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Le cercle orion - Ola Solum - 1985


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ca vaut quoi ? (35 euro sur price !)

 

 

 

First-rate drama that is also a great documentary, 22 October 2006

8/10

Author: Euphorbia from Oregon

 

Orions Belte

 

I bought the 2-disk special edition DVD of this 1985 Norwegian movie mainly because it was filmed in and around Svalbard, site of the northernmost settlements in the world. For this alone it was well worth the price. Not only does the movie show more of the natural beauty of Svalbard than any of the many documentaries I have seen, with lingering perspectives from land, sea, and air, it also shows something that nature documentaries leave out: the gritty life in the Norwegian and Russian coal-mining towns of Svalbard, before the collapse of the Soviet Union changed everything in the Arctic (not to mention the rest of the world).

 

But Orions Belte also turned out to be an excellent dramatic movie, with the story making full use of its unique location. The direction and acting are so good that I forgot it was a drama, until about halfway through, taking it as a slice-of-life documentary. All the characters look and act as if they belong in the Arctic, and their misadventures are much more like the many firsthand narratives I have read about the real North, than any of the tarted up novels that purport to be set there. The film won the Norwegian Academy Award for best film of the year, and several review sites call it the best Norwegian film ever -- not that it would have had a huge amount of competition. But it really is a good and realistic action movie.

 

Orions Belte was a joint British - Norwegian production, and Norwegian and English language versions were filmed simultaneously. Both versions are included on disk 1, and both include optional subtitles. Disk 2 includes an excellent 'making-of' documentary, a clip of the Norwegian Academy Awards presentation, and several other brief features. These are only in Norwegian, without subtitles (except a few comments in English by the British producer), but are easy enough to follow, despite this. Plus these short features include even more documentary footage of Svalbard, which needs no narration.

 

One of the short features on disk 2 details the creation of this 20th anniversary DVD, which involved first a complete frame-by frame restoration of the film (4:3 aspect ratio), followed by digitization, and then color-grading. All this work paid off, as the look and color of the whole movie is terrific, with even the subtle colors of arctic ice rendered accurately. There is only one brief interior scene where the highlights were too far gone to be restored.

 

This movie was never released in the USA, as far as I can tell, and it does not seem to have gotten much traction in Britain. Even though the English language version is included on this 2-disk PAL Region-2 set, I could not find it for sale on any British websites. Two Norwegian sites offer it for sale, but neither will ship overseas. Happily an Amazon US Marketplace seller who specializes in obscure European movies does stock it, and he ships DVDs quickly at US postage rates (search Amazon for the Norwegian spelling, Orions Belte). You will need a region-free DVD player to view this movie anywhere outside of Europe. Amazon does not sell these, but several eBay sellers do.

 

Rated 8/10 (comparable to The Bourne Identity).

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9 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Great arctic thriller, 5 October 2003

9/10

Author: waynebigguns from Bergen, Norway

 

A movie based in the arctic Svalbard Islands north of Norway, it's about three small-time crooks seeing something they shouldn't have seen. The movie's story is based on a book by norwegian bestselling author and political radicalist Jon Michelet.

 

By many consider considered one of the best norwegian movies ever, Orions Belte combines a captivating story, great dramaturgy, awesome cinematography and beautiful music to go with it.

 

Some would probably find the dialogue "theatrical" or affected, a common critique of norwegian films from this period, but it is probably only noticeable by norwegians, and not really that conspicuous. I think the actors, especially Helge Jordal in leading role, do a great job.

 

The scenery is just amazingly beautiful, with white icebergs and tall desolate mountain ranges, all very nicely photographed. And Geir Bøhren's synth score is very fitting to the mood of the film, and also beautiful in its own right.

 

All in all, a movie you absolutely should see if you get the chance.

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8 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Best Norwegian of all time, 16 May 1999

9/10

Author: Poser from Scotland

 

This film I saw when I was very young about 12 and it scared me. Now 9 years later it still scares me as a thriller. It is unlike normal Norwegian films. This is probably the best Norwegian movie of all time. I think it portrays the Norwegian-Russian (Soviet) relationship during the Cold war in a very believable way. And other aspects of the film make us go along with it.

 

Good Stuff!!

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9 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Great thriller from the cold-war, 7 December 1999

8/10

Author: ag-nor from Trøndelag, Norway

 

Orions Belte is an exciting thriller from the cold-war period. The actors are good, and the plot is great. The locations is also very important in this movie, and that is something which really creates a realistic atmosphere for the film. Great Norwegian movie (one of the few) from the 80's.

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6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Kept me on the edge of my seat!, 18 September 2006

9/10

Author: Fletch06 from United States

 

I loved this movie.My mother picked it up at random at a yard sale.Lucky me! The scenery was beautiful.That was my favorite part of the film. I want to go to Norway now. The story isn't exceptionally special, but very interesting.After a somewhat slow start, it keeps a fast pace right up until the last minute. Also, the "slow start" wasn't boring at all, in my opinion.It did have a "TV Movie" feel to it.There isn't terrific acting or special effects, just solid all-around entertainment.The acting was good enough. It was one of those movies where I was disappointed to see it end. I would recommend this to anyone who is interested in the arctic circle.

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Hollywood-style plot with the Norwegian realism to it, 24 September 2005

7/10

Author: Stibbert from Norway

 

I don't believe in a decent Norwegian action/thriller until I see one. Well, now I have! In fact it's more then decent, it's great! It's the Cold War. It's Svaldbard, Norway. Provides a strategic location caught between the US and Soviet. Codenamed: Orions Belt. When three sailors seek refuge from a storm they stumble over a secret Sovjet military installation. As a result they get the Sovjets on their backs trying to "shut them up" (you, know... kill them).

 

As I said this movie is simply great. It proves what I believe, that Norwegians can make good movies with a bigger plot then a trip to the store. The plot is Hollywood-style action with one man running to save his butt. However, there is the lack of literally over-kill on the special effects. It's more down to earth and more realistic witch makes it more believable (and more Norwegian). Russians actually speaks Russian and not English or Norwegian with a bad accent and the Norwegians actually informs their allies. You never see that in Hollywood. It's these details witch makes this a movie good.

 

The acting is good and the mood is tense. Just as you want it. Helge Jordal does a good job in the lead as Tom. With a lot of stage actors you get a kind of unnatural dialog and you may find that kind of disturbing, but just give it a shot. It gets better throughout the movie. The cinematography is good. Some shots could have been better, but it's nothing disturbing. The score, however, is probably the worst thing about this movie. It's not that bad, rally, but it sounds kind of cheep and 80's. Don't get me wrong, it does a good job in bringing suspense and feeling to the movie, so the soundtrack in it self is good, I just think the choice of instrument is wrong.

 

This is not just a movie for Norwegian. In fact it's a movie for everyone else. It gives a little insight into the role Norway played during the Cold War. It even has it's own little X-Files style conspiracy. The government knows, but denies. One man want's to expose the truth. It even has it's own cigarette-smoking man.

 

The first 15 minutes may seem a bit dull, but from there on the time flies. Orions Belte is a movie I truly can recommend.

 

 

 

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