A comedy series on Reykjavik hipsters and annoying tourists
In this episode, pseudo-hipster Atli tells his friend Brogan that not eating whale meat is animal racism. Screenshot/ Cloud of Ash
"My friend Steindór Jónsson felt like there was something missing in his nine-to-five life so he got creative, sat down at his computer and banged out a few brief episodes set in today’s tourist-flooded Reykjavík. A few days later I was on set playing the role of an opinionated pseudo-hipster working in a tourist shop in contemporary Reykjavík," explains producer, DJ and artist Atli Bollason who stars in a new mini-series in English that gently makes fun of the stereotypical Icelandic hipster and the stereotypical Iceland tourist.
The guy in the episode is my quantum brother from another universe
Jónsson is a fan of short-format web-comedy so that’s the medium he and the director Garðar Stefánsson settled on. " I have a very hard time saying no to things so I was happy to take part, " says Bollason who plays a hipster named Atli. Is he playing himself? "I’d like to say no; the guy I’m playing is rather opinionated and obnoxious in certain ways … but there’s definitely similarities. Steindór and I have known each other for years so I’m sure he’s picked up on some of my faults and written them into the script. So let’s say the Atli from the episodes is my quantum brother from another universe."
We are living, breathing stereotypes
Cloud of ash plays with stereotypes. Is this how Icelanders see tourists and how tourists see Icelanders? "There’s a lot of exaggeration going on and I don’t think this is necessarily how we see one another. But these are interesting times in Reykjavík because the outsider’s gaze has never been as prominent as it is right now. I think this has a profound effect on not only how we perceive ourselves but how we behave as well. We are living, breathing stereotypes; super-conscious of the role we’re expected to play on the ‘famous’ Reykjavík scene and I think the series is partly playing with this new reality," explains Bollason.
The sketches are aired on YouTube and according to Bollason he has no idea whether they'll be making more episodes. "My favourite one though is the last episode because it gives you a bit more of a back story and establishes a more emotional connection between Brogan, who works with me at the tourist shop in the series, and myself. I’d be happy to delve deeper into that world."
Here's an episode of Cloud of Ash below, titled "Animal Racist. "