11 - 14 December 2020
ECHO

A slim white teenage girl with long red hair sits in the foreground, in the centre of a large school sports hall. The girl wears a blue t-shirt and is seen from the shoulders up. She looks over her left shoulder with a neutral expression towards something offscreen, with her left elbow propped on her knee. The left wall of the gymnasium is lined with wooden railings. Bright sunlight shining through the windows creates squares of light and shadow which fall on the end wall in the background. Stairs lead up out of the gymnasium on the far right, with a basketball hoop on the wall above.
Still from Echo (2019) © The Party Sales

11 – 14 December: available to watch online (UK only)
Friday 11 December, 6.00pm: communal viewing
Friday 11 December, 8:00pm: live online discussion

Directed by Rúnar Rúnarsson
2019, Iceland
79 mins, Cert PG,
Icelandic with English subtitles
Closed Captions available

Shot over the advent season of December 2018 to New Year’s day 2019, Echo comprises 56 single-shot vignettes that together draw a jigsaw-like portrait of modern day Iceland at Christmas time. In open countryside, a farm is burning. In a school, a choir is singing carols. In a museum, a janitor argues on the phone whilst cleaning the windows of a taxidermy exhibit.

Of his film, Rúnar Rúnarsson has said: ‘In this sometimes stressful time of year it’s easy to lose track of ourselves and get disconnected from our surroundings. At the same time, the dusk of the year fuels self-reflection and enables us to put our lives into perspective, often evoking empathy for others. Each individual in the film will only appear in a single scene and therefore there won’t be a main character. Each scene is an observing, static one slate shot on a tripod. Time is only broken when there is a cut between scenes. By themselves, these scenes either tell a short story or capture a mood or an emotion, but together they form a whole. It will be a kind of mosaic picture that functions as an echo from postmodern society, a contemporary mirror.’

 

WATCH THE TRAILER

Online Discussion with tabitha mudalier, jamie quantrill and victoria miguel

ABOUT THE DIRECTOR

Rúnar Rúnarsson is an Icelandic filmmaker born in Reykjavik in 1977. In 2009, he graduated from the Directors’ section of The National Film School of Denmark. His short film The Last Farm (2004) was an Academy-Award nominee and was followed by 2 Birds, which competed for the Short Film Palme d’Or at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival. His first feature Volcano premiered at Cannes Directors’ Fortnight in 2011. His sophomore feature Sparrows won the Golden Shell at San Sebastian in 2015. Echo is Rúnar Rúnarsson’s third feature-film.

FURTHER LINKS & INFO

Watch Glasgow Film Festival’s Q&A with Director Rúnar Rúnarsson

Read BFI’s review of the film by John Bleasdale

Watch Echo via MUBI Library (requires subscription) 

Against a clear, dusky sky, a large solitary farmhouse is engulfed in flames. A dark black smoke plumes upwards and leans left, blown by the wind. Dotted across the frozen hillside in the fore and middle ground are several onlookers. The nearest, a solitary man in a pale jacket, stands centre right with his back to us, taking a photo of the burning house on his smartphone.

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Our Autumn Screenings at Home programme is supported by Film Hub Scotland, part of the BFI’s Film Audience Network, and funded by Screen Scotland and Lottery funding from the BFI