Gabriel Axel – Den røde kappe AKA Hagbard and Signe AKA The Red Mantle (1967)

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Hagbard and Signe / The Red Mantle

By Roger Ebert / October 30, 1968
Prentoulis films presents an ASA Film Movie Art Europe co-production, directed by Gabriel Axel from a screenplay by himself and dialog by Frank Jaeger. Produced by Bent Christensen and Johan Bonnier. Photographer in color by Henning Bendtsen.

“Hagbard and Signe” is a beautiful, lean, spare film, which reaches back into the legends of the past to find its strength. I think it must be reckoned the sleeper of the year; I had not heard of it previously, either under the present title or as “The Red Mantle” (its title as the Danish entry at Cannes). Continue reading

Carl Theodor Dreyer – Glomdalsbruden (1926)

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Birgit Granhøj, CarlThDreyer.dk wrote:

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Tore takes over the rundown family farm. Applying his youthful energy, he intends to make it into a big farm like Glomgården on the other side of the river, where beautiful Berit loves. Tore falls in love with her, but her father has promised her to rich Gjermund. As her wedding to Gjermund draws near, Berit runs away and seeks refuge with Tore and his parents. She soon falls deathly ill but recovers, asking for, and getting, her father’s permission to marry Tore. Jealous Gjermund is determined to prevent their wedding, however, in a dramatic climactic scene playing out around the rushing river. Continue reading

Carl Theodor Dreyer – Du skal ære din hustru AKA Master of the House (1925)

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Victor Frandsen is a domestic tyrant. His wife Ida has to work as a slave for him and the rest of the family. She rises early to prepare everything for the day, she toils all day long, and she is often up also in the night, doing some sewing to earn extra money for the household. In daytime she is supported by an old woman called Mads, who was Victors’ nanny when he was a child. Mads is filled with loathing for Victor’s behavior towards his wife, and calls him a brute. She understands that Ida is on the verge of a serious breakdown, and persuades Ida’s mother, Mrs. Kryer, to take Ida away. Mads will herself take care of the household and the children for a time. When Victor comes home and finds out that Ida is gone, he gets angry. He asks his daughter, Karen, where her mother is, but she refuses to tell him. She only says that her mother is very ill, and that it will be his fault if she dies. The accusation strikes Victor in his heart, and he sits down, feeling dejected. Continue reading

Ingmar Bergman – Misantropen AKA The Misanthrope (1974)

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ingmarbergman.se wrote:
The Misanthrope

Bergman took one of his favourite plays to Copenhagen for a guest performance, which was even broadcast on Danish TV.

In his Copenhagen The Misanthrope, Bergman maintained a dual approach. On the one hand, a production of Molière’s play as a theatrical game performed in style and intellectually conceived; on the other hand, an exposure, through physical and psychological intensity, of the emotional tragedy in which Alceste and Celemine are both victims. Continue reading

Jon Bang Carlsen – Hotel of the Stars (1981)

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Along the northern edge of Hollywood on Franklin Avenue, there is a hotel where movie stars used to stay, but whose glory days are long gone. Celebrities no longer go there, and the new guests are dreamers from all over the place who’ve come to LA to pursue a career in acting. “I loved to see myself in Technicolor,” one of them says, recalling his first screen appearance in a street scene. For most of them, the dream of a Hollywood career will forever remain an illusion. They hardly manage to make ends meet by working as extras – during the shoot of this documentary, a number of them were extras in Martin Scorsese’s Raging Bull. Bang Carlsen’s camera obviously gives them an opportunity to show their talent for make-believe – an art that they, for lack of an audience, mainly seem to deploy to keep up their own spirits. In this often-comical, sometimes tragic portrait of some of the hotel’s residents, Hotel of the Stars reveals the wide gap between dream and reality, poverty and success in American society. Continue reading