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) was, as the first Norwegian ever, educated at the prestigious National Film and Television School in London, graduating in 1994 with the short film Close to Home. The film was selected for the main competition at the Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival in 1995 and won the Gold Plaque at the Chicago International Film Festival the same year. During his studying years, Skjoldbjærg also directed the short film Aion (1990), Stuck in the Mud (1991), Lonely Adventures (1992) and Near Winter (1993, televised by the Norwegian national broadcaster NRK). Also, his short film Spor (1995) was premiered at the Short Film Festival at Grimstad in 1996 where it received a special mention.
His feature film debut Insomnia (1997), which he also co-wrote, attracted substantial international attention, and was selected for the “Semaine de la Critique” at the Cannes Film Festival in 1997, where it also was very well received. The film was also remade in 2002… read more
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...