Dogme 95 Style
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This Series is Exclusive to the Aero Theatre!
Co-presented by DANISH FILM: LA. In collaboration with the
Danish Embassy, Washington DC. With the support of the Danish Film Institute.
Throughout the course of cinematic history, Danish film has made a
significant contribution, with its directors among the elite ranks of world cinemas
auteurs. The American Cinematheque is proud to host the 1st Annual Showcase of Danish
Film, this year celebrating, the influential Dogme 95 movement (1995-2005).
Founded in 1995 by vanguard Danish directors Lars von Trier and
Thomas Vinterberg, Dogme 95 gave birth to the groundbreaking works THE CELEBRATION
(Vinterberg) and THE IDIOTS (von Trier). Joining the movement were Danish directors Soren
Kragh-Jacobsen and Kristian Levring, who along with von Trier and Vinterberg formed the
initial Dogme Brethren. During the next decade, Dogme 95 inspired over 100 films of
diverse nationalities and budgets, made by filmmakers eager to follow Dogmes
manifesto and take "The Vow of Chastity." This now-infamous vow was a set of ten
rules designed to simplify moviemaking techniques and return cinema to a focus on truth in
story and character. Refreshing in their emotional intensity and vérité-style, the Dogme
films led critics and movie buffs around the world to applaud "the new new
wave." Films as varied as Lone Scherfigs ITALIAN FOR BEGINNERS or Harmony
Korines JULIEN DONKEY-BOY were produced under the creative challenges of Dogme 95
and its impact continues today to inform movies mainstream and otherwise, as well as
television programs and commercials. The Cinematheque is pleased to present a sampling of
the films that defined the Dogme movement, with in-person guests!
We are thrilled to welcome, at the Aero
theatre the leading star of Denmark - actor Ulrich Thomsen, actress Helena Christensen,
directors Mads Mikkelsen and script
writer, Anders Thomas Jensen.
Bier, Christopher Boe, and Jorgen Leth, as well as His Royal Highness Prince Joachim of
Thursday, June 1 - 7:30 PM
Ulrich Thomsen in person!
CELEBRATION (FESTEN - DOGME #1), 1998, Focus Feature,
105 min. Dir.Thomas Vinterberg. Family and friends gather at a manor house for the
patriarchs 60th birthday party. During dinner, the eldest son, Christian (Ulrich
Thomsen), gives a speech unraveling shocking family secrets. After its 1998 world
premiere in Cannes, this became a worldwide festival and arthouse hit, bringing home
numerous awards, including Special Jury Prize at Cannes, Best Foreign Film at the New York
Film Festival and Los Angeles Critics' Awards.
ALLEGRO, 2005, Alphaville Copenhage, 88
min. Dir. Christpher Boe. After a long absence, a famous pianist, Zetterstrom,
returns to his native Copenhagen. A perfectionist by nature, he also has a major flaw: he
can't remember anything from his past. So, when contacted by a messenger from the Zone, a
mysterious other world situated in the middle of the city, he attempts to reconnect with
himself, his lost memories, and what remains in his mind about a lost love. Discussion in between films with actor Ulrich Thomsen (CELEBRATION) and
director Christopher Boe and actress Helena Christensen (ALLEGRO). There will be a wine
and cheese reception before the show.
Friday, June 2 - 7:30 PM
ITALIAN FOR BEGINNERS (ITALIENSK FOR BEGYNDERE
-DOGME # 12), 2000, Miramax, 118 min. Dir. Lone Scherfig. A motley group of
suburbanites come together at an evening-school class due to their shared interest in the
Italian language. A waiter and a waitress, a pastry chef and a minister, a cafeteria
manager and a ladies' hairdresser - all lonely and looking for love. One of the biggest
Danish box-office hits ever, both at home and abroad, the film won the Silver Bear in
MIFUNE (MIFUNES SIDSTE SANG - DOGME #
3), 1999, 98 min. Dir. Soren K. Jacobsen. When his father dies, a successful young
businessman is called back to the ramshackle family farm. Forsaking his career in
Copenhagen, he decides to stay and take care of his mentally challenged brother. He hires
a housekeeper, a beautiful prostitute looking to quit the business. The film also won the
Silver Bear in Berlin. Discussion in
between films with the writer of Mifune and two other Dogme films, Anders Thomas
Saturday, June 3 - 6:30 PM
Tribute to Susanne Bier in Person!
OPEN HEARTS (ELSKER DIG FOR EVIGT DOGME #28),
2002, Newmarket, 113 min. Dir. Susanne Bier. A woman runs over a young man with her
car. Left a paraplegic, he rejects the love and care of his girlfriend, who, in turn,
seeks comfort from his doctor, incidentally none other than the drivers husband.
They begin an affair and the doctors family life starts cracking.
BROTHERS, 2004, IFC Films, 110 min. Dir.
Susan Bier. Michael (Ulrich Thomsen) has everything under control: a successful military
career, a beautiful wife (Connie Nielsen) and two daughters. His younger brother Jannik
(Nikolaj Lie Kaas) is a drifter, living on the edge of the law. When Michael is sent to
Afghanistan on a UN mission, the balance between the two brothers changes forever. Michael
is missing in action - presumed dead - and Sarah is comforted by Jannik, who against all
odds shows himself capable of taking responsibility for both himself and the family. Introduction by His Royal Highness Prince Joachim of
Denmark. Discussion following both films with Susanne Bier and Ulrich Thomsen and writer Anders Thomas
Jensen and Mads Mikkelsen who appears in Open Hearts.
Sunday, June 4 - 6:30 PM
("Det Perfekte Menneske," 12 min.) Dir. Jorgen Leth. This classic, ironic
short by Danish filmmaker Jorgen Leth was proclaimed "the perfect film" by Lars
von Trier, and three decades after it was made, it became the inspiration for Leth and von
Trier's 2003 artistic duel, THE FIVE OBSTRUCTIONS. Leth's 13-minute black and white film
presents a pseudo-anthropological analysis of human behavior as it follows a man and a
woman in clinical detail going about their daily activities: eating, cutting their nails,
lying down, etc.
FIVE OBSTRUCTIONS, 2003, Lorber, 90 min. Dirs. Lars
von Trier and Jorgen Leth. No Dogme film, this plays around with other rules that
apply only to this particular motion picture. A virtuoso game exploring an artist's
engagement and detachment, the film has attracted considerable international attention.
Uncut Version! THE IDIOTS (DOGME # 2), 1998, Focus Features, 117 min. Director Lars
von Triers bizarre comedy-drama follows in near-mockumentary style the
adventures of a motley collective of middle-class truthseekers attempting to get in touch
with their "inner idiot." Veering wildly from absurdist vignettes to stinging,
bared-to-the-bone drama, von Trier impishly examines the variety of, and motivations
behind, civilized conventions and what happens when theyre stripped away, leaving
the impulsive, instinctive ego beneath. With jawdropping performances by Bodil Jorgensen
as Karen and Jens Albinus as Stoffer. Note: We will be screening the uncut, Danish
version of the film. Due to explicit imagery, no one under 17 will be admitted
to this screening. Discussion in between films with Jorgen Leth and LA
Weekly critic Scott Foundas.