Over the years, Lars von Trier has brought home six Cannes awards. Now the director is back with his Palme d’Or contestant "Antichrist" about a grieving couple that retreats to their cabin “Eden” in the woods, hoping to repair their broken hearts and troubled marriage. Knud Romer, who appeared in von Trier’s "The Idiots" in 1998, talked with the director in early April, when he had just put the finishing touches on his Gothic horror tale.
Martin Pieter Zandvliet wants to resurrect the spirit of John Cassavetes in his feature film debut "Applause", a drama about a famous actress wallowing in loneliness, vanity and alcoholism.
Anthony Dod Mantle, the director of photography on Lars von Trier’s "Antichrist", recently won an Oscar for "Slumdog Millionaire". He and von Trier are kindred spirits.
What happens to someone whose whole world suddenly collapses? Morten Giese’s directorial debut "Love and Rage" explores that question in the story of a young conservatory student struggling with love, a budding career and a fragile mind.
Nicolo Donato’s directorial debut "Brotherhood" is a frequently violent and yet tender story of love between two men in a radical right-wing community.
Growing up with Spielberg films, Christian Potalivo has a passion for good stories. This year’s Danish Producer on the Move recently spent three months in the Australian outback shooting his last film, the action adventure "At World’s End".
Henrik Bo Nielsen has headed the Danish Film Institute for almost two years now. Although Danish films had a terrific 2008, he remains concerned about the future. Lacklustre earnings for some films might stifle more adventurous film projects. The DFI is on the ball.
Nicolas Winding Refn caused a stir with his last venture, "Bronson". Not a biopic in any ordinary sense, Refn’s film about Britain’s longest-serving prisoner was chided for glorifying a criminal but also praised for its daring originality. Now Refn is finishing "Valhalla Rising", a large-scale international co-production with Mads Mikkelsen as Refn’s preferred outsider hero.
Danish animation is booming, both artistically and commercially. The ground has been shifting ever since A. Film brought out "Terkel in Trouble" in 2004. The film shocked the public and the animation industry alike with its rough animation technique and even rougher language, blazing a new trail for edgy low-budget animation.
Anders Morgenthaler has a very laidback approach to animation. The latest film by the Danish director, writer and cartoonist, "The Apple and the Worm", is a 2D-animated comedy for children about a self-absorbed red apple named Torben.
The international market for animated films is in rapid growth, and Danish animation is making a strong showing. Films in every format are produced, they are distributed internationally, and many are screened at international festivals.
One of the first memorable Danish video games had players fighting naval battles in five colours using two keys. Today, Danish politicians are backing a national game-design education as well as a children’s games subsidy scheme, following a longheld tradition in Danish cultural politics for nurturing high-quality film and media for children and young people.
Selected for the short film competition, Daniel Borgman’s "Lars and Peter" captures the difficult emotions of a young boy and his relationship to his father in the face of great loss.
Rúnar Rúnarsson was in Cannes last year with his short "2Birds". Now the director, who will be graduating from the National Film School in June, is back with his graduation film "Anna", a story of the transition from childhood to adolescence.
In her animated short "The Sylpphid", the Danish animation director Dorte Bengtson makes her mark as one of the most original and promising new talents to emerge from the animation programme at Denmark’s National Film School. Unfolding a knowledge of human nature and generous humour, "The Sylpphid" merges simple, cartoony lines and an abyss of symbolic depth. The film has been selected for this year’s Cannes Festival and the Animation Festival in Annecy.
A year or so after its alliance with Nordisk Film, Zentropa is busy fulfilling its mission to become an international player. Setting up offices in eight European countries so far, Zentropa International is looking to co-produce and produce features, TV films and TV series made by local talent.
No other Scandinavian director has worked with so many international stars and actors as Lars von Trier. "Antichrist" is no exception, starring Charlotte Gainsbourg and Willem Dafoe. Over the years, von Trier’s approach to his actors has changed from careful control to hand-held spontaneity.
“It all started with the idea of inside and outside. Some people are on the inside, and some are on the outside and would like to get in. That structure is as simple as it gets.” Ole Bornedal’s thriller "Deliver Us from Evil" builds on a traditional dramaturgy that is found in countless American genre films. Even so, the film is hard to place genre-wise, offering a shrilling insight into human nature driven berserk.