Thursday, August 25, 2016

Thursday Movie Picks: Scandinavian Language

This week's theme for Thursday Movie Picks (hosted by Wandering Through the Shelvesis Scandinavian Language. This theme is perfect for me because I love Scandinavian films, my favorite region of foreign films (does that even make sense?), and I once took a class all about Scandinavian films. It was quite hard for me to narrow down my choices, I didn't even get Bergman on my list, but these are my personal favorites.

Festen (The Celebration) (1998)
I recently recommended this film on one of my posts. Since a lot of people enjoyed The Hunt and put it on their list, I highly recommend Festen. It's by the same director and has a very similar story. It's unusual to say a film about a man sexually abusing his kids is a good film, but trust me on this one. 

                                                                                                              Let the Right One In (2008)
I really enjoyed the American remake of this film and though they are very similar, I prefer Let the Right One In. The film explores a tender relationship between a lonely boy and a girl who is actually a vampire. An strange premise, but it is actually a very beautiful film.

The Hunt (2012)
It is a sin that I have not included a Bergman film on my list, but I think it would be a sin if I didn't include this film. The Hunt is also an odd film to say it's good, since a man is being accused of sexually assaulting children, but it's so emotional with Mads Mikkelsen's performance, it's too good to miss. 

**I haven't had a chance to post for Against The Crowd yet, but I will tomorrow so stay tuned!


  1. I loved LTROI, funny thing is I didn't think of this one for this week. Great film! The Hunt looks beautiful - Vinterberg knows. But Festen I avoided even though its a classic Dogme 95 film, I was put off by The Idiots and Breaking the Waves, so depressing.

  2. I haven't seen any of these, my Scandinavian viewing is woefully small, but both Let the Right One In and The Hunt have popped up elsewhere today. The Hunt is new to me but I've heard Let the Right One In referenced almost since it first came out. It doesn't seem like my kind of film but everyone seems so ardent about it I'll probably give it a try.

    Funny you're lamenting not including any Bergman and my list exclusively deals with one Swedish Bergman or the other, but frankly outside of some Garbo silents-which I figured didn't count-that's about all of this region's films I've seen. I do have the Danish film Gertrud sitting on my desk to watch but it just came yesterday, too late for inclusion today.

    Wild Strawberries (1957)-Lovely reverie about looking back at life and the memories that come unbidden. Approaching 80 Dr. Isak Borg (Victor Sjöström), a retired doctor and professor, a remote man with a cold demeanor is traveling from his home in Stockholm to Lund to accept an honorary degree. Originally intending to fly he decides to drive instead accompanied by his daughter-in-law Marianne (Ingrid Thulin), a journey of a day. Along their way the people they meet and stops they make, including the doctor’s childhood summer home, lead him to evaluate the man he was and the one he has become. My favorite Bergman film.

    A Woman’s Face (1938)-Ingrid Bergman plays Anna Holm, a woman whose facial disfigurement has led her to become a blackmailer out of bitterness. The ruthless leader of a gang, she has no compassion for anyone until one of her victims turns out to be married to a renowned plastic surgeon giving Anna the opportunity to change her life. However the long tentacles of her former accomplices don’t want to let her go. Solid drama was remade a few years later by MGM with Joan Crawford.

    Sawdust & Tinsel (1953)-As a ragtag circus troupe makes its way through the bleak Swedish countryside conflicts arise between the members of the group. When they arrive in the town where owner Albert’s ex-wife lives he seeks reconciliation leading to bitterness from his present mistress who becomes involved with an actor with designs of his own leading to misery for all. Dark and unsettling but that’s Bergman for you.

    Honorable Mention-Cries & Whispers (1972)-Heavy, heavy Ingmar Bergman drama of recrimination and the acrid damage caused to relationships by long buried resentments. Two sisters gather at their childhood home to await the death of the third desperately ill sister. While they fail to reconnect to each other or their mortally ill sibling their maid seems to be the only person in the house who is capable of offering comfort and empathy. Color is used heavily to convey the oppressive mood of the picture although sometimes too much so, by the end you feel like you’ve been living inside a tomato for ninety minutes. Still an intricate, interesting drama.

  3. I have seen Let The Right One In and found it excellent. I really liked the relationship between the boy and the girl vampire. I haven't seen the other 2 but The Hunt was picked by someone else and it sounds excellent as well.

  4. I love Let the Right One In. Outstanding film, that is. It's one of my favorite vampire flicks. Haven't seen the other two, though I really should watch The Hunt.

  5. I haven't seen Festen, but as I love The Hunt, I probably should. Love your other picks!

  6. I haven't included Bergam either, but it's because I somehow forgot about him. Anyway, I loved The Hunt and I'm glad you went with it. I haven't seen the other two, but I'll definitely watch Festen since it's the second time I've seen you recommending it.

  7. I enjoyed Let Me In too, but i think LTROI is a better film. It's more eerie and way more subtle.