Stockholm 2016 – What if a revengeful Norwegian furniture dealer kidnapped IKEA’s founder? It happens in HERE IS HAROLD, a brilliant movie by Norwegian director Gunnar Vikene (MER Films A/S, Norway 2013). With Stockholm Design Week to inaugurate soon, we found the missing link between Nordic Cinema and the famous Swedish furniture brand.
Clever dramedy HERE IS HAROLD tells the story of Mr. Lunde who runs a quite successful furniture shop with his wife Marny in Norway. But one day, Ikea announces the opening of a new superstore right next door. And everything starts to crumble. Desperate and angry, Harold has a plan: kidnapping his Nemesis, a.k.a. IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad… But unfortunately, Mr. Kamprad is quite happy to be kidnapped [watch the trailer].
Based on a novel by Norwegian author Frode Grytten, the movie wittily combines drama and comedy carrying more fuel to the friendly yet teasing rivalry between Nordic countries.
“Harold Lunde is not just tilting at windmills like Don Quixote” says director Gunnar Vikene. In the original novel the author “tries to say something about a throwaway society in which consumerism has become a major driving force… But I focused on the story of someone who has lost everything apart from a grim determination to render his own life meaningful. [A story that is ] deeply human, cruelly fatalistic and very entertaining”.
Even if not expressly mentioned, the birth of IKEA ergonomics seem to be at the base of Academy Award® nominee Kitchen Stories by director Bent Hamer (Salmer fra Kjøkkenet, Sweden/Norway 2003). The movie is set in post-war Norway and refers to a research on home-behaviour carried out by a rampant furniture company from Sweden [watch the trailer].
The protagonists of the comedy are a Swedish scientific observer and a grumpy Norwegian single-man. The first has to map out the kitchen-routines of the second from the top of a tennis-chair that is strategically placed in the room. Even if they aren’t supposed to speak or communicate, the observer and the observed grow a sweet, yet odd, friendship.
If directors looks at IKEA, the furniture company strikes back. IKEA Singapore released a Halloween commercial inspired by Stanley Kubrick’s Shine. The viral ad is inspired by a famous long sequence shot and follows a kid biking a tricycle through a ghostly store.
On YouTube fans and detractors post many videos that link Hollywood to the Swedish brand. Director Daniel Hubbard spoofed Alfonso Cuaron’s sci-fi block-buster Gravity suggesting that getting lost in IKEA is quite like getting lost in outer space [watch]