ASTRUP - Catching The Flame
1h 19min | Norwegian | 2019
Director: Pål Øie
Cast: Thure Lindhardt, Dennis Storhøi, Henriette Marø
A heart-warming portrait and a journey through the landscape behind Norwegian artist Nikolai Astrup’s most famous paintings. Astrup’s motifs are a treasure trove, which in the film turns into living magic.
He should be as famous as Edvard Munch, but the world seems to have forgotten him – until now, The Guardian wrote about the first Astrup show outside Norway in 2016.
Nikolai Astrup is portraited with a witty and explosive charm by international Danish star Thure Lindhardt. Astrup, son of a strict clergyman, grew up during the end of the 19th century, in one of the most scenic landscapes in Norway.
Heavy asthma often limited him to be outside playing, and inside he started to develop his artistic skills. Against his father’s desire and financial support, he left the countryside for painting schools throughout Europe.
This documentary drama also brings a romantic story with Engel. Only 15 years old she married Nikolai, 12 years older than herself. The love of Engel and the beautiful nature back home was the reason why Nikolai stayed put in the valleys of Western Norway. The film derives its name from one of Astrup’s strongest motives. The Midsummer Eve bonfires glow in the valley side of forbidden parties, which the pietist father thought was the work of the devil. The dialogue is based on Astrup’s abandoned notes and letters and shows that it is never too late to win over the skeptics - if you just let the joy of life rule.