EDITORIAL. As a good friend of mine never fails to point out when I enthusiastically announce a light at the end of the tunnel, from a distance you can never tell whether it’s actually an oncoming train. Sceptics always find a way to dampen your expectations.
INTERVIEW. Unleashing primordial Nordic forces, Esben Toft Jacobsen's first feature "The Great Bear" is an animated fantasy inspired by Scandinavian nature and indigenous storytelling. Selected for Generation Kplus, the film is a tale about two siblings who discover the force of their conflicting emotions – a theme close to the director's heart.
INTERVIEW. An insecure young man, his bizarre, embittered father and a randy blind girl inhabit the weird small town of "Skyscraper", the directorial debut of screenwriter Rune Schjøtt. In a unique blend of the naïve and surreal the film embodies a story about performance anxiety and the fear of standing up for who you are. Selected for Generation 14plus.
INTERVIEW. Director Heidi Maria Faisst remembers clearly what it was like changing almost overnight from a horse-loving girl to an unruly teenager. The chaos of the first titillating steps into adult life is the theme of "Rebounce", a story about Louise and her sexy and rebellious mother, who becomes a dangerously alluring figure of identification. "Rebounce" is the second Danish teen film running in Berlin's Generation 14plus.
… to make great movies for them. Maybe the opposite is true. Maybe you have to be totally self-obsessed and egomaniacal to push your vision through, Rasmus Horskjær says. The new DFI commissioner for children and youth films bluntly calls for more madness, good cheer and adventurousness in Danish – and European – films for children’s and teens. What's more, he contends, A Clockwork Orange is the best teen film ever made.
OPINION. Perhaps teens would rather watch films where the hero looks dumb with a glob of come in his eye, while the heroine runs away screaming from a homicidal maniac. But at unguarded moments there in the dark, they also need to see something they recognise on a deeper level.
INTERVIEW. Pilou Asbæk has made the trip from drama school graduate to leading man in record time. In Berlin for the third year running, he's Danish Shooting Star 2011. Still, radio host Per Juul Carlsen is convinced that Asbæk will never lose the enthusiasm of an 11-year-old kid going on a great adventure.
INTERVIEW. Helena Frank's short film "Heavy Heads" merges social issues with distorted animation reality.
INTERVIEW. Though he won't be graduating from the National Film School’s editing programme until summer, Thor Ochsner's directorial debut, "1989 (When I Was 5 Years Old)", has already been selected for two major film festivals this winter, Sundance and Rotterdam. A "reconstruction," the 26-year-old filmmaker calls his intensely personal first short film.
VIDEO GAMES. Commercially, times may be as hard as ever. But creatively, the Danish game industry is riding a wave of success and inspiring new enthusiasm among policy-makers, embodied by a recently negotiated subsidy scheme earmarking 2.7 million euros for game developers over the next four years.
INTERVIEW. For Kim Leona and Steen Bille, both veteran screenwriters, the dramaturgical craft by now is second nature. But the Danish Film Institute's two feature film commissioners agree that attention to structure and plotting is not enough to make cinematic art that moves people.
THINK TANK. Even though Scandinavians speak the same kind of strange languages that no one else understand and share ideals about public support systems, we're terrible at buying tickets to each other's films. The new Scandinavian Think Tank convened in December to discuss the reality behind a disappointingly meagre Nordic market and to discover new ways ahead. Report by moderator Michael Gubbins from the meeting in Copenhagen.