Nils Malmros – Kundskabens træ AKA Tree of Knowledge (1981)


A modified review by Roger Ebert

“The Tree of Knowledge” is the truest and most moving film I have ever seen about the experience of puberty, about the little joys and great heartbreaks of the crucial first years of adolescence. It is also one of this year’s best films on any subject – a creative act of memory about exactly what it was like to be 13 in 1953.

The movie comes from Denmark, and yet it didn’t feel “foreign” to me. At first I was aware that I was watching a Danish picture, and then the universal insights of the story began to reach me so directly that I was just watching a movie about kids anywhere – it could have been made about an American suburb. Continue reading

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


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

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