Culture Round-Up: Danish-French film takes home cartoon world’s answer to the Oscars
The French-Danish animated film ‘Calamity, a Childhood of Martha Jane Cannary’, co-produced by Viborg-based animation studio Nørlum, has taken home the main award at the world’s largest animation festival in Annecy, France. It is the first time a Danish-produced film has won the ‘Cristal’ prize for best animated feature-length film.
‘Calamity, a Childhood of Martha Jane Cannary’ follows the story of Calamity Jane, the legendary 19th century American frontierswoman, and it is based on true accounts of her – unlike the 1953 Doris Day movie which was very loose with the facts, to put it mildly.
Second Oscar nom?
Past winners of the Cristal have often gone on to be nominated for an Oscar, though if ‘Calamity’ is nominated, it would not be Nørlum’s first.
In 2015, its co-production ‘The Song from the Sea’ was nominated for Best Animated Film.
Nørlum chief executive Claus Toksvig Kjaer credits the wealth of talent in Viborg, its animation school, and support from Danish film foundations for the film’s success.
Strong Danish cast
Among the actors lending their voices to the Danish-language version of the film were Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Sofie Gråbøl, Lars Mikkelsen and Mikkel Boe Følsgaard.
The Annecy Festival was held digitally this year due to the coronavirus outbreak.
LSD mail among items in Dan Turèll and Jacob Ludvigsen auction
Bruun Rasmussen held a web auction on June 23 for a collection of items exchanged between two Danish cultural icons: author Dan Turèll and journalist Jacob Ludvigsen. The collection includes things like letters and photographs that signify a lifelong friendship between the two. Perhaps the most peculiar item in the bunch, aside from a Tibetan ‘companion horn’, is a letter to Ludvigsen from Turèll entitled ‘LSD Post’ that reads “THIS LETTER CONTAINS MORE THAN MOST”. What it contains is an LSD capsule, a paper clip, a match and tobacco, while the envelope is scrawled with words and arrows. The two met in 1965 through Ludwigsen’s father who worked with Turèll at Berlingske Media at the time.
King of dinosaurs tours Denmark
One of the best-preserved and most complete Tyrannosaurus Rex skeletons in the world is now on display at Statens Naturhistoriske Museum. ‘Tristan Otto’, the 66 million-year-old, four metre-high, 12 metre-long skeleton is the centrepiece of a new exhibition titled ‘King of Dinosaurs’ that features five other dinosaur fossils making their world premiere in Denmark. Otto was discovered in 2010 in the US state of Montana and was purchased in 2015 by two foreign Danes who have kept Otto on display at the Museum für Naturkunde in Berlin until now. The exhibition runs from 19 June 2020 until 28 March 2021.
Old inn to become an Old Irish Pub
The owners and founders of the Old Irish Pub chain, Peder and Kristian Blak, have bought up the historic Damhuskroen building located at Damhussøen in Rødovre, a municipality in the west of Greater Copenhagen. The early 17th century structure was originally intended to be a guard house for a caretaker of the dam at Damhussøen before royal privilege was granted in 1757 for it to operate as an inn. The inn’s future was in limbo as it remained on the market for the last two years, but it will now reopen as the latest Old Irish Pub after the summer holidays. The pub chain, which is originally from Roskilde, is the largest in Denmark with 22 sites.
HamletScenen presents puppet shows at Kronborg Castle
It appears ‘the show must go on’ as theatre company HamletScenen is set to resume its popular puppetry performances near Kronborg Castle with the support of Helsingør’s ‘Restart Helsingør’ tourism initiative. The company will be performing Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo & Juliet’ and ‘King Lear’ in mid to late July. Do not worry about scrambling to follow any complex Shakespearean soliloquies though, as the shows are performed without words. HamletScenen is best known for organising the Shakespeare Festival every August at Kronborg Castle – the setting for Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet’.
Music inspired by HC Andersen tales
Copenhagen-based Argentine composer and singer Estela Uriarte has composed a children’s suite inspired by nine Hans Christian Andersen stories. Accompanied by well-known Danish-Australian pianist Alexander Mckenzie, she sings the songs in both Danish in a Latin accent and in Spanish. Uriarte has performed in numerous world concert tours and her work is already available in the museum house of HC Andersen – while some songs can also be found on the SoundCloud app.
Winners of KarriereKanonen 2020 announced
Hip-hop duo Føl som and rapper Såforsatan have been named the winners of DR’s KarriereKanonen. Since 2002, KarriereKanonen has helped to shine a spotlight on up-and-coming Danish musical performers and metaphorically shoot their careers out of a cannon. Along with the award, the two winners will receive a talent development course at the Band Academy and will perform paid gigs affiliated with DR, coronavirus-permitting. The initial field of contestants included 1,560 artists who uploaded 4,005 songs.
Såforsatan hails from Copenhagen, while Føl som both come from Aarhus and first met over Instagram when member Emmanuel Matongo had just split from a previous hip-hop group. Matongo was inspired by gangster rappers such as 50 Cent and Snoop Dogg in his upbringing, but wanted to take a more experimental, sensitive route with his style in pairing with his partner and producer Frederik Reese.
HC Andersen story telling goes online
Since 1956, crowds have gathered every summer Saturday by the HC Andersen statue in New York City’s Central Park to hear his legendary fairy-tales read aloud by storytellers from the Hans Christen Andersen Storytelling Center. This year has presented a new challenge with the Coronavirus Crisis, however, and for the first time ever, the readings can be viewed online via the group’s Facebook page and YouTube channel. The sessions are often accompanied by musical performances and will run every Saturday through September for anyone to tune in.