Tuesday, September 18, 2012


A few nights ago I watched a very unique and quirky romantic comedy from Belgium/France called L'Iceberg. I was completely charmed and captivated by this sweet-hearted little film and feel the need to spread the gospel since it's one that I don't think a lot of people of heard of or had the chance to see. I watched it Netflix streamer, so it's available there if you get that. Back to the film.

What's kind of different about this film is that it was made by a trio of people. I've heard of directing duos, brothers directing and spouses teaming up to make a film, but I've never heard of three separate people writing, directing AND acting in multiple films together. Yet, that is what we have here as Dominique Abel, Fiona Gordon and Bruno Romy share those duties. L'Iceberg [2005] is the first film the trio have made together [Rumba, 2008; The Fairy, 2011] and I'm very eager to watch the other two as soon as I can as they appear just as relentlessly enchanting as L'Iceberg based on the trailers I've watched online.

In L'Iceberg, Gordon plays a woman who runs a fast food restaurant who is accidentally locked into the walk-in freezer one night and it changes her life. All of a sudden, she wants to shed the shackles of her married life of routine normalcy, the husband, the two kids. She craves anything cold. She finds herself hiding out in the walk-in freezer, sticking her head in her refrigerator and finally, abandoning the family to seek relief on a quest to make it to an actual iceberg to hang out on the ultimate cold object she can find.

One thing that makes L'Iceberg so different is there is very little dialogue. It's practically a silent movie. Evidently, this is a common pattern for Abel, Gordon and Romy, as all their films appear to be free of conversation. When there is talking, it's usually clipped, odd, humorous and stresses the blank-faced confusion of most of the characters as they stumble through life. There is also a level of physicality and awareness in human movement that also ties the film to the silent genre. Throughout the film, the lead characters engage in subtle and not-so-subtle bits of business with their bodies that is a direct connection to the by-gone era of silent filmmaking.

As I said at the start, I found L'Iceberg enchanting. It's not for everyone due to the lack of dialogue, but if you enjoy off-kilter comedies, you may want to check one [or all three!] of these films out by Abel, Gordon and Romy. I know I'm watching more of them soon as I may have just found a new group of filmmakers to discover and follow in the future. Not much in the way of trailers online, but check out the non-subtitled one below for a snippet of L'Iceberg's charms.

***If you are reading this post via e-mail, the imbedded video in this post might not work with your particular e-mail account. Click on the post title and you will be taken directly to CineRobot to view this wonderfully curated clip.***


hidden staircase said...

love it already...there's a sailboat!

Joshua Blevins Peck said...

I knew you'd like this one! I need to see the other two by them--we have THE FAIRY at library but not RUMBA. But, I'm going to order it for us as there is another librarian who loved this one too and would want to watch it.

hidden staircase said...

nice you can do that! rented l'iceberg at scarecrow but haven't watched yet. didn't see rumba in the belgium section...need to look it up and make sure they don't have it. not sure i'll be able to see that one.

hidden staircase said...

loooooved this. watched it finally last night. yes, i love the silent comedy feel. quite magical. loved the sailboat scenes which for effect, was definitely under gas power...not just wind! definitely made me feel cold watching her attraction to the ice and climbing on the ice and hanging out in the freezer. funny watching this the week that night and morning temps have really dropped! (now in the 40s again) loved the sparse dialog and how it starts and ends with the Inuit woman. reminded me of a movie we saw at one of the festivals -- at the broadway performace hall. think it was black and white and almost silent with a girl, her dad? and a boat? but in a spa with a pool? i can't think of that film but remember loving it! will have to look it up...think it was Romanian. thanks for finding this one! very cool! pun intended!

Joshua Blevins Peck said...

Liked it a lot too. I watched THE FAIRY and it's good too--not quite as enjoyable as this but still odd and quirky and full of little dialogue. Have not seen RUMBA yet.

I can't remember the movie your talking about--I'd have to look it up in the Kinetoscope records.