The best new cinema from the Nordic region will be screening at this year’s Carlsberg Scandinavian Film Festival. The specially curated selection encompasses films from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden with a number arriving direct from this year’s Cannes Film Festival.
Opening the Festival is the Australian Premiere of Margrete-Queen of the North (Margrete den første), a lavish historical drama set in 1402 from acclaimed director Charlotte Sieling. It explores the legacy and dilemmas faced by Denmark’s Queen Margrete (the brilliant Trine Dyrholm) a visionary ruler who brokered the historic Kalmar Union uniting Sweden, Norway and Denmark. Dyrholm also stars in A Matter of Trust (Ingen kender dagen), a tending and moving portrait of interpersonal trust and unspoken truths. Five intertwine stories in Annette K. Olesen’s artful, elliptical, and bittersweet relationship drama, which had its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival this month.
Selected for the 2022 Cannes Film Festival Critics’ Week, this year’s Special Presentation is Finland’s The Woodcutter Story (Metsurin Tarina), the directorial debut of Mikko Myllylahti. In an idyllic village, Pepe the woodcutter’s quiet life is suddenly torn apart by a series of tragic events over the course of a few days, but he seems to be fine with it as if he holds a secret to existence that is hard to grasp.
Closing the festival is The New Land (Nybyggarna), the 1972 sequel to the original The Emigrants (Utvandrarna), starring cinema legends Max von Sydow and Liv Ullmann as Swedish immigrants who struggle to establish a new life for themselves in the forest of Minnesota in the mid 19th Century. In 1973, the film was nominated for an Oscar and won Best Foreign Language film at the Golden Globes and in 2022 celebrates its fiftieth anniversary. The Emigrants (2021) (Utvandrarna) from Sweden is famous director Erik Poppe’s new adaptation of the award-winning classic which closed the 2021 Festival. Starring Lisa Carlehed and Gustav Skarsgård, it follows the emigrants’ journey from Sweden to the United States in the mid 1800s, telling the story for the first time from Kristina’s perspective of her.
For food lovers, three titles celebrate the joy and challenges of fine food. denmark’s A Taste of Hunger (Smagen af sult) is the story of a couple who sacrifice everything to get a coveted Michelin star for their popular restaurant in Copenhagen starring Katrine Greis-Rosenthal and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, best known for his role in game of Thrones. Also from Denmark is the remarkable documentary Nordic By Nature (Nordic by Nature – Michelin Stars) filmed in the remote Faroe Islands – an ancient microcosm of Nordic history, a thriving seafood industry, stunning landscapes, eccentric personalities, a native tongue – and two-star Michelin culinary pearl KOKS, the world’s most remote food destination. And starring Marie Richardson (Daybreak, Eyes Wide Shut) Sweden’s tuesday club (Tisdagsklubben) tells the story of Karin, who is forced to re-evaluate her life after a sudden change. With the help of friends, food and a reignited passion, she discovers that it is never too late for a fresh start in life.
This year’s Festival celebrates Scandi Screen Sirens with the much-loved classics White House (1942) starring Ingrid Bergman; Queen Christine (1933) starring the enigmatic Greta Garbo and the 2013 final cut version of classic folk horror film The Wicker Man (1973) starring 70s icon Britt Ekland. Norway’s Liv Ullmann stars in Ingmar Bergman’s Weimar Republic drama The Serpent’s Egg (1977) and closing night film The New Land (Nybyggarna, 1972).
Winner of the Berlinale Crystal Bear Award is Sweden’s comedy queen, a story of loss, anger and healing that follows a 13-year-old girl who wants to become a stand-up comedian. Real life acclaimed Scandi comic Odd-Magnus Williamson stars in Nothing to Laugh About (Ingenting å le av), as a successful stand-up comedian whose life is changed in a single day forcing him on a journey to rediscover himself and his laughter.
Sweden’s So Damn Easy Going (Så jävla easy going) is a playful dramatic comedy about love and daring to be yourself that centers on an 18-year-old girl who has ADHD and is exploring newfound feelings towards one of her classmates. Coming of age drama Pretty Young Thing (smuk) boasts a strong cast of young Nordic talent and will have its World Premiere at the Festival. Set in a Danish boarding school where the new first year students undergo initiation rituals, six teenagers are challenged to their limits.
The Pact (Pagten) is a slow burn drama from Denmark set in 1948 from acclaimed director Billie August, based on the true story of Out of Africa author Karen Blixen and her intense mentorship of young poet Thorkild Bjørnvig. From Finland, 70 is Just a Number (70 on vain number) features award-winning actress Hannele Lauri as a superstar singer trying to cope with her career, age, and love. Iceland’s quake (Skjálfti) is an absorbing psychological drama based on a best-selling Icelandic novel starring Anita Briem. After suffering a major seizure whilst out with her young son, a single mother fights to keep him whilst trying to piece together her life after losing her memory of her.
Festival goers will be able to enjoy a glass of Carlsberg beer while feasting on the best new Scandinavian cinema, as the Danish beer brand is the new naming rights partner for the Festival.
the Carsberg Scandinavian Film Festival screens at Palace Nova Eastend Cinemas from 19 July to 10 August 2022.