Cold Fever

This arresting, oddball 1995 road movie by Fredrik Thor Fridriksson concerns a Japanese businessman (Mystery Train’s Masatoshi Nagase) who’s planning a golfing vacation in Hawaii until his grandfather (the late Seijun Suzuki, ace B-film auteur) persuades him to fly to Iceland during the dead of winter, travel cross-country to the spot where his parents died in an accident, and perform a memorial service for them. His absurdist, mock-epic adventures constitute both a spiritual quest and a comic travelogue; among the strangers he encounters are a murderous American couple named Jack and Jill (Fisher Stevens and Lili Taylor) and a philosophical, self-styled Icelandic cowboy (Gisli Halldorsson). Strange, often funny, and occasionally beautiful, the film begins in Tokyo at standard screen ratio before expanding to ‘Scope in scenic Iceland. Fridriksson scripted with producer Jim Stark (a longtime Jim Jarmusch associate); this was the first Icelandic feature to be released commercially in the U.S., though nearly all of the dialogue is in English. (JR)

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