Lars Von Trier – Dancer in the Dark (2000)


The final installment in Lars von Trier’s Golden Heart trilogy (which includes BREAKING THE WAVES and THE IDIOTS), DANCER IN THE DARK takes the director’s original blend of heightened pseudorealism, fabricated melodrama, and the priciples of the Dogme 95 genre to a dangerously intense level. The story concerns Selma (Björk), a Czech immigrant living in 1964 Washington State with her 12-year-old son, Gene (Vladan Kostic). On the verge of blindness, Selma spends her days working in a factory, as well as performing other odd jobs, in order to save up enough money to pay for an operation that will cure Gene of the same disease. To pass the time, Selma fantasizes that her own life is a musical, one in which her friends join her in sweeping song-and-dance routines. After her neighbor Bill (David Morse) discovers Selma’s hidden savings and steals them from her, she is forced to perform an act of salvation that will condemn her forever. Continue reading

Mads Matthiesen – Teddy Bear (2012)


The 38-year-old bodybuilder Dennis would really like to find true love. He has never had a girlfriend and lives alone with his mother in a suburb of Copenhagen. When his uncle marries a girl from Thailand, Dennis decides to try his own luck on a trip to Pattaya, as it seems that love is easier to find in Thailand. He knows that his mother would never accept another woman in his life, so he lies and tells her that he is going to Germany. Dennis has never been out traveling before and the hectic Pattaya is a huge cultural shock for him. The intrusive Thai girls give big bruises to Dennis’ naive picture of what love should be like, and he is about to lose hope when he unexpectedly meets the Thai woman Toi. Written by SF Film Continue reading

Ada Bligaard Søby – The Naked of Saint Petersburg (2010)


It is winter in Saint Petersburg and the streets of the former capital are teeming. Half naked sunbathers stand in the snow; fledgeling dancers watched by throngs of teens are an explosion of underground fashion; a therapist who cannot afford an office sees clients in his car; immigrant street cleaners wander estates in orange vests, hoping they won’t be mistaken for terrorists. Saint Petersburg makes do with what it has. Continue reading

Peter Watkins – Aftenlandet AKA Evening Land (1977)


Evening Land presents fictitious events in the Europe of those days. It opens in a Copenhagen shipyard with a strike due to the construction of four submarines, potential carriers of nuclear weapons for the French Navy, beside the salary freeze that the deal has entailed, and as an anti-nuclear protest. In parallel with this, a group of radical demonstrators kidnaps the Danish minister of the EC during a summit, as a token of support with the strikers. The Danish police brutally repress the demo and crush the “terrorists”. Evening Land was released to both a hostile left and right wing, and the few film critics who valued it pointed out that it strayed from the style that Watkins had developed in his previous films. Danmarks Radio refused to broadcast it, and Watkins decided it was high time to leave Scandinavia and start what would be a new period of voluntary exile. Continue reading

Mads Brügger – The Ambassador (2011)


An enigmatic and decadent white diplomat arrives in central Africa sporting dark glasses, riding boots, and a cigarette holder. He has recently bought an ambassadorship and claims to be a do-good rich businessman spearheading a diplomatic mission. Officially, he is there to start a factory that will employ locals to produce matches. Unofficially, he has really come to gain access to the area’s vast reserves of diamonds. It soon becomes apparent that, in this postcolonial economy, nearly everyone is out to rip off everyone else, and the dangers become all too real. Continue reading