Danish cinema plays a pivotal role in the audiovisual landscape of Scandinavia, opening up new frontiers in the international scene. The 42nd Hong Kong International Film Festival is pleased to introduce “New Danish Cinema” to local audience, showcasing six outstanding films including Thelma, a chilling psychological thriller from director Joachim TRIER, Winter Brothers, winner of four major awards at the Locarno Film Festival, and the topical Borg/McEnroe.
Louder than Bombs (2015) director Joachim TRIER focuses on the psyche of a timid young woman with dark supernatural forces in Thelma. Mixing sobriety and melancholy, he creates a chilly, opaque world conflating lust, shame and panic. Borg/McEnroe, a tale of sporting rivalry is given a brooding, introspective Scandinavian twist by the award-winning documentarian Janus METZ. Shia LaBeouf gives a magnificent performance as the Superbrat, who plays against the Swedish tennis genius in the legendary 1980 Wimbledon Championship men’s final.
The selection also includes Hlynur PÁLMASON’s directional debut, Winter Brothers, a weird yet compelling film about love and isolation, told through the story of two brothers living a hardscrabble life in a limestone mine. The film garnered four major awards, including Best Actor, at the Locarno International Film Festival. Under the Tree is inspired by a real-life incident. Icelandic director Hafsteinn Gunnar SIGURDSSON turns neighborly disputes over a tree into a fierce, violent conflict, which serves as a cautionary tale for our time.
In You Disappear, Berlinale Best Actress winner Trine DYRHOLM added extra dimensions to the complexity between causality and free will, in director Peter Schønau FOG’s incisive, absorbing psychodrama about the odd behaviors of a man with a brain tumor. The Charmer, the debut feature of Danish-based Iranian filmmaker Milad ALAMI, is another paranoid psychodrama with a twist. The tale of an Iranian expatriate desperately pursuing a paper marriage to retain his Danish citizenship offers a nuanced glimpse into Scandinavia’s immigrant community.