Interview in Politiken by Hans Jørgen Møller
Read it here. (in danish)
(The Danish paper JydskeVestkysten, has written about Jannik, but this article isn't on the net 07.12.2006)
(The Danish paper JydskeVestkysten, has written about Jannik, but this article isn't on the net 07.12.2006)
The Art of Crying has been invited for the Nashville Film Festival.
Nashville Film Festival (NaFF)
2007 Festival – April 19-26
Nashville Film Festival (NaFF) is hosted by the Regal Green Hills Stadium 16 in the Green Hills area of Nashville, Tennessee. With nearly 16,000 people attending the 2006 edition, it is rapidly becoming one of the best-known arts events in Tennessee and is the biggest, most international film festival in the mid-South.
Each year, NaFF receives submissions of over 1700 films from all over the world. Last year, 244 films from over 40 countries were selected. NaFF provides the only opportunity to see many of these films in this region of the U.S.Because it takes place in “Music City,” Nashville Film Festival places special focus on music in films with its “Music Films in Music City” section and two special music awards. Additionally, NaFF has special sections for late night screenings, gay & lesbian films, and, for children, our KidCinema section.
NaFF has had such notable guests as Keifer Sutherland, Joshua Jackson, Craig Brewer, Peter Falk, Paul Reiser, Al Gore, Patrick Swayze, Rick Schroder, Oprah Winfrey, Matthew McConaughey, Christine Vachon, Michael Moore, Barbara Kopple, D.A. Pennebaker, and John Waters, to name a few.
The Audience Award
For the film most liked by the Festival audiense, regardless of genre and length.
Jury's Special Mention for
"For creating an amazing acting achievement for his role of Henry,
in which he succeeds in accomplishing a portrait of a complex,
strong and amusing character"
Recommendations of the Jury of Cinema Owners
First: The Art of Crying
"The film is a tightly directed and sensitive tragicomedy.
Told from little Allan's simple-minded perspective, the film
moves the spectators without leaving a bitter aftertaste behind."
Congratulations to the cast and crew!!
Find more pictures here.
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Kunsten at græde i kor (The Art of Crying)
BASED on the eponymous roman à clef by Erling Jepsen, Kunsten at græde i kor is a tale of abuse and, moreover, the peculiar moral framework families construct for themselves, enabling them to except their own actions from the moral standard to which they hold the outside world. Much to my own surprise, the film is a black comedy, balancing the tragedy of sexual molestation with the absurd humor of adult self-pity and the innocence of youth. This balance is handled with remarkable skill by first-time feature director Peter Schønau Fog and an excellent cast of actors.
Kunsten at græde i kor is set during the 1970s in a village in Jutland near the German border, and 11-year-old Allan (Jannik Lorenzen) is our narrative touchstone. In voice-over Allan eases us into the film by describing how his parents would fight in the evenings, prompting his weak, frustrated father to cry and mope downstairs on the couch, usually punctuating his hysterical sobs with threats of suicide. It's quite unsettling for him to think that Papa (Jesper Anholt) should be so upset, and he waits for Mama (Hanne Hedelund) to relent and temporarily assuage the crying by patching the rift. If Mama has taken one of her sleeping pills, Allan asks his 14-year-old sister, Sanne (Julie Kolbeck) to go downstairs and console Papa.
Allan's naiveté shields him from the madness taking place around him. Even when his older brother Asger (Thomas Knuth-Winterfeldt) visits and warns him not to let Sanne go down to Papa any more, he doesn't understand the reasons why. He sees his Papa as someone to be pleased, not ignored, and Allan takes his constant suicide threats as literally as most children his age. He is aware enough of other families in the village to know that Papa's behavior isn't exactly normal, but, in the unique way that only children can, he accepts it as a fact of life.
Allan proves precociously resourceful when a village boy dies and he accidentally discovers that, like his father, he can manipulate people through tears. Delivering funeral eulogies appears to be the only time Papa comes out of his shell, and the more people cry (encouraged by young Allan's tearful sideshow) the more Papa comes to life. Allan even tries to help Papa's sister, the attention-craving hypochondriac Aunt Didde (Gitte Siem Christensen), into an early grave so Papa will get to enjoy another eulogy. He quite happily and unquestioningly carries out all of Papa's requests, spoken and unspoken, never grasping the seriousness of their consequences. Lorenzen himself must be quite clever to be so capable as a child actor, making his ability to feign straight-faced compliance during some his most appalling acts even more commendable.
As Papa, Anholt cuts a despicable and pathetic figure, an object of pity one moment and utter hatred the next. His underhanded attempts to control the lives of his family through a divide and conquer strategy, all for selfish reasons, are at the center of most of the separate narratives and indeed the film as a whole, though there are more than a few hints that the inclination toward abuse didn't begin with him. What makes this such an unconventional picture of abuse is that Papa rarely resorts to force and violence; he is too feeble for that. All his manipulation is psychological and rests on nothing more than filial loyalty. The trick lies in making his family feel obligated to do what they do not want to. On one or two occasions Anholt does cross the line and slips into caricature during one of his tantrums. These mark the very rare moments when the tragicomic balance is skewed too far in the direction of the latter.
Both the acting and the treatment of such a sensitive subject are first-rate, and the cinematography is equally good. Schønau Fog's domestic interiors have the cozy banality of family homes; the rooms all look and feel like they're lived in, not sets. His exteriors make use use of vivid natural color, with wide, empty landscape shots to show, for instance, how far the bus has to travel to connect this isolated rural village to the rest of the country. Taken together, all these aspects make Kunsten at græde i kor an outstanding film and impressive feature debut.
Read other Mannheim-Heidelberg filmfestival reviews from Diderot's Diary here.
"Papa is often sad. He cries a lot. Sometimes all night long. Only when his daughter Sanne goes to him, does he somehow calm down. Little brother Alan doesn't understand any of it but he knows how to get Sanne to go to their father. He doesn't understand much of anything that goes on around him actually. Why everything happens at night. Why mother escapes into a knockout sleep using pills. Why daddy always wants to die and eventually never does commit suicide. And why his big sister becomes ever stranger. An eerie look at a scenario of abuse."
A news release from the festival: Fractures in childhood.
The Art of Crying has been invited to The Hong Kong International Film Festival(20.3-11.4 2007).
The Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF) The Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF) is one of Asia’s most reputable platforms for filmmakers, film professionals and filmgoers from all over the world to launch new works and experience outstanding cinema. Established in 1977, the 16-day event showcases over 200 new films and several retrospective programmes. Previously operated by Urban Council and Leisure and Cultural Services Department from 1977 to 2001, and Hong Kong Arts Development Council from 2001 to 2004 respectively, HKIFF is officially corporatized as an independent, charitable organization – Hong Kong International Film Festival Society Limited after completing its 28 th edition.
The Art of Crying has been invited to the 10TH TALLINN BLACK NIGHTS FILM FESTIVAL.
The 10th Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival takes place from 23rd November to 10th December, 2006 in Tallinn, Tartu, Viljandi, Narva, Jõhvi and Kärdla. Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival is an unique event combining a feature film festival with the sub-festivals of animated films, student films and children/youth films. The festival aims to present Estonian audiences a comprehensive selection of world cinema in all its diversity with the emphasis on European films, providing a friendly atmosphere for interaction between the audience, Estonian filmmakers and their colleagues from abroad.
The director of The Art of Crying, Peter Schønau Fog, won in 2001 the prize for best fiction film and best fiction director in the Sleepwalkers filmschool competion. Sleepwalkers is a part of TALLINN BLACK NIGHTS FILM FESTIVAL.
Sa 02.12 14:00 Kumu Kunstimuuseum (English subtitles)
Fr 08.12 15:00 Kosmos 2 (English subtitles)
Congratulations to the cast and crew!
The great danish band playing live in The Art of Crying is The Blue Van. Their new CD, Dear Independence, with some of the songs from the film has just been released in Japan and the US. But it won't be released in Denmark until january. (I bought it in Tokyo - it's really excellent! - psfog).
Check out their website here: www.thebluevan.com
And their myspace site here: http://www.myspace.com/thebluevan
These days they are touring the US. and Japan.
The Art of Crying (Kunsten At Graede I Kor): If you ever felt too detached to relate to those who have been sexually abused, director Peter Schonau Fog’s is a film to bring you extremely close to the evil reality of sexual abuse. Just watching the excellent portrayal by Jesper Asholt as an abusing father makes you sick. Dad whimpers, cries, and threatens suicide, all to garnish whatever level of attention he can attain from the unsuspecting. His son Allan (Jannik Lorenzen) is completely entranced by his father. His father’s tears are unbearable to the point that Allan even encourages his sister, Sanne (Julie Kolbeck), to "comfort" their father. Allan is so naïve he does not understand or even conceive of the atrocities occurring between his sister and his father. For the psychological observer, the film virtually displays all levels of the family dysfunctions where molestation is occurring: detachment, secrets, silence, sympathy seeking, distractions fabricated when arguments occur, and the lack of empathy, escapism, and violence from the disassociated. Yes, it is all here, maybe to excess. At times this International Feature Competition selection reads like a psychology book – perhaps a little too blatant. Written by Bo Hr Hansen, eliminating some scenes might have tightened the film but, as it is, it sharply hits home. Not for the weak at heart or those emotionally disturbed easily. – Robert Buhrow
(Screenings Nov. 3, 7 p.m.; Nov. 4, 3:15 p.m.)
THE ART OF CRYING (Denmark)
What at first appears to be a rather conventional child’s-eye view of rural Danish life in the 1970s turns quickly into a dark portrait of a shockingly dysfunctional family. In director Peter Schønau Fog’s adaptation of Erling Jepsen’s novel, Allan (a haunting Jannik Lorenzen) is a daddy’s boy who quietly manipulates the goings on in his provincial town, disposing threats to his small-minded father with the ruthlessness of a mini Macbeth. The film’s cinematic style is conventional, but fine performances and Fog’s attention to detail create a truly claustrophobic setting. Soaked with suicidal themes and Schubert lieder, this is a domestic drama that’s more frightening than most horror films. (Fri., Nov. 3, 7 p.m.; Sat., Nov. 4, 3:15 p.m.) (James C. Taylor)
THE ART OF CRYING
KUNSTEN AT GRAEDE I KOR
Denmark, 2006, 106 min, Color, 35 MM
In Danish with English subtitles
DIR: Peter Schønau Fog
SCR: Bo hr. Hansen NOVEL Erling Jepsen
PROD: Thomas Stenderup
DP: Harald Gunnar Paalgard
ED: Anne Østerud
PROD DES: Søren Krag Sørensen
MUS: Karsten Fundal
Cast: Jannik Lorenzen, Jesper Asholt, Julie Kolbeck, Hanne Hedelund, Thomas Knuth-Winterfeldt
At times both horrific and comedic, THE ART OF CRYING is a stunning debut film. Director Peter Schønau Fog's film is filled with potent observations about the innocence of childhood and the starker reality.
South Jutland, the early 1970s, and life isn't easy for 11-year-old Allan. Allan reveres his father, Henry (Jesper Asholt), the local milkman, and can't understand why others don't feel the same way. His father has 'psychic nerves' and regularly threatens to kill himself. His mother has given up, his older brother has moved out and the family's small dairy store isn't doing well. When his eloquent eulogies that make mourners weep in chorus become his father’s only reason to live, Allan soon lends a hand to make sure the funerals keep coming. Schønau Fog adeptly peppers the plot with moments of comedy that are pitch black perfect.
Much of the film’s quiet intensity comes from the exceptional central performances, their authenticity adding layers of meaning. Fog displays a marvelous capacity for storytelling that combines lightness and darkness, people and place in a perfectly balanced composition.
- Shaz Bennett
Date Time Venue Tickets
Fri, Nov 3 7:00 pm ArcLight Theatre 12 $12.00
Sat, Nov 4 3:15 pm ArcLight Theatre 14 $12.00
Fairmont 3 - November 5, at 11 am
Fairmont 2 - November 7, at 5 pm
Closing Ceremony of Tokyo International Filmfestival streaming video here:
14:00-15:20 Japan time
The Art of Crying - This blackly funny Danish film begins like a Scandinavian version of Everybody Loves Raymond but slowly turns into Capturing the Friedmans. Narrated by a disaffected 10 year-old named Allan, the film details his wacky dysfunctional family and the quirky village they inhabit. The laughter gets progressively more nervous when it is revealed off-hand that Allan's father uses threats of suicide to elicit sexual favours from his daughter Sanne. Director Peter Schønau Fog's feature film debut catches you off guard with its disturbing and serious subject matter, yet never loses sight of its dark comedy sensibilities. The result is a powerful and morally ambiguous film shot through with a fresh, sardonic edge.
Chris Tilly reports from the influential film festival.
(...) My favourite film of the festival was probably 'The Art of Crying', a Danish coming-of-age tale that follows 11-year-old Allan's efforts to hold his family together in the face of crisis after crisis. A dark (practically pitch black) comedy that owes an obvious debt to Lasse Hallström's marvellous 'My Life as a Dog', the film is anchored by powerhouse performances from Jesper Asholt and Jannik Lorenzen as father and son, and deserves to find an audience outside of Denmark.(...)
(...) 'The Art of Crying' deservedly won the Volkswagen Youth Award for Peter Schønau Fog's subtle, understated direction(...)
The Art of Crying
Kunsten at graede I kor (Denmark)
San Sebastian Posted: Thurs., Oct. 5, 2006, 2:33pm PT
A Final Cut Film Prods. production. (International sales: AB Svensk Filmindustri, Stockholm). Produced by Thomas Stenderup. Directed by Peter Schonau Fog. Screenplay, Bo hr Hansen, based on the novel by Erling Jepsen. With: Jannik Lorenzen, Jesper Asholt, Julie Kolbeck, Hanne Hedelund, Thomas Knuth-Winterfeldt, Gitte Siem Christensen, Rita Angela, Bjarne Henriksen, Sune Thomsen, Tue Frisk Petersen. By JONATHAN HOLLAND
It's a mystery how Peter Schonau Fog manages to combine child abuse, a study of a rural community, affecting tragedy and black comedy into a satisfying whole, but in "The Art of Crying" he pulls it off. A gently offbeat study of a Jutland family in the early 1970s as seen through the merciless, innocent gaze of an 11 year-old boy, this refreshingly unconventional pic tackles its taboos with compassion, grace and wit.
Item plays too many dangerously non-P.C. games to expect universal approval, but "Crying" could bring a smile to the faces of fest auds prepared to take its genre-bending and ethical risk-playing on their own terms.
Pic is divided into six sections, each focusing on a different character. Moustachioed milkman and pathetic monster Papa (Jesper Anholt), continually breaking down in tears and threatening suicide, is married to long-suffering Mama (Hanne Hedelund). They have three kids: bespectacled, blinking Allan (Jannik Lorenzen, terrific), troubled Sanne (Julie Kolbeck), and student Asger (Thomas Knuth-Winterfeldt).
Whenever Papa breaks down in tears at night, it's Sanne's job to go downstairs and console him -- encouraged by Allan, concerned for his father's well-being. On a visit home, Asger discovers what this consolation actually entails, but the emotionally numb Mama is not prepared to admit it.
Knowing that Papa is happiest when delivering over-the-top funeral elegies, Allan prays his father's hated rival, Grocer Budde (Bjarne Henriksen), will die, and Budde's son Nis (Tue Frisk Petersen) is duly killed in a car crash. Allan also indirectly causes the death of Aunt Didde (Gitte Siem Christensen). When Sanne finds a boyfriend, Per (Sune Thomsen), Papa is insanely jealous, and his punishment of Sanne leads her to take terrible revenge.
Years of isolation have meant this community has created its own, bizarre moral rules. The vast, deadening expanses of landscape are effectively portrayed, as are the insular rituals of Jutland life, largely built around repressive Protestantism -- one scene, involving the boy's funeral, ironically has a speech by Papa unlocking the village's emotions in an outpouring of grief.
Pic's bleakness is leavened by lovely observational, surreal humor, mostly generated by using Allan's p.o.v. -- through his innocent eyes, everything that is happening is quite normal. The script controls mood with great precision, expertly negotiating the tragicomic tightrope: tastelessness is never an issue. Perfs are fine, particularly from the blank-faced Lorenzen and vet Asholt, though on a couple of occasions, he allows the excesses of Papa's character to descend into caricature.
On the downside, some scenes are overlong, with unnecessary time devoted to characters such as Aunt Didde who are ultimately marginal.
Camera (color), Harald Paalgard; editor, Anne Osterud; music, Karsten Fundal; art director, Soren Krag Sorensen; sound (Dolby SR Digital), Henry Michaelson, Peter Schultz. Reviewed at San Sebastian Film Festival (Zabaltegi New Directors), Sept. 28, 2006. Running time: 106 MIN.
Quoted in Berlingske Tidende
The Domestic Horror
(Auto-translation by Babelfish)
Although it begins almost with an air of amiable comedy, it is not exempt of certain touches of surrealism and with a narration by a child who momentarily reminds us of the television series Cuéntame cómo pasó, immediately arises all the drama of this film, the abuses, the incest, the deceit. It is indeed a story of abuses without blows, without apparent violence, but buried, the violence of deceit, the emotional blackmail, the constant threat of a suicide that never comes. And there is something strange, because this mixture of the absurd and horror, of comedy and domestic tragedy, creates contradictions in the spectator who does not know whether to hate the paedophile and incestuous father or to feel sorry for a poor man. This is the same dilemma that all of the characters of this remarkable film face, Danish cinema removed from the classic form of the Dogma movement that lately seemed to dominate all Danish cinematography, although in its thematic core it is not distant from the excellent Celebration by Thomas Vinterberg. Nevertheless, in Celebration the adrenalin could be smelled from the beginning, harnessed possibly by the aesthetic principles of the Dogma, whereas here everything goes more slowly. In Vinterberg's film it was difficult to feel compassion for most of his prepotent characters, whereas here it is impossible not to see everyone as losers beyond salvation, losers whose only mistake was to be born in a nuclear family where it was assumed that the pater familias has the right to do as he pleases. And it is this which The Art of Crying - excellent title - brings attention to, another part is the lack of conscience which they have for the victims they are abusing, the absence of protests on the part of a mother who seems not to want to find out what happens in her own home, or even the fatality with which the chavales seem to accept their destiny provided the poor father does not begin to cry and threatens to commit suicide again. The Art of Crying elegantly combines its formal classicism with the courage of the denunciation of practices of patriarcal domination that are not exclusive to Denmark nor to the Seventies. It is a film that somehow camouflages the hardness of the subject by portraying the characters as more amiable, and it would be possible to be debated at length if this approach to the subject helps to disguise the gravity of the facts that it reflects, or, on the contrary, it emphasizes it. M.B.
Festival Daily - interview summary
ZABALTEGI- NEW DIRECTORS
KUNSTEN AT GRAEDE I KOR / THE ART OF CRYING
Innocence is Not Always Bliss
The young Peter Schønau Fog has presented his first film Kunsten at graede i kor (The Art of crying) based on the successful novel by Erling Jepsen. The script was adapted by Bo Hr. Hansen and according to Schønau they had to make numerous changes while maintaining the focus and emotional content of the book. He points out that the author told him that his film was a faithful reflection of the book when he saw it. It is set in a small village in Denmark in the 1970s and revolves around an eleven-year-old boy who accepts the violent conflictive situation he lives in as being perfectly normal. Despite being a really bleak story, the child’s innocence results in some humorous scenes. In any case, Schønau wants to make clear, “the subject of child abuse is extremely serious for us so it was a real challenge to tackle this subject with appropriate seriousness while enhancing it with a bit of humour”.
- 27. sep. 21:30 Kursaal, 2. Original language with
Spanish subtitles, English electronic subtitles.
- 28. sep. 09:30. Principal. Only press and
accreditation-holders. Priority Press.Original language with Spanish subtitles,
English electronic subtitles.
- 28. sep. 12:00. Kursaal, 2. Original language with
Spanish subtitles, English electronic subtitles.
- 28. sep. 20:30. Antiguo-Berri, 4.
- 29. sep. 16:00. Príncipe, 7. Last
The Art of Crying has been invited to The 55th International Filmfestival Mannheim-Heidelberg.
A gem of a black comedy, 12 September 2006
Author: seraphyna84-1 from Ottawa, Canada
I had the privilege of watching this at its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Fest, and it's always great to discover new talent. Here, it's not just the discovery of Peter Schonau Fog, but also of the tremendous cast, especially young Jannik Lorenzen, who plays 11-year-old Allan to perfection with his cheeky bewilderment, and eventually with a heavy disappointment that accompanies his loss of innocence. The film reminds me of Schlondorff's The Tin Drum with its rather disturbing, yet comical theme of children growing up entirely too quickly, although The Art of Crying is, in my opinion, far more beautifully poignant as it is told through Allan's eyes.Henry (Jesper Asholt) is a milkman whose nightly suicide attempts and constant hysterics have driven his wife to taking sleeping pills every night to avoid him, and his son to university out of their sleepy rural village in Denmark. Henry's young son Allan (Lorenzen) adores him, and begins performing a series of bizarre acts in order to win his father's happiness, seeing nothing wrong with his father's manipulative actions and dysfunctional family dynamics.I enjoyed this portrayal of the tension between the rural and the urban, seen in Henry's interactions with his educated son Asger, his daughter Sanne's boyfriend the "moped rowdy" Per, and his neighbour the Buddes, who have introduced self-service at their rival grocery store. It's a compelling tale, grippingly suspenseful as you wait to see what Henry and Allan will do next, yet disturbingly funny as you watch Allan delight in the most unpleasant things (just as long as they make Henry happy). Strong performances all around, and a neat debut for Schonau Fog!
Riveting, if somewhat dark and disturbing movie. Incredible acting., 9 September 2006
Author: tdilkie from Canada
Watched the world premier at the Toronto Film Festival.You are drawn into this dark movie and cannot turn away. The performances by Jannik Lorenzen, Jesper Asholt and Julie Kolbeck are spellbinding. The movie is shown from the point of view of 10 year old Allan (Jannik), giving a very unique perspective on this messed up family. Director Peter Schønau Fog really pulls this together.Jannik Lorenzen is an incredible actor. This was his debut film, and I think that he's is equal most other child actors today. I really hope to see him in more films.Jesper Asholt plays a challenging role, the evil and disturbed father, with incredible conviction.The cinematography and directing are first rate, this is not a low budget or low quality film.Apparently based on the life of the book author, which is pretty disturbing too.It's too bad this Danish movie (with English subtitles) will be unavailable to most North American's...