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A Danish film produced in the Dogma style by Thomas Vinterberg that portrays a family having a party for their father when one son makes a toast speech that tells the truth about the murder of their eldest sister possibly involving the father.
”This family...is kaput.”
In the first film created under the rules of Dogme 95 manifesto, director Thomas Vinterberg addresses some serious and gut-wrenching issues and dares to ask some unnerving questions about the value and importance of truth and challenges some unchangeable facts like the integrity and holiness of family and shows us a disordered and problematic society which is suffering from melancholy and disruption. The biggest and most admirable achievement of Vinterberg is his ability in finding a balance between making a groundbreaking visual experience and at the same time telling a story in a classic way. Anthony Dod Mantle (the cinematographer of Rush, Slumdog Millionaire and 127 Hours)does a brilliant job by inventing a mind-blowing and at times…
When filming according to the Dogme 95 rules, it quickly becomes apparent that story and storytelling is everything.
The Celebration tells a terrible story, but one that is captivating in its brutal honesty. Once the setup is finished and the catalyst in the story is revealed, most films of this type fall flat. This, however, doesn't.
It is intent to wrench every ounce of grief, pain, anger and fear out of its characters and make us a participant of it. It is hard to love this film because of its subject matter, but it is easy to admire it because of the skill on display.
Because of the level of sobriety in terms of filmmaking there is hardly any static to keep us from being sucked into the horrible hornet's nest that is this family. And if you allow all this to happen it makes for a harrowing experience that cuts deep.
I've put off since last night trying to review this film, and I don't think I'm ready to write anything cohesent now either, but here goes.
"Festen" is an early Dogme '95 movie that actually excels from adhering to the strict rules. The shaky cam puts you right in the middle of the chaos, the restriced lighting has an equal effect in strengthening the feeling of losing control of the events. I've never been much of a fan of music setting the mood either, and in forbidding such effects "Festen" really gets under your skin, with awkward silences and not a drop of sound drowned out from a musical score. All…
In many ways, the perfect film for the Christmas season.
Not because Festen is set at Christmas or anything. It's just that if you watch this film over the festive season, it will make you feel a hell of a lot better about the ways in which your family has got on your tits this year.
I guess in many ways Festen is perhaps most famous for being the film that started off the whole Dogme 95 movement. That shouldn't be the case, really, and I don't just say that as someone who couldn't give a shit about Dogme 95 and the daft manifesto that half the people who made films under it didn't even bother properly adhering to.
Vinterberg's subsequent career has been so meh-minus that I actively feared returning to this and discovering that it's actually mediocre. No worries. I'll be writing a lengthy essay for The Dissolve when we do this as Film Of The Week soon (edit: here it is), so for now here's what I wrote from NYFF '98, to which I'll add only that this is perhaps the best movie ever made about damage control.
Given the appalling, anything-goes direction in which the movies seem to be heading, with Hollywood relying on shallow spectacle and foreign/indie auteurs on callow shock tactics, it's both telling and ironic that the best film in NYFF '98—the only truly first-rate flick in the lineup, for…
festen is the first film made in conjunction with the dogme '95 manifesto, which was composed by thomas vinterbeg (the director of festen), and lars von trier.
the restrictions of the manifesto mean that the driving forces behind a great dogme film will most likely be a simple but particularly engaging story, and excellently written characters played by excellent actors. festen surpasses expectation on each of these fronts. the cast, especially, consisting of some of denmark's best actors of recent years, has an extraordinary chemistry, as well as incredible individual performances from the four leads.
the film also highlights the tongue-in-cheek nature of the manifesto. as with other 'manifestos' published by lars von trier as prefaces to his earlier films,…
Festen's radical assault on traditional film aesthetics combined with its equally fearless narrative makes it a truly unique and thrilling artifact of an exciting period in film history.
Unhappy with the state of film making in the 1995 Danish directors Thomas Vinterburg and Lars Von Trier started a movement known as 'Dogme 95'. In their manifesto they pledge a series of vows which consisted of a series of self imposed limitations on their film making process. The limitations included using a purely handheld camera, only ever shooting on location and a ban on any sound outside of what is seen in the screen.
Festen was the first film of this movement and where many directors would've been limited by Dogme…
Brutal and poignant, didn't pull a single punch the entire film. I wasn't crazy about the handheld cam style, but I stopped noticing after a while, and it ended up working out really nicely in such a personal film. Excellent look at all the ways families sometimes don't work, and how hard it is for them to admit it.
YES YES YES everyone is fucking evil
Storywise, I believe here the Dogme technique is far better here than in Idioterne. The image quality and the visual energy delivered using low budget cameras blow my mind.
On the other hand, the narrative engine is impeccable, in particular the caracters development and the subsequential twist, but i'm not going to spoil anything here, just watch it, it will worth every second.
For my birthday one year my grandparents took me to New York city, and the one thing I requested was that we go to Kim's video to purchase a copy of The Celebration. This film had an emotional impact on me like no other I had seen before; it rocked me to the core. The Celebration is masterpiece of cinema, by following the Dogma 95 rules The Celebration boils cinema down to its essence: drama. The simple yet extremely haunting story is fore fronted by the simplicity of the film making techniques. The cast is superb as a family far past the bounds of disfunction, highlighted by the father and two brothers. The Celebration is not an easy film to watch, especially for parents, it is savagely real and unrelenting. A must watch for anyone who appreciates pure cinema.
A dark drama, which was the first film of the Dogme 95 movement.
Film # 13 of the "Scavenger Hunt # 10" Challenge
Task # 1: A Dogme 95 film
“Festen” is a family drama, the first Dogme 95 film. It’s a realistic film.
The successful businessman Helge Klingenfeldt-Hansen turns 60 and throws a big party for his family and friends in his hotel. The suicide of one of his daughters not long ago shouldn’t spoil their party. But from the moment Helge’s son starts his speech, the party turns into a family drama.
When Thomas Vinterberg, with the help of Lars von Trier, started making “Festen”, it had to be as pure as possible: no special lighting, no props, no additional music, handheld camera. Not your typical Hollywood film and…
If you can get past the Dogme '95 style of this film, you will find a very interesting and engaging film about the revelations of a dysfunctional family.
For anyone who, like me, came across this film having already seen Vinterberg's "The hunt", "The celebration" might be a bit jarring at first. Shot on a VHS camera (or a potato, who could tell?) in a very frenetic manner, the film reminded me of the 'film-within-a-film' in "Exit through the gift shop" - unfocused, chaotic, style over substance. But when you get through this visual threshold, the true power of this story will unfold before your eyes, specifically when the thesis of the film is revealed during a toast speech.
"The celebration" could be considered either an early thematic blueprint or a beautiful companion piece to "The hunt" as it touches on similar beats of child abuse, accusation, public…
All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1177. An easy way of seeing how…
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