
- New 4K restoration from the original 35mm camera negative by the
Wisconsin Center for Film & Theater Research and The Film Foundation,
with funding provided by The George Lucas Family Foundation. - 3
newly remastered short films by Nietzchka Keene. - New video
interview with cinematographer Randy Sellars. - Archival video
interview with Nietzchka Keene. - Never before seen outtakes.
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