Scandinavian Series II

For the next weeks we will be screening a series of films from around Scandinavia.

This week’s screening will be Lars von Trier’s Epidemic, on Friday, March 7, 18:00, in the Zrinyi 14 building, room 412.

For more films in a similar setting, you can find the list of screenings from the previous Scandinavian series here.

Denmark

Epidemic (1987)

Director: Lars von Trier

106 minutes

in Danish with English subtitles

The film opens with the writer Niels Vørsel calling his creative partner Lars von Trier (…) about their latest screenplay. Lars goes over to Niels’ place only to discover that the disc containing the script (…) has been erased. Left with just a few days before they have to hand in their work to their producer, they scramble to write up a brand new script. They decide to create a new story about the spread of a deadly plague across the world and begin to conduct research and map out a plot. They make progress and see to other matters like a road trip to Germany while remaining unaware of an actual outbreak that is quietly making its way across Europe. (row 3)

Sweden

Sommarnattens leende (Smiles of a Summer Night, 1955)

Director: Ingmar Bergman

108 minutes

In Swedish with English subtitles

Bergman’s first major success, inspiration for both Stephen Sondheim’s A Little Night Music and Woody Allen’s A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy, this enchanting comedy of manners assembles a team of couples, ex-couples and would-be couples, and puts them through their paces in a game of love at a country house party during one heady midsummer weekend in 1900. Ruthless towards its characters’ amorous pretensions, but extending a kind of ironic tenderness when they get hoist with their own petards, it is a wonderfully funny, genuinely erotic, and quite superbly acted rondo of love. (Tom Milne, Time Out)

Finland

Äideistä parhain (Mother of Mine, 2005)

Director: Klaus Härö

111 minutes

in Finnish and Swedish with English subtitles

The plight of displaced Finnish children sent to Sweden and Denmark to escape the horrors of World War II are explored in director Klaus Härö’s tale of a young boy failing to adapt to his strange, and sometimes harsh, new surroundings. Following the death of his father, nine-year-old Eero (Topi Majaniemi) is sent by his mother to live with a foster family in rural Sweden for the duration of the war. (rottentomatoes)

Norway

Oslo, 31. August (2011)

Director: Joachim Trier

95 minutes

Norwegian with English subtitles

Thirty-four-year-old Anders (Anders Danielsen Lie) is a fortunate, but deeply troubled man battling drug addiction. As part of his rehabilitation program, he is allowed to go into the city for a job interview, but instead uses the opportunity as a way to drift around and revisit old friends. The day grows increasingly difficult as he struggles to overcome personal demons and past ghosts for the chance at love and a new life. (rottentomatoes)

Iceland

Djöflaeyjan (Devil’s Island, 1996)

Director: Friðrik Þór Friðriksson

99 minutes

In Icelandic with English subtitles

Devil’s island is a bitter sweet tale of Iceland in the fifties. Life is rough in Reykjavik’s post-war slum of Camp Thule, where the abandoned US military barracks have been turned into makeshift homes. Struggling wives and their hard-working husbands try to make ends meet. The younger generation dreams of dollars, Rock’n’Roll and the American way of life. To celebrate or to drown their misery – they’re never short of a good reason to booze. Devil’s island vividly depicts the everyday life of a wacky family, their neighbours and friends and shows how some of their dreams come true and others don’t. (Icelandic film centre)

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