Monday, January 17, 2011

January 15-16 2011 -- Scandinavian Film Festival Los Angeles

January 15-16 2011
Scandinavian Film Festival Los Angeles
Writers' Guild Theater
Beverly Hills, CA

Simple Simon (Sweden)
Writer: Jonathan Sjöberg (screenplay), Andreas Öhman (screenplay)
Director: Andreas Öhman

"Balls" (Farsan) (Sweden)
Writer / Director: Josef Fares

Lebanese-Swedish director Josef Fares gives his real-life father a star-making turn in this charming tale with light comedic overtones about family life among Middle Eastern immigrants living in Scandinavia. The gregarious Aziz, portrayed by the expressive Jan Fares, is a widower looking for love with the help of his co-workers at a rinky-dink bike shop, while his son and daughter-in-law promise to make him a grandfather. He doesn't realize that they can't conceive naturally, however, so they're faking the pregnancy and planning to adopt. Members of the supporting cast - particularly Aziz's colleague Jorgen, played by Torkel Petersson - contribute some wickedly silly moments, but the film really belongs to the two Fares fellows, director and dad, whose off-screen bond makes the on-screen sentimentality shine that much brighter. I had met Josef in Sundance when his feature ZoZo which was his very personal story when he arrived as an immigrant in Sweden

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