Disgraced Swedish detective Jonas Engström (Stellan Skarsgård) travels to northern Norway to solve a brutal murder in Insomnia. Unable to sleep through the night of the midnight sun, Engström quickly loses his grip on the case and his mind. Erik Skjoldbjærg’s debut feature is a deft amalgam of psychological thriller, morality play, and police procedural. —The Criterion Collection
Erik Skjoldbjærg (b. 1964, Tromsø, Norway) was hailed for his short film Traces (Spor, 1996), yet it was a year later that he received instant recognition on the international scene for his remarkably stylised, chillingly dark crime thriller Insomnia (1997), featuring Stellan Skarsgård in the lead role. Five years later director Christopher Nolan came up with an American remake of the film. Skjoldbjærg embarked upon an American-German coproduction in the USA for the psychological drama Prozac Nation (2001) starring Christina Ricci, although he didn’t pursue a career in Hollywood. He returned to his native Norway, where he worked primarily in television (the series “Skolen,” 2004; mini-series “Størst av alt,” 2007). He also created a loose adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s drama An Enemy of the People (En folkefiende, 2005). —KVIFF
Definitely more memorable than Nolan's remake. Striking camera, very quiet and haunting.
Although it is a great film by many standards, I just did not enjoy it. The set up is quite interesting and promising. A man unnerved by a new and strange environment... However, as the film progressed, I found it to be boring. Overall it's a good film, but to me, it does not transcend in any way. It reminded me in many ways of early Fincher and Nolan, not my favorite filmmakers as it is, so...