In 1967, a group of young and inexperienced intellectuals decided to join forces to make a short movie. The film’s title was Paradox. The authors of the film, Níels Óskarsson and Þröstur Magnússon, never got around to completing their work and the original footage was thus forgotten for several years. Actor Sigurður Skúlason, at the time of the filming at his first role in a motion picture, decided over forty years later to gather his former colleagues and seek for the assistance of editor Kristján Loðmfjörð and composer Daníel Bjarnason, both accomplished professional artists in their respective fields, to see Paradox finished.
Bringing Paradox back from oblivion was a journey through invaluable memories for the small crew that started the project in the late 60’s: all the enthusiasms and the intellectual fervor of those years were to be conveyed in the film, but things took a different turn and Paradox was not to be completed according to plans.
The final version of Paradox was screened at RIFF together with a documentary showing how the initial project was resurrected thanks to the collaboration with Kristján Loðmfjörð and Daníel Bjarnason. Whereas the earliest draft of Paradox was deeply rooted in time, beliefs and inclinations long gone, the final version feels like a work of abstract beauty, with just sparse references to a defined storyline and focused on evoking suggestions rather than blatantly giving itself away to the viewer. Kristján Loðmfjörð and Daníel Bjarnason developed rhythm and images as an interwoven entity to let them tell their own story.
The documentary gives an interesting — although not exhaustive — perspective on the different workflow followed by amateurs (the original crew) and professionals (Kristján Loðmfjörð and Daníel Bjarnason) in the completion of a film. The original authors, although they were able to recognize the intrinsic value of the final version they were offered, could not recognize their authentic intentions in the updated picture. Therefore, they decided to withdraw their names from the finished work.