Scandinavian Cinema

 The following films are some of the best Scandinavian films that the Library system has to offer. At least they are some of my favorites.  For the geographically challenged, Scandinavia consists of Denmark, Norway and Sweden.


Denmark

 

 

After the Wedding

Jacob runs a struggling orphanage in one of India's poorest regions. Desperate to save the orphanage from closing, he returns to Denmark to meet Jorgen, a wealthy businessman and potential benefactor. What appears to be nothing more than a friendly gesture to attend a wedding sets in motion an increasingly devastating series of surprises, revelations, and confessions that will forever change their lives.

 

Babette’s Feast

With the mysterious arrival of Babette, a refugee from France's civil war, life for two pious sisters and their tiny hamlet begins to change. Before long, Babette has convinced them to try something other than boiled codfish and ale bread--a gourmet French meal! Her feast scandalizes the elders, except for the visiting General. Just who is this strangely talented Babette, who has terrified this pious town with the prospect of losing their souls for enjoying too much earthly pleasure?

 

Boss of it All

When decisions needed to be made at the office, the owner invented a nonexistent company president to hide behind. Now, forced to bring the "Boss" face-to-face with potential purchasers and employees, he hires a failed actor to play the part. Much to everyone's surprise, the unmasked boss plays the ultimate part by becoming a hero.

 

Brothers


An emotionally charged story of two brothers who struggle to find their place within their family after one of them is sent to the war in Afghanistan. The responsible brother at war is missing in action and presumed dead. His less responsible brother gravitates toward his brother's presumed widow and cares for her. When the older brother returns from prison camp with post-traumatic stress, he faces problems with his role and the shift in family dynamics.

 

The Celebration


The family and friends of prominent Danish patriarch gather at his country estate to celebrate his sixtieth birthday. Two months prior to this event, Helge's daughter committed suicide. Her twin brother, Christian, makes a birthday toast that brings a barrage of family secrets out into the open.

 

Flame and Citron

During WWII, a young idealist codenamed Flame and tense family man, Citron, are two Resistance fighters who become the underground's most proficient killers of collaborators and sympathizers. The Nazi SS is hunting them. They trust only each other. But in a time where fear and mercy must live in the shadows, a mysterious woman and a new assignment to assassinate the head of the Gestapo may lead them to the deadliest place of all.

 

A Hijacking

The crew of a Danish cargo ship is hijacked and taken hostage by Somali pirates. The pirates pick the ship's cook as an interpreter to engage in escalating negotiations and ransom demands with their company CEO and authorities.

 

The Hunt

Lucas is a former school teacher who has been forced to start over after having overcome a tough divorce and the loss of his job. Just as things are starting to go his way, his life is shattered when an untruthful remark throws his small community into a collective state of hysteria. As the lie spreads, Lucas is forced to fight a lonely fight for his life and dignity.

 

The Passion of Joan of Arc

Danish filmmaker Carl Theodor Dreyer's dramatization of the trial and martyrdom of Joan of Arc remains one of the most striking and original films ever made. Shot entirely in close-ups and utilizing techniques years ahead of his contemporaries, Dreyer's deft cinematography and direction captures the intense emotional and spiritual turmoil of the young martyr.

 

Pelle the Conquerer

A boat filled with Swedish immigrants comes to the Danish island of Bornholm at the end of the 19th Century. Lasse and his son Pelle find work on a farm, but are treated very poorly. Pelle is determined to make a better life.

 

Vampyr

A stunningly photographed tale of horror, beautifully capturing an aura of fear and otherwordly menace. A young man stops at an inn, and discovers the village is rife with strange goings-on... murders, sudden illnesses, and weird skulking creatures. Then a doctor asks him to help a desperately sick girl by donating blood, and before long, the weakened wayfarer is lost in hallucinations, imagining himself buried alive... or could it be real?

 


 

Norway

 
Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead

The lone survivor of the prequel’s (Dead Snow) Zombie attack wakes in the hospital with his severed arm replaced with the arm of his Nazi nemesis, sparking a rampage of revenge by raising an undead army of his own.

 

Elling

After a two year stint in a state home, the shy and neurotic Elling and his sex-obsessed best friend, Kjell, are released and forced to enter the real world. They find themselves in a state funded apartment in the center of Oslo, told to behave responsibly and act like normal members of society. In time, the two adjust and find oddball ways of coping with society.

 

Headhunters

Roger, an accomplished headhunter by day - a person who identifies and approaches suitable candidates employed elsewhere to fill business positions - and art thief when opportunity knocks, decides to risk it all to get his hands on an extremely valuable painting, and in doing so discovers something which makes him a hunted man.

 

 

Insomnia

Disgraced Swedish detective Jonas Engström travels to Northern Norway to solve a brutal murder. Unable to sleep through the night of the midnight sun, Engström quickly loses his grip on the case and his mind.

 
King of Devil’s Island

Seventeen-year-old Erling is a rumored murderer and therefore sent to the Bastoy Boys Home correctional facility. Once there he clashes with the island facility's governor who believes manual labor, rigid discipline, and harsh punishment is the only way to turn these boys around. Refusing to accept the constant abuse, Erling leads the boys in a violent uprising that will bring them head to head with no less than the Norwegian Army.

 

Kitchen Stories

A Swedish efficiency researcher is sent to improve a Norwegian farmer's kitchen habits. There is a rule that they must not speak to each other. This rule is ignored and the men become fast friends, passing afternoons sipping coffee and telling stories.

 

Kon Tiki

In 1947 Norwegian biologist Thor Heyerdahl led a journey by raft that spanned 4,300 nautical miles across the Pacific Ocean that was hailed as one of the most fantastic feats of daring and courage of its time. Heyerdahl and his crew duplicated the legendary voyage of Kon-Tiki, the mythical hero who led the settlement of the South Sea Islands by sailing on a balsa wood raft from Peru to the Polynesian islands.

 

Max Manus: Man of War

An explosive, adrenaline-pumping thrill ride and the tale of one man's heroic actions in the line of duty. Based on the true story of World War II saboteur Max Manus and his battles against the Germans and his personal struggles.

 

Oslo, August 31st

Anders will soon complete his drug rehabilitation in the countryside. As part of the program, he is allowed to go into the city for a job interview. But he takes advantage of the leave and stays in the city, drifting around, meeting people he hasn't seen in a long while. Anders is smart, handsome, and from a good family, but he is deeply haunted by all the opportunities he has wasted and all the people he has let down.

 

 

Ragnarok

A Norwegian archaeologist who is obsessed with the mythology about Ragnarok goes on an expedition to discover the real meaning behind several runes he discovers in a cave.

 

Reprise

Follows two aspiring novelists and lifelong friends journeying down different paths after one's first novel receives wild acclaim and the other a pile of rejection slips.

 

Trollhunter

A group of students investigate a series of strange bear killings, but learn that there are much more mysterious things going on. They start to follow a hunter, learning that he is actually a government contracted troll hunter.


 

Sweden

 

Autumn Sonata

An international concert pianist visits her grown daughter after a seven-year absence. Aching with the memory of her mother's neglect, the introverted daughter explodes into a rage and the reunion turns into a shattering confrontation.

 

Fanny and Alexander

The sometimes tumultuous life of an extended family in early 20th-century Sweden, as seen through the eyes of two children.

 

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Forty years ago, Harriet Vanger disappeared from a family gathering on the island owned and inhabited by the powerful Vanger clan. Her body was never found and her beloved uncle is convinced she was murdered, and that the killer is a member of his own tightly knit but dysfunctional family. He employs disgraced investigative journalist Mickael Blomkvist and the troubled yet resourceful computer hacker Lisbeth Salander to investigate--with troubling results. Followed by two sequels featuring Salander and Blomkvist.

 

Intermezzo

Captivated by a beautiful and talented young pianist, a renowned violinist leaves his family and pursues his true passion in this famous love story that introduced Ingrid Bergman to American audiences for the first time.

 

Let the Right One In

Oscar is a fragile and bullied boy who finds love and revenge when he meets Eli. Eli is a beautiful but peculiar girl he befriends. Oscar does not know that she and her father are vampires. When strange disappearances and murders start happening in the town, suspicions mount from her neighbors and police. Eli must move on to stay alive or stay to help Oscar the only way she knows how.

 

Miss Julie

The young miss Julie lives in a mansion with her father. She has recently broken her engagement but is attracted to one of the servants, Jean. They spend the midsummer night together, telling each other their memories and of their dreams. Realizing that an affair between a man of the people and an aristocrat is impossible, they plan to escape to Switzerland.

 

The Phantom Carriage

It is said that each year, on New Year's Eve, a phantom chariot materializes to carry off the souls of those who have sinned. On one such occasion, David Holm is forced to recall his past misdeeds, especially his brutal treatment of his wife. Holm's only hope for salvation lies in his performing a spectacular act of selflessness. As the chariot approaches, Holm despairs: how can he possibly be redeemed before the clock strikes twelve?

 

The Seventh Seal

In medieval Sweden, a knight returns from war only to find a plague-ravaged homeland. He eventually confronts the embodiment of death with whom he engages in a game of chess for his life. The knight and Death play as the cultural turmoil envelopes the people around them as they try, in different ways, to deal with the upheaval the plague has caused.

 

Smiles of a Summer Night

Set on a country estate at the turn of the century, it features eight people who, during the course of one evening, change partners several times and engage in multiple romantic trysts. Full of subtle eroticism and wit, Ingmar Bergman's romance proposes that falling in love (or lust) beyond the parameters of social convention is not only unavoidable at times but it might even be the key to personal happiness.

 

Wild Strawberries

A distinguished professor, who lives alone with his housekeeper, can only come to terms with his egocentricity by traveling back in time to his earliest youth, finding there the seeds of his failure as husband, lover, and father. This film deals with the phenomena of old age wherein childhood memories return with ever-increasing clarity while great stretches of the prime of life vanish into obscurity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio Visual Librarian

Steve Kinsey

Email

805-781-1215

 


 

 

 

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Film Links

IMDB

A really good resource for films, TV shows, actors, directors, and anything associated with visual entertainment. Includes film clips, full streaming episodes of TV shows, local movie show times, and much more.

Allmovie

A good site for basic info. about films and DVD availability. This site will give you “watch-alikes”. For example: If you like The Third Man, you might also like Ministry of Fear or Foreign Correspondent. Check out their other site, Allmusic.com, which is the go-to site for music info.

Rotten Tomatoes

A great source for film and TV series reviews. They collect professional reviews and rate the films. They provide local show times and trailers.

MRQE

This site is similar to Rotten Tomatoes by giving review scores to films.

Metacritic

Like Rotten Tomatoes and MRQE, but not as comprehensive. They also have reviews for DVDs, Music, TV, and videogames.

Wikipedia Film Portal

If you are looking for terms or general info. about the making and watching of film, this could be a place to check out. It’s certainly a good place to browse if you are curious.