Tag Archives: Danish

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

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)

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 »

Carl Theodor Dreyer – Vandet på landet AKA Water from the land (1946)

Sharply critical film about rural water pollution in the Jutland countryside district of medical officer Jens Jensen. Situations of everyday water use are illustrated by graphic representations of a well and surrounding soil layers. A new well is correctly constructed in the farmyard. Read More »

Jesper Jargil – De ydmygede AKA The Humiliated (1998)

Rarely is a making-of doc so perfectly matched in tone or storyline as the subject of its gaze, but The Idiots and The Humiliated are furiously intertwined, in a mindgame kind of way that seems quite — Von Trier-ian? Filmmaker Jesper Jargil accepted an assistant director post on The Idiots under the condition that he be allowed to make his own film about the film, and the result is as personal and scarring as Von Trier’s masterwork. Using the same DV cameras as Von Trier was using, Jargil covers the actors and director living in the same communal space (much as the film’s characters do), and as Lars pushes his actors to the brink of emotional endurance, he himself goes bonkers in a paranoid, hypochondriachal fit — and the viewer is left feeling as if the whole production is the brainchild of a semi-mad cult leader intent on instantly capturing on tape every neurosis he wishes to purge in the real world. Unprecedented and ultra-rare, The Humiliated is an intimate meta thrill ride. Read More »

Carl Theodor Dreyer – De nåede færgen AKA They Caught the Ferry (1948)

This short movie is meant as a propaganda against fast driving. In 1948 there where no speed limits in Denmark (and only few motor vehicles) but it began to be a problem. The movie tells about a young couple driving on a motorbike to reach the ferry. But death is out after them, as a truck driver on the road. The question is if they will make the ferry, have an appointment with death or both? Read More »

Carl Theodor Dreyer – Thorvaldsen (1949)

This very short film offers a brief consideration of the major works of Bertel Thorvaldsen (ca. 1770-1884), one of the most famous of all Danish artists and arguably the greatest sculptor between Bernini and Rodin. Resting squarely within the Neoclassical tradition, Thorvaldsen’s great talent was his ability to perfectly balance his sculptures, giving them a sense of weightlessness. (Of course, the sculptures are also extremely beautiful, but in our post-WWII era there’s something disquieting about admiring a northern European artist’s conception of ideal physical beauty. I suppose that’s unavoidable, but Thorvaldsen’s reputation has happily escaped associations with Nazi ideology.) Read More »

Carl Theodor Dreyer – Kampen mod kræften AKA The Struggle Against Cancer (1947)

A government funded documentary warning those about the danger of cancer. Read More »