Denmark

Bille August – Smilla’s Sense of Snow (1997)

REVIEW by Angus Wolfe Murray (from eyeforfilm.co.uk):

When Smilla Jasperson came home that winter’s day in Copenhagen, the boy lay dead on the pavement. He had been playing on the roof, the police said, and probably slipped on ice.

She was friends with the boy, a six-year-old Greenlandic Inuit, who lived with his alcoholic mother one floor down in her apartment block. She knew he had a fear of heights and would never have been up there unless something, or someone, had forced him. Read More »

Carl Theodor Dreyer & Jørgen Roos – Et slot i et slot: Krogen og Kronborg AKA The Castle Within the Castle (1954)

Within its walls, Kronborg Castle in Elsinore contains large sections of another, older castle, Krogen, built by Eric of Pomerania around 1420. Discoveries unearthed during the 1926-1935 restoration of Kronborg made it possible to form a picture of Krogen, illustrated in the film by reconstruction models. Read More »

Carl Theodor Dreyer – Storstrømsbroen AKA The Storstrom Bridge (1950)

Quote:

Carl Th. Dreyer’s beautiful documentary uses no words to show different aspects of this beautiful bridge in Denmark. It is one of over a dozen state-commissioned documentary shorts made by the famous director.

The Storstrom Bridge was built between 1933-37 to the designs of Anker Engelund with construction under the direction of civil engineer Guy Anson Maunsell.

Storstrom Bridge connects the island of Sjaelland (Zealand) at Vordingborg to the smaller island of Falster to the south. Some two miles long (3199 metres or 3520 yards), at the time it was built it was the longest bridge in Europe. Read More »

Carl Theodor Dreyer – Landsbykirken AKA The Village Church (1947)

Quote:
“Landsbykirken” or “The Village Church” takes us back to the Danish old churches built in the Middle Age and their transformations through the years and through the dominant groups of a certain period, like the Christians and the Protestants, and the new things they were modifying in those constructions. Read More »

Lone Scherfig – Italiensk For Begyndere aka Italian for Beginners (2000)

In a city suburb, a young minister arrives to take up duties at a local church. He is persuaded by his assistant to join an Italian night school class, and he soon becomes the centre of a group of people to whom fate has dealt quite serious blows. Read More »

Carl Theodor Dreyer – Vredens dag AKA Day of Wrath [+ Extras] (1943)

Plot:
In a 17th-century Danish village, an old woman is accused of witchcraft. In the shadow of her flight, capture, confession, and burning at the stake, the young wife of the town’s aging pastor falls in love with the pastor’s son. Her confession of this illicit affair to her husband brings on her husband’s death. At the funeral the pastor’s mother denounces the young widow as a witch. Will the widow’s lover come to her defense, or has the day of wrath returned? Read More »

Carl Theodor Dreyer – Mødrehjælpen AKA Good Mothers (1942)

Quote:
The Mothers’ Aid is a state-funded institution with branches all over Denmark. Erna, a young pregnant woman, has asked a doctor to carry out an abortion, but instead he advised her to go to the Mothers’ Aid for consultation. She is unmarried, and afraid of losing her job, if she is going to have a baby. The female adviser suggests that she should give birth to the child, and then decide if she should keep it, or have it adopted by someone else. Erna takes part in a course, where she learns how to look after a baby. The last six weeks before the birth she lives in a home for expectant mothers at no expenses for her. The child is born and Erna decides to keep it. She and her child spend the first months in a home for mothers and their babies, which is also free of charge. Read More »