At Cinemas: The tragedy of lost youth and cinema time

One of the Brit flicks coming out this week has a strong Danish connection


Time marches on. Mid-summer is already past, not that you’d know it from a cursory glance out of the window.

Imagine if you had a time machine: where – or rather when – would you go? For the sentient machines who have just lost their man vs killer robot war in a post-nuclear 2029, the answer is obvious – go back to 1984 and take out the mother of the human resistance leader, thereby preventing his birth.

For the Copenhagen cinema-goer, it is less clear. You might do well to skip the summer 2015 altogether – the weather forecast is miserable, Cinemateket and Huset’s Bio are both closed until August and Alan Taylor’s (director of high-end telly such as The Sopranos and Mad Men) take on James Cameron’s Terminator franchise, Terminator Genisys, offers little reason to stick around … see this week’s review.

Also on general release is Testament of Youth, the real-life chronicle of a British woman, Vera Brittain, who through her memoirs recalls her coming of age during the First World War. A feminist in her youth, she is determined to earn a place at Oxford University to follow her brother and his friend Roland, with whom she falls in love. When war begins, the men are sent to fight and her dreams fall apart. Released last year in the UK, the film earned praise for Alicia Vikander’s performance in the central role.

Bridgend is also an examination of youth in dark times based on real events – albeit in a time period much closer to our own. Set in a small Welsh village, it takes an artful approach to chronicling an epidemic of suicide among the eponymous county’s young inhabitants. Premiering as the opening film of this year’s CPH:PIX, Danish director Jeppe Ronde’s debut has earned considerable acclaim since. Catch it at Dagmar, Grand or Empire Bio.

Finally, with cinema choices considerably reduced during these summer weeks, my advice, assuming you don’t have a time machine, is to seek out my forerunner for film of 2015, The Duke Of Burgundy. An emotional and psychological tour-de-force, it’s still showing daily at Empire Bio and features a Danish prime minister performing questionable acts of sadomasochism. Sort of.