Culture News in Brief: Cinemateket thriving despite the threat of streaming services

Meanwhile, there are high hopes for the new Danish film releases ‘Sons of Denmark’ and ‘Queen of Hearts’, but Viggo Mortensen hasn’t got a hope at the Oscars according to the bookies

Visitor numbers are soaring at Cinemateket, the Danish Film Institute’s cinema on Gothersgade.

In 2018, it welcomed 140,600 guests – an increase of nearly 35 percent from the 105,000 who came in 2015.

Member numbers have also grown during the same time period, increasing from 3,461 to 4,015, while its social media presence has exploded.

Branches in Denmark’s four biggest cities
Meanwhile, Cinemateket is busy expanding, and this month it set up branches in Aalborg and Odense to join a stable that has included Aarhus since last year.

Cinemateket attributes its success to more special events, such as ones where film directors are often present to answer questions about their work. In 2018 alone, it hosted 814 special events.

Cinemateket was originally founded in 1941 during the Occupation.

Holiday director scoops 2019 Carl Theodor Dreyer Prisen
This year’s Carl Theodor Dreyer Prisen has been awarded to Isabella Eklöf, the director of the acclaimed Danish film ‘Holiday’, which she co-wrote with Johanne Algren. With the award came a check for 50,000 kroner and glowing praise from the prize’s board, which commended the film’s “symbolic expression” and strong female central character – one the great Danish director himself would have been proud of.

John Wick creator to adapt Danish sci-fi computer game for Hollywood
Hollywood screenwriter Derek Kolstad has announced he intends to adapt the Danish sci-fi computer game ‘Echo’ for the cinema. Kolstad, who is most famous for creating the character John Wick, is believed to be in the process of signing a deal with the game’s creator, Ultra Ultra. Echo was released in the autumn of 2017.

New film envisages ultra-nationalist future of Denmark
Ulaa Salim’s film ‘Sons of Denmark’ has enjoyed its worldwide premiere at the ongoing Rotterdam Film Festival (Jan 23-Feb 3). The film is set in Copenhagen in 2025, envisaging a future in which an ultra-nationalist politician is generating disquiet among a population increasingly opposed to immigrants. Told from the perspective of a 19-year-old who joins a radical organisation to protect his way of life, New Europe Film Sales commends “a thriller that packs a powerful punch and really catches the zeitgeist of Europe today”.

Trine Dyrholm drama, in which she sleeps with her step-son, has premiere
May el-Toukhy’s ‘Queen of Hearts’ is premiering at the ongoing 2019 Sundance Film Festival (Jan 24-Feb 3). The erotic drama stars Trine Dyrholm as a matriarch who ends up having an affair with her 17-year-old step-son. It is due to come out in Denmark on March 26.

‘Herrens Veje’ finally makes its bow on British television
‘Herrens Veje’, which is called ‘Ride Upon the Storm’ in English, was screened in the UK for the first time on Sunday evening – at 23:00 on Channel 4. The channel’s streaming service Walter Presents picked up the UK rights to broadcast the program – a little behind the curve, as it has already had a second season and won worldwide acclaim thanks to multiple awards, including an international Emmy for its main star Lars Mikkelsen.

Mortensen a long shot to win the Oscar, even though it’s his third nom
Danish-American star Viggo Mortensen is 25/1 with most bookmakers to win the Best Actor Oscar for the film ‘Green Book’, in what will be his third attempt to win the gong following failures with ‘Eastern Promises’ and ‘Captain Fantastic’. It’s difficult to know what’s more surprising: Mortensen’s long odds given he was a short second favourite to win a Golden Globe, or that the actor is 60 years old.

YouTube bans ‘Bird Box Challenge’ films
Susanne Bier’s latest film ‘Bird Box’ divided the critics, and it also managed to ruffle the feathers of YouTube, inspiring many home video makers to film themselves doing potentially dangerous activities blindfolded – such as driving a car. YouTube has now confirmed it will ban all dangerous ‘Bird Box Challenge’ videos and other such footage.

He turned out to be a friend in London after all
An entry in the UK’s competition to select its Eurovision entry has been written by Danish songwriter Esben Svane. Already on Svane’s CV is a fifth-placed finish in 2011 with ‘New Tomorrow’, which was aptly performed by A Friend in London. ‘Sweet Lies’ will be aiming for glory on February 8.

Lukas Graham regrets covering XXXTentacion track
Lukas Graham has been widely criticised for releasing a cover version of ‘SAD!’, a song originally released by the deceased US rapper XXXTentacion. The band’s frontman Lukas Forchammer took to social media to say the band did not realise that the rapper was routinely violent towards women – both physically and sexually – lamenting how nobody had told the band of his violent history. A month before his death in June 2018, Spotify removed all of XXXTentacion’s songs, as well as works by R Kelly.


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