The Icelandic film Rams is to be premiered at the Cannes Film Festival today. It has been selected for the Un Certain Regard category at the world-famous festival—the first Icelandic film to compete in the category since Sódóma Reykjavík in 1993, RÚV reports.
It is the lead actors, Theódór Júlíusson and Sigurður Sigurjónsson’s, nude scenes which have generated the most conversation.
The film tells the story of two brothers who have one of the best flocks of sheep in Iceland, but who have not been one speaking terms with one another for forty years. That all changes when scrapie is discovered among the flock and the brothers need to work together.
Grímur Hákonarson, the film’s director, said in an interview with Variety that most farmers he knows have a stronger bond with their sheep than any other creatures on the farm—adding that it is easier to work with sheep than actors.
Asked why there are so many nude scenes in the film, Grímur says that the lead actors wanted there to be a lot more. “I had to hold them back,” he jokes.
Sigurður grew his beard for six months before filming started; as well as trying his best to let his toenails grow wild, though he found that very difficult. He still has a big beard now in Cannes, because he is currently playing an outlaw in a saga-based play at the National Theatre of Iceland.