Bille August – Honning måne AKA In My Life (1978)

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A young man, Jens, gets a job in a Copenhagen factory. He lives with his mother and has been without a job for a while. One day he meets Kirsten, who works at the library, and asks her out. He meets her parents, and soon they are married. They move into a house, Kirsten stops working, and they prepare their lives together. But Kirsten soon starts to feel a discontent that turns into depression and detachment. Jens fights to stay close to her, but eventually he must decide if he is suited for the respectable life he has built for himself. (IMDb) Continue reading

Jacob Thuesen – Anklaget AKA Accused (2005)

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Jacob Thuesen, a former editor for Danish directors Susanne Bier and Lars von Trier, had a very simple premise for his first film as a director: “Imagine if you got picked up by the police one day…” The film is called Angklaget (Accused) and tells the story of Henrik (Troels Lyby), a swimming instructor whose professional-, social- and family life is turned upside down when his difficult teenage daughter Stine (Kirstine Rosenkrands Mikkelsen) accuses him of having sexually abused her when she was younger. Stine’s mother Nina (Sofie Gråbøl) is shocked that her own daughter would do something so horrible; she knows her daughter has a history of lying about her parents, but never have their been such grave consequences. Stine is no longer allowed to stay at her parents house and is asked to press charges against her father, while Henrik has to wait in prison until his trial begins. Continue reading

Jørgen Roos – Carl Th. Dreyer (1966)

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At the world premiere of “Gertrud” in Paris, December 1964, Dreyer is greeted by many celebrities of the French cinema: Clouzot, Langlois, Truffaut, Godard, Anna Karina. Afterwards Dreyer delivers short comments on the style of each of his films. Already in his first film, from 1920, he strove for simplicity, especially in the set design. He started from the idea that each apartment gives an impression of the owner’s personality. By removing all superfluous details of the furnishing, the remaining, simplified scenery gives a heightened sense of authenticity. An authentic setting creates, according to Dreyer, a genuine style. To find this authenticity he often studies paintings from the period in which the story takes place. In his later films he brings this simplification process even further. He removes everything from the film that is not related to the story. He also simplifies the dialogue to find a more concise form, whereby he comes closer to the style of tragedy. (imdb) Continue reading

Nils Malmros – Skønheden og udyret AKA Beauty and the Beast (1983)

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IMDB:
When Mette and her father are left alone over the Christmas holidays to paint the new nursery the father ends up alone most of the time. The 16-year-old Mette is always off with her friends at the disco or skating, and the father does not mind until he discovers that young Jønne has taken some semi-nude photos of Mette and clearly is intending to go further in their relationship. Suddenly the father starts hanging out with Mette and her friends as they practice winter sports together – and there is hardly anything stranger, or more embarrassing, as far as Mette is concerned. It is clear that father and daughter are heading toward a change in their relationship as both have to adjust to her “growing up.” Written by Ørnås Continue reading

Johan Jacobsen – En fremmed banker på AKA A Stranger Knocks (1959)

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Amos Vogel in Film as a Subversive Art:
A censorship landmark case: the entire plot pivots on an act of intercourse, during which the woman accidentally discovers the vital clue to the film’s mystery. The complete absence of nudity and total relevance of the scene to the plot posed an impossible problem for the American censors, and led, upon appeals against its prohibition, to the abolition by the Supreme Court of the entire system of American state censorship in 1967. This development contributed significantly to the later era of sexual permissiveness in the American cinema. Continue reading

Thomas Vinterberg – Submarino (2010)

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synopsis

Two siblings who grew up in a dysfunctional household pass their damage along to those around them in this drama from Danish filmmaker Thomas Vinterberg. Nick (Jacob Cedergren) was raised by a mother with serious drinking problems who inflicted physical and emotional cruelty on her children. Now in his early thirties, Nick is an ex-con who has his own problems with alcohol and little sense of direction in his life. Back on the streets after a stay in jail, Nick lives in a shabby hostel, has an on-again, off-again relationship with Sofie (Patricia Schumann), whose alcoholism has cost her custody of her children, lifts weights and sometimes looks in on Ivan (Morten Rose), the troubled brother of a girl he one loved. Meanwhile, Nick’s younger brother (Peter Plaugborg) has his own demons; he’s a heroin addict who is running out of ways to finance his habit, and while he loves his young son Martin (Gustav Fischer Kjaerulff), managing his habit and looking after his child are more than he can manage at the same time. Adapted from the novel by Jonas T. Bengtsson, Submarino was an official selection at the 2010 Berlin International Film Festival.allmovie Continue reading

Nils Malmros – Kammesjukjul AKA Pal Christmas (1978)

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‘Kammesjukjul’ is a children’s Christmas movie made for television. It is basically a portrayal of the odd (in retrospect) childhood experiences which, at the time they occur, hold some mysterious significance. The movie is set at Christmas time, but the Christmas setting is not really important for the appreciation of the movie.

The plot:
Mads is not going to a Christmas tree party this year because his father’s company is way too small for that. Therefore, Mads decides to arrange his own party. He invites some of his friends and his teacher’s grandson for the party. Arranging a party is of course not easy for a young boy; it involves theft, intrigues, lying… Do Mads overcome the difficulties, or will there be no Christmas tree party? Continue reading