This is what happens when your car breaks down on a Sunday morning and you have nothing else to do…
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…
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…
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.
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,…
All I want to know is if this is part of what inspired Ron Howard to hire Anthony Dod Mantle, and if there exists footage of him watching it.
O Anjo Exterminador
2013 movie viewings, #46. This early DOGMA95 hit and ultimate dysfunctional family story is not an easy one to sit through, but a pretty amazing film when all is said and done, which I wouldn't have watched without The Dissolve making it their pick of the week. Amazing to see how much this obscure '90s Danish cinema movement has influenced the entire film industry by here in the 2010s, and especially the American "mumblecore" movement which is having a heavier and heavier influence on Hollywood in general.
Segundo filme que vejo do Vinterberg e é incrível a sutileza com a qual ele vai mostrando pra gente, no desenrolar da história, como cada personagem realmente é - e não difere nem um pouco da nossa realidade: mostramos o que queremos, vivemos de aparências; nossa essência, muitas vezes, é desconhecida até por nós mesmos.
Assim como percebi em The Hunt, um dos focos do filme é nos mostrar, quase que como um lembrete, o quanto a natureza humana pode ser visceral, truculenta e muitas vezes repugnante, até, se formos tomados completamente por nossos instintos, se nos esquecermos por um segundo do lado "racional", "civilizado".
Isso tudo se apresenta conforme as horas da tal festa vão passando, até que um…
A superbly written and edited film that provides a shocking commentary on family values with brilliantly restrained and voyeuristic performances.
besides the blatant racism and absolute pretentiousness of the dogme 95 collective, danish birthday parties go tf off
A little story behind this movie:
"This film is officially known in Denmark as Dogme # 1 Festen. Best known for being the first one of the Dogme 95 films, this film follows the Dogme 95 Manifesto quite diligently. Dogme 95 was a movement started by Danish directors Thomas Vinterberg and Lars von Trier in 1995. The movement started out at Le cinéma vers son deuxième siècle conference in Paris on March 22, 1995, where eminent personalities of world cinema had gathered to celebrate 100 years of cinema. Lars von Trier was called upon to speak about the future of films, but instead showered a bemused audience with red pamphlets announcing the Dogme 95 movement."
Meh. Pretty crazy.
The first film to be released under the Dogme 95 movement, founded by independent Danish filmmakers Lars von Triers and Thomas Vinterberg. Beautifully directed by the latter, Festen is an incredibly tense, powerful and shocking family drama that makes excellent use of the restrictions of the Dogme 95 approach. Well shot using handheld cameras, and brilliantly acted by an inexperienced cast, Festen is completely absorbing once it reaches a certain point, and the issues leading up to it are almost forgiven.
Family, friends and relatives unite to celebrate the 60th birthday of Helge. During what appears to be a casual and peaceful dinner, the eldest son begins accusing his father of crimes he committed towards his children.
The only problems…
Movies that are slightly off.