This film was available to stream from Monday, 30 November until Sunday, 13 December 2020 for all Classical:NEXT Encore participants.
Directed by Jan Vardøen
68mins | Norway 2019 | English with English subtitles
In 1841 Edgar Allan Poe wrote the short story Descent into the Maelstrom based in the raging waters that surround the Lofoten Islands in the Arctic Circle of Norway. In 1980 Philip Glass composed a 66-minute piece based on the short story.
The film documents The Arctic Philharmonic Orchestra as it rehearses and performs the piece Descent into the Maelstrom by Phillip Glass. A sheepherder tends her flock on the remote islands of Rost, line repairmen and women mends broken power lines under the aurora borealis. Eva the fisherwoman takes her small wooden trawler out to the fishing banks for the yearly cod fishing. The driver of a snowplough clears the roads in a huge cloud of white spray. At a remote churchyard, an old man is laid to rest. The orchestra plays as we follow the people of Lofoten in their daily life. We descend under water to the wreck of an old fishing boat. A man hangs cod to be made into stock-fish on to cathedral-like drying racks. Humans doing their best to carve out a life in a vast and inhospitable landscape and succeeding at it.
Jan Vardøen is a household name in his native Norway. He is a highly prolific film director/producer, author, musician, businessman, TV personality and restaurateur. Born in London, grew up in Ireland. After a great deal of travelling, working as a chef, he returned to Norway and learned his Norwegian family's trade: wooden boatbuilding.Descent into the Maelstrom is his first feature documentary. Prior to this he has directed feature and short films such as Working Stiff, Heart of Lightness, Autumn Fall, House of Norway and Oslo Copenhagen to name a few.He runs his own film production company, Beacon Isle Productions.
Produced by Beacon Isle Productions
Producers Inge Wegge, Jan Vardøen and Christine E. Robsahm
Co-produced by Weggefilms
Director of Photography Inge Wegge
Sound Anna Burel Nilsson
Editor Mathilde Fridlund
Music by Philip Glass
Artists Involved Arctic Philharmonics and Oystein Moen
Film Contacts Jan Vardøen and Christine E. Robsahm