Janu Nakts (St. John’s Night) is a traditional Latvian celebration during which family and friends gather to build bonfires, barbecue, drink and generally have a good time. According to legend, lovers and those who would like to fall in love, can search the woods for the “magic fern” on this night. This magic fern serves as the focus and pivotal point of the six stories in “Midsummer Madness” It is also a metaphor for the film’s underlying theme – finding love. “MIDSUMMER MADNESS ” is reflected in the recurring element of the magic fern, a metaphor (both in the film and in real life) for love. The question posed by the film is: can a search for love ever be successful? Each story deals with this question. An answer is provided at the film’s conclusion in a humorous and unforgettable way: we see the legendary fern, glowing magically in a meadow. It exists after all! Then a cow ambles along and eats it.
One big party. One crazy surprise after another!
An American on a mission takes a taxi-ride which leads him to love.
A week ago Curt was an only child who had never left the States. Today he’s in a country he’s never heard of, looking for a half-sister he never knew he had. He’s a fish out of water, in a black mood, and to top it off, his uniquely eccentric, overly-helpful taxi-driver, Oskars, won’t shut up or stop asking personal questions!
Two football-loving firemen save each other.
Lewis and Mike combine the two loves of their lives – being firemen and supporting Liverpool Football Club – to break the ice on an exchange trip to Latvia to meet fellow firemen.
There’s nothing like a bit of male-bonding.
Boys will be boys, drinking will be heavy, accidents will happen, and conclusions will be drawn! But Lewis and Mike discover that there’s nothing better than a friend on whom you can depend.
A tired cook loses his appetite for his insatiable lover.
Even when she’s not flying, flight attendant Aida doesn’t like keeping her feet on the ground. She prefers to wrap her legs around her lover, Yuki, over and over again. But she fails to satisfy his needs for the finer details, like telling her xenophobic parents that he’s Japanese, that he’s a cook, and that he’s on his way to meet them!
An eel-merchant struggles to keep his head above water.
Everything depends on shady Russian, Leonid, signing the deal of his life, but his idea to ply Karl and Axel with food, drink, and pretty women to sweeten the deal, backfires when Karl only lusts after Leonid’s long-suffering girlfriend and Axel eats too many ‘funny’ mushrooms.
A widowed poetess loses her husband and finds two lovers.
Livia is rich, beautiful, mysterious, practical, and open to adventure, which is why she’s come to Latvia to bury her husband in Lithuania!!? Her bodyguard, Toni, is understandably protective but unusually possessive. When they hire driver Peteris, who flirts endlessly with Livia, Toni develops feelings for Livia, who is drawn to Peteris, who is after Livia’s money, and is getting on Toni’s nerves….!
2006; Austria, Latvia; Romance, Comedy; 90 minutes; 35mm, HDCAM-SR; 1:1.85; 5.1 mix, Stereo; Original Language: English, French, Latvian, Russian; Subtitles: English, French; Dubbed Versions: German
Fischer Film, Steve Walsh Productions, Kaupo Filma
Markus Fischer, Steve Walsh, Guntis Trekteris
Maria de Medeiros
director, born 1967 in Riga (Latvia), emigrated to West Germany in 197;, graduate of the Viennese Filmakademie. Lives and works in Vienna and Riga.
2011 Monsieur Taurins
2003 The Last Soviet Movie
1992 Daleko ot Sankt-Peterburga
2010 Eine Couch für alle
1996 Alarm für Cobra 11 – Die Autobahnpolizei
2001 Marching Gaily
1989 Warum Neger schwarz?
The feature film comedy ‘Midsummer Madness’ (Janu Nakts), directed by newcomer Alexander Hahn and starring Dominique Pinon (A Very Long Engagement, Amelie, Delicatessen), Maria de Medeiros (Pulp Fiction, The Saddest Music In The World), Tobias Moretti, (TV’s Inspector Rex, Speer and Hitler), Chulpan Khamatova (Goodbye Lenin) and Orlando Wells (Wilde) begins principal photography this weekend in Riga, Latvia, it was announced today. The film also stars Birgit Minichmayr (Downfall, Taking Sides), Detlev Buck (Jailbirds), Roland Dueringer (Hinterholz 8) and Latvia’s Gundars Abolins (Limuzins Janu nakts krasa). With a budget of $US3.25million, ‘Midsummer Madness’ will shoot entirely in Latvia over seven weeks for delivery in December 2006. It is a co-production between Austria’s Fischer Film, UK’s Steve Walsh Productions, and Latvia’s Kaupo Filma. The film will be shot in English and post-produced in the UK.
‘Midsummer Madness’ is directed by Alexander Hahn from a screenplay which he co-wrote with Alexander Mahler and Norman Hudis (who wrote the first six ‘Carry On’ films) with Jerzy Palacz as director of photography, Ieva Romanova as production designer, Thomas Olah as costume designer and Justin Krish (Bend it Like Beckham; Bride and Prejudice; Nanny McPhee) as editor ‘Midsummer Madness’ is a wild and hilarious comedy set in Latvia during the shortest night of the year when the whole country celebrates and just about anything goes. The ensemble cast includes a poetess from Portugal; two English firemen; an American who hates everything he sees; some shady businessmen; an escaped kangaroo; an insatiable flight attendant and her bemused Japanese boyfriend. By the time morning comes their lives will have been changed for ever. Lead producer Markus Fischer of Fischer Film says ‘I should like to thank all those who have helped to make this movie a reality.
It is a tribute in particular to the funds in Austria and Latvia that they have shared our faith in Alexander Hahn and the vision we have for this film.’ UK producer Steve Walsh adds, ‘When I first saw Alexander’s showreel I knew immediately that he could make this wonderful, funny script come to life. I’m delighted that we have got together a tremendous cast for a movie which we are convinced will travel across frontiers and find a wide audience all over the world”‘ ‘Midsummer Madness’ was developed with Media Slate Funding and is being produced with backing from the Austrian Film Institute, Austrian Broadcasting Corporation (Film Funding Department), Vienna Film Fund, State of Upper Austria, National Film Centre of Latvia, Ingenious Media and Eurimages.
Klaus Hundsbichler’s work falls into three areas: as director, editor and composer. He directed, edited and produced “Worldrevolution” and composed the music for “Midsummer Madness”, “Karo und der liebe Gott” and “Mirage”, as well as numerous industrial films and commercials. He edited “Midsummer Madness”, “The Ten Commandments”, which received an Emmy nomination for the editing and numerous music videos (Queen, David Bowie, Gianna Nannini, Falco) as well as – infamously – Frank Zappa’s Baby Snakes movie. His directorial credits include “Tom und die Biberbande”, “Against the Current” and a life of Johann Strauss, as well as many music videos, music documentaries and commercials.
2008 La Bohème
2006 Karo und der liebe Gott
2006 The Ten Commandments
2006 Tumsie briezi
2000 Bon Jovi: The Crush Tour
1999 The Venice Project
1997 Baby Snakes
After finishing high school (1979) and job training, Markus Fischer began working as a cinematographer. In 1988 he passed the state-certified producer exam and founded Fischer Markus Filmproduktion, based in Linz, Upper Austria.
In 1998, Markus Fischer decided to take a further step towards more independence and founded the Vienna-based Fischer Film GmbH.
With this company, it is Fischer’s goal to develop and produce Austrian films by well known filmmakers, as well as by young and talented writers, directors and artists and also European Co-Productions. Markus Fischer is a member of the “aafp – Association of Austrian Film Producers,” the Association of the Music and Film Industry Austria, and an EAVE graduate (Les Entrepreneurs de l’Audiovisuel Europeen).
2014 Kafka, Ganja, Maniacs
2007 Midsummer Madness
2005 Fremde Haut
2004 Fräulein Phyllis
2012 Slatin Pascha
2011 Gas Monopoly