Directors: Dominique Abel, Fiona Gordon & Bruno Romy
While serving as the blog-master and Festival Ambassador at the 2007 Scottsdale International Film Festival, I met a lot of friendly movie buffs whom I enjoyed dishing with regarding all things foreign film. From movies to see, ones to avoid, ones that we loved in recent memory to anything that entered our heads—there’s no beating festival atmosphere for fun discussion. I left with a mental list and a few e-mails as well with a majority telling me that their favorite SIFF film in recent memory was the Belgian comedy L’Iceberg which I finally found on Netflix. In what seems to be a fusion of Triplets of Bellville and Mon Oncle with the air of classic American silent film masters (the holy trinity of Lloyd, Chaplin and Keaton) thrown in for good measure, Iceberg tells the story of Fiona (director Fiona Gordon), a manager at a fast food restaurant who as the film opens, accidentally locks herself in the large walk-in freezer overnight. After discovering that Julien, her perpetually yawning and dull husband (co-director Dominique Abel) along with her two children failed to even notice her absence, she finds herself oddly drawn to all things frozen, finally embarking on an adventure that she hopes will lead her to a real life iceberg when she becomes attracted to deaf-mute sailor Rene (Phillippe Martz) who agrees to let her share his tiny boat. The boat which, when translated appears to be named The Titanic is one that ironically aims to head for the iceberg and although Julien tries desperately to track down his wife, she’s single-minded both in her fascination with ice and also the wild looking Rene. Increasingly bizarre, the film is one you must see to believe—film students will delight in the uneven achievement of some truly awe-inspiring blends of clever deadpan choreographed action with the visuals (that may indeed impress ultra-stylized filmmaker Wes Anderson) but it still seems to be more of a fascinating puzzle to be admired than a wholly successful film. Iceberg was the winner of the award for Best Film at the Bogota Film Festival along with a richly deserved accolade for Fiona Gordon as Best Actress from the Seattle International Film Festival.