Rice Cinema to host film, TV show screening with Icelandic comedian Jón Gnarr

MEDIA ADVISORY

David Ruth
713-348-6327
david@rice.edu

Jeff Falk
713-348-6775
jfalk@rice.edu

Rice Cinema to host film, TV show screening with Icelandic comedian Jón Gnarr

HOUSTON – (Feb. 18, 2015) – Jón Gnarr, the Icelandic comedian, pundit and former mayor of Reykjavík, will discuss his work in film and TV at Rice Cinema Film Theatre Feb. 19. As part of the event, “The Man on the Back,” a 2004 short film by Gnarr, and two episodes of “Naeturvaktin” (“The Night Shift”), the Icelandic TV show starring Gnarr, will be screened.

The event will be at 7 p.m. and is free and open to the public. A Q-and-A session with Gnarr will follow the screenings. Gnarr is spending this spring as the first writer-in-residence at Rice’s Center for Energy and Environmental Research in the Human Sciences.

When he was a child, Gnarr was diagnosed with severe mental retardation due to dyslexia, learning difficulties and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. He overcame these hardships and went on to become one of Iceland’s best-known actors and comedians. In late 2009, in the aftermath of Iceland’s banking crash, Gnarr founded The Best Party, which sought to bring joy, humility and humanity back to Icelandic politics, according to event organizers. Although it was dismissed as a “joke party” by the Icelandic political mainstream and national and international media, Gnarr’s ability to be equally sincere and satirical about his country’s political situation struck a chord with disillusioned and disoriented voters, organizers said. The Best Party surprised all observers by winning the 2009 municipal elections in Iceland’s capital, and Gnarr served as mayor from 2010 to 2014. According to polls, a decisive majority of Icelanders name Gnarr as the person they most want to see become the next president of Iceland in the 2016 elections.

The Rice Cinema Film Theatre is located in the Rice Media Center, near campus Entrance 8, at the intersection of Stockton Drive and University Boulevard. The screening is sponsored by the Center for Energy and Environmental Research in the Human Sciences and Rice Cinema.

Members of the news media who want to attend should RSVP to Jeff Falk, associate director of national media relations at Rice, at jfalk@rice.edu or 713-348-6775.

For a map of Rice University’s campus, go to www.rice.edu/maps/maps.html.

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About Jeff Falk

Jeff Falk is associate director of national media relations in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.