Showing posts with label Denmark. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Denmark. Show all posts

29 April 2015

Dead by Dawn 2015 Review - When Animals Dream(2014)

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Drama, Horror
Altitude Film Distribution
DVD Release Date:
1st June 2015 (UK)
Dead By Dawn 2015
Jonas Alexander Arnby
Lars Mikkelsen, Sonia Suhl, Sonja Richter

One of the most interesting aspects of being a horror fan is getting to see the continual resurrection of classic monsters. It feels like an offense to call Jonas Alexander Arnby’s When Animals Dream a monster film, but it’s essentially an abstract version of a classic story; fresh and clean, with a great sense of subtle iconography.
Small town ignorance, conservative values, puberty, death, and sins of the mother prove a potent but studied group of interests for the odd stoicism of Arnby’s vision. Sonja Suhl is terrific, channelling the innocence and charm of a beautiful outsider, only to prove she has no qualms getting Carrie-nasty for “quiet girl” vengeance. Importantly, Arnby makes the film more about the promise of violence from the community than the inevitable transformation in Marie. From the start Marie seems to be undergoing some kind of social gauntlet, dealing with the stigma of her mother’s mysterious illness whilst surviving the copious male aggression in her small sea-side town. As with many puberty-related horror films, the dangers of her condition are consistently outmatched and amplified by the world around her. It’s an interesting parallel to Paul Wright’s For Those in Peril, an equally pessimistic film about sea-side communities and destructive superstition.
Visually the film is consistently haunting and serene. The harsh light of day spells danger for Marie and her family, where safety only arrives with total darkness. Fantastic shots of artificial light in the early hours always spell doom for someone, extending Arby’s cynicism towards attempts to control nature.
Though the film often rests on Suhl’s quiet performance, Lars Mikkelsen is an equally huge and important component of the piece, playing a torn and fraught figure locked between the demise of his wife and the slow submission of his daughter to the same terrible curse. Arnby is wise to tell us as little as possible start to finish, letting us enjoy the quiet but charged politics of an introverted community, whilst putting us in the same bamboozled position as Marie.

A slow but mysterious venture: When Animals Dream is a haunted film; tired at the fact it’s still dealing with an aggressive patriarchy but triumphant in its remoulding of genre mythos.

Scott Clark

11 July 2014

EIFF 2014 Film Review : Ai Weiwei: The Fake Case (2013)

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Rating: 15
Running Time:
87 minutes
24, 27th June 2014 (EIFF)
Andreas Johnsen
Andreas Johnsen, Ai Weiwei

Last year I was lucky enough to catch the tale-end of a Toronto exhibit of Ai Weiwei’s work. It was the first time I’d laid eyes on the renowned Chinese artist’s stuff but even then you can see the acidic commentary on the Chinese government clean off the bat.  Andreas Johnsen’s insightful documentary proves an educational look at the inspirational man behind the work, but most of all a disturbing glimpse into what fuels his message.

From the beginning of The Fake Case, Weiwei is a picture of composure: dignified, friendly, wise, considerate, a family man. It is unsettling then to learn of his incarceration at the hands of a totalitarian government who kept him isolated for 80 days in a blank room with 3 guards, then released him unceremoniously to continue persecuting him. The intended message is clear: no one fucks with the Chinese government.

Yet, Weiwei does.

Struggling against the titanic force of a 1984 caricature, a party so villainous it’s a real life version of Orwell’s dystopian nightmare, Weiwei remains zen and considerate, even mischievous, finding a few opportunities to stand defiant in front of his persecutors. Johnsen’s camera shows much of the enigmatic artist, his family, his life post-prison, the ominous control the government still exerts on Weiwei and his supporters, but the overwhelming amount of support he garners from the world and his fellow countrymen alike. The sounds of the Hong Kong cityscape play loud and ominous through distressing segments of the film, most notably during a display of Weiwei’s work at the end of the film.

This is a film that has to be seen, not simply as a fantastic account of Weiwei and his methods, but as a frankly terrifying look at the corruption inherent in an empire and the potential turning of a tide against it.

Scott Clark

2 September 2013

Love Is All You Need Blu-Ray Review

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DVD/BD Release Date:
2nd September 2013 (UK)
Susanne Bier
Pierce Brosnan, Trine Dyrholm, Molly Blixt Egelind
Buy Love Is All You Need:
Blu-ray / DVD
Win Love Is All You Need on DVD:
Enter Here (opens link to The People's Movies)

Love is All You Need (originally titled The Bald Hairdresser) is a heart-warming romantic tale by Danish filmmaker Susanne Bier. The excellent Trine Dyrholm plays Ida, a recovering cancer patient, whom arrives home one day to discover her husband in the midst of a sexual encounter with another – much younger – woman. When travelling from Demark to Italy for her daughter Astrid’s wedding alone, Ida finds herself unexpectedly crossing paths with Philip (played by Pierce Brosnan), the father of Astrid’s fiancé. In Italy, both Ida and Philip learn to overcome their problems and are given the chance for a new beginning.

Love is All You Need is a charming film that would win over even the most cynical of viewers. I am hesitant to label it a romantic comedy – the genre the film has generally been regarded as falling into – since it does not contain much humour. However this is no bad thing, as most typical rom-coms tend to try far too hard to win laughs from the audience, and usually fail quite miserably. Instead, Bier’s text engages us with down-to-earth and likeable characters contending with relatable issues in their lives, all which are dealt with in a realistic fashion. While the film does have a fairy-tale like quality to it, containing plenty of picturesque Italian sunrises and orange and lemon groves, enhanced by beautiful cinematography; the grounded narrative lends it a level of authenticity that distinguishes it from most of Hollywood’s current cinematic output.

With well above average performances and a non-stereotypical plot, Love is All You Need is definitely worth a watch.


Sophie Stephenson

17 August 2013

A Hijacking (Kapringen) DVD Review

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Rating: 15
DVD/BD Release Date:
26th August 2013 (UK)
Tobias Lindholm
Pilou Asbæk, soren malling, Dar Salim
[Blu-ray] [DVD]

It's not much of a pirate's life for ship's cook Mikkel (Pilou Asbaek), who becomes the victim of a hijacking in Tobias Lindholm's gruelling tale of piracy in the Indian Ocean.

Lindholn co-wrote last year's superbly tense The Hunt, and he excels once more with a drama is low on the sort of swashbuckling frippery that has been prevalent in much of the recent pirate fare Indeed, the vast bulk of the film plays out post-hijacking as the increasingly desperate Mikkel plays a long and excruciating waiting game; tortuously dragged out over many weeks.

Meanwhile, half a world away in his Copenhagen office, Mikkel's boss prowls the corridors and walks a psychological tightrope of his own as he plays chief negotiator with the captors via their irritable translator.
Lindholm's steady, brooding film is sparse on frills but flooded with tension. A documentary aesthetic gives the whole piece a hyper-real sense of desperate, miserable futility. For poor Mikkel and his shipmates trapped aboard their floating prison the abyss looms large with little hope of salvation.

Raw and glossless it may be, but A Hijacking is nevertheless tough, claustrophobic and relentlessly tense. If your idea of a great pirate movie is all chattering parrots and rum, do yourself a favour and hoist the white flag.


Chris Banks

13 August 2013

The Keeper Of Lost Causes Trailer Will Bring Smile To Fans Of Nordic Noir

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The recent Nordic wave of Movie and Television has kept fan gripped to the edge of their seats for a long time now but just when you think things are about to quieten down another one appears. The urge for something of a higher quality keeps dragging fans back to Scandinavia for inspiration and the latest film to join the line is The Keeper Of Lost Causes.

From the Director of Klown, Mikkel Norgaard, The Keeper Of Lost Causes (Kvinden i buret) is based on the popular Department Q novels by Jussi Adler-Olsen. Detective Carl Mørck(Nikolaj Lie Kaas) is a burned out police detective reassigned to the the department Q to investigate old cold cases and his first been a dissapearence of a female politican. The original verdict was suicide however Mørck is not convinced and with the help of his assistant Assad (Fares Fares) the case takes them into the seedy underworld of abuse and malice.

No word on exactly when this will arrive in UK, Ireland or even USA for that matter, but below is the film's official trailer which comes with English subtitles, so something must be in the works already. The Keeper Of Lost Causes is due out in its native Denmark on 3rd October.


Following a shootout that left his two partners respectively dead and paralyzed, chief detective Carl Mørck is assigned to the newly established Department Q, a department for old, terminated cases. The department consists only of himself and his new assistant Assad. Although they get explicit orders to only read and sort through the cases, only a single day passes before Carl’s stubborn nature throws them headfirst into the mystery of Merete Lynggaard’s disappearance; a well-known female politician who vanished five years ago from a passenger ferry. The only witness is her brain-damaged brother who was found on the car deck, screaming at the top of his lungs. The case was put to rest as an apparent suicide. Unconvinced by this explanation Carl and Assad venture on a journey that will take them deep into the undercurrent of abuse and malice that lurks beneath the polished surface of Scandinavia.

source:Twitch / Nordisk

21 March 2013

Watch UK Trailer For A Hijacking (Kapringen)

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When you look at the Scandinavian market for television and cinema you must look back at it with jealousy at the constant level of  quality along with excitement, tension all in engrossing stuff. The latest film that will hit our shores comes from a former director of Borgen a popular TV series shown on BBC channels Tobias Lindholm  who has already directed The Hunt (Mads Mikklesen),now A Hijacking. Courtesy of the good folks at Arrow Films we now have the new UK trailer and poster for your visual entertainment.

Starring Pilou Asbæk (Borgen), Soren Malling (Borgen) in tense drama of a Danish freight ship that finds itself captured by Somalian pirates everyone onboard is taken hostage. What results is all the hostage caught in the middle of a game of cat & mouse between the hostages and shipping directors as they attempt to negotiate a ransom leaving the hostages no clue when or if they'll ever be set free.

I was fortunate to catch this film at last month's Glasgow Film Festival, it was a film I picked randomly but also on back of its reputation from it's film festival circuit especially from London. Its a slow burning burning film full of tension, it is violent on all levels especially psychically and emotionally becoming one of my favourite films of the festival.

I was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed A Hijacking and you can enjoy it when the film arrives in UK&Ireland 10th May with the American release coming 14th June.


A tense, chilling drama following the emotional journeys of a ship’s crew as they are taken hostage in the Indian Ocean, A HIJACKING was the stand out film at the London, Venice and Toronto Film Festivals 2012.The cargo ship MV Rozen is heading for harbour when it is hijacked by Somali pirates in the Indian Ocean. Amongst the men on board are the ship’s cook Mikkel (Pilou Asbæk) and the engineer Jan (Roland Møller), who along with the rest of the seamen are taken hostage in a cynical game of life and death. With the demand for a ransom of millions of dollars a psychological drama unfolds between the CEO of the shipping company (Søren Malling) and the Somali pirates

4 February 2013

GFF 2013 - New Poster For Nordic Thriller A Hijacking

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It wouldn't be same without some Scandinavian presence on our television or cinema and this May Arrow Films will release Nordic thriller  A Hijacking (Kapringen) and they have sent us this eye catching poster.

A Hijacking is written & directed  by Tobias Lindholm (writer of the Hunt) a acclaimed Somali pirate drama which stars a few familiar to fans of the recent Nordic TV invasion ,, Borgen's  Pilou Asbæk and The Killing's Søren Malling.The film is based on stories of the recent attacks from Somalian pirates and in A Hijacking it's the Danish cargo vessel, MV Rozen that falls fowl to the pirates in The Indian Ocean.

The poster symbolic with the silhouettes of a freighter ship and the gun the symbol of the pirates with the red lettering the danger sailing in the shores which could cause your life. If Lindholm  delivers the same solid storytelling like Borgen we have a powerful entertaining film on our hands and the early reviews from the films London film festival back that promise up.

A Hijacking is set for an 10th May UK&Irish release but you can catch early previews of the film at this month's Glasgow film Festival on the 20th & 21st February.


A tense, chilling drama following the emotional journeys of a ship’s crew as they are taken hostage in the Indian Ocean, A HIJACKING was the stand out film at the Venice and Toronto’s Film Festivals 2012.

The cargo ship MV Rozen is heading for harbour when it is hijacked by Somali pirates in the Indian Ocean. Amongst the men on board are the ship’s cook Mikkel (Pilou Asbæk) and the engineer Jan (Roland Møller), who along with the rest of the seamen are taken hostage in a cynical game of life and death. With the demand for a ransom of millions of dollars a psychological drama unfolds between the CEO of the shipping company (Søren Malling) and the Somali pirates.

Did you miss the trailer? Here it is one more time....

Official Trailer

7 January 2013

KLOWN to Make UK debut at LOCO London Comedy Film Festival

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KLOWN is the outrageous and hilarious Danish comedy that pushes the boundaries of comedy and acceptable childcare with its bold mixture of dry wit, fearless shock humour and heartfelt sentimentality.

Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Inbetweeners and The Hangover combine as Frank (Danish comedy sensation Frank Hvam) decides to prove himself suitable father material by kidnapping his pregnant girlfriend’s young nephew for a truly outrageous weekend that combines sexual promiscuity, nudity, drug-taking and tiny bottles of Underberg.

Directed by Mikkel Nørgaard, KLOWN was the year’s highest-grossing home-grown film when released in Denmark. It was critically acclaimed on its US release and has been picked up for a Hollywood remake by Warner Bros. The film stars Frank Hvam and Casper Christensen, two of the most popular and experienced stand-up comedians in Denmark.

KLOWN’s UK premiere will take place on Friday 25th January at the LOCO London Comedy Film Festival at the BFI Southbank. The film is released in the UK by Arrow Films in Spring 2013 (exact date tbc).

SYNOPSIS: Frank accidentally learns that his girlfriend Mia is pregnant and that she has omitted to tell him as she does not regard him as ‘father material’. Furthermore, they have to take care of Mia’s nephew while Frank’s attention is taken planning a debauched canoeing trip with his friend Casper (Casper Christensen).

When Frank causes a minor accident with Bo, Mia must acknowledge that Frank is simply not capable of taking care of anyone other than himself, let alone a child. In desperation, Frank kidnaps Bo for the canoe trip, to the dismay of Casper. Frank is intent on showing Mia that he can be a good father. Of course, the trip turns out to be a disaster but in the midst of the chaos, bonds are made between Bo and Frank who both learn that size isn’t everything.

KLOWN’s UK premiere will take place on Friday 25th January at the LOCO London Comedy Film Festival at the BFI Southbank.