Zero Kelvin

on November 27, 1996 by Melissa Morrison
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   This film ("Kjaerlighetens Kjorete") seems like something Stallone's or Seagal's screenwriters would come up with: Three men are stuck together in the harsh and mythical ice-world of the Arctic. They must rely on each other for survival, even though they come to hate each other. But, whereas America's action heroes would have focused on the adventure--such as a knockout scene involving an attacking walrus-- the film's Norwegian makers use the thrill-fraught setting to explore psychological landscapes.
   The characters: Larsen is a young writer who agrees to spend a year in the polar circle so he can gather material for a book; Holm is a keep-to-himself scientist; Randlaek is a stringy-haired, obscenity-spewing trapper for whom civilization is a lifestyle choice (one he rejected). It's no surprise that all three men won't survive the movie. The riveting question is whether nature or man will do them in. Starring Stellan Skarsgaard, Garb B. Eidsvold and Bjorn Sundquist. Directed by Hans Petter Moland. Written by Lars Bill Lundheim and Hans Petter Moland. Produced by Bernt Ronglien. A Norsk Film A/S production; to be distributed stateside by Kino. Drama. Norwegian-language; English subtitles. Unrated. Running time: 113 minutes. Opens 11/27. Screened at the Karlovy Vary International Film Fest. Won the Asta Award for best European film at the Copenhagen fest.
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