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.
Jonathan Holland, Variety

Emotionally devastating and astonishingly mature, this is a unique feature debut. Steve Gravestock, Toronto International Filmfestival

A young Scandinavian genius tackles Bergmanesque themes of family taboos and relationships with pathos, humor, and a loving eye. Chiseko Tanaka, Tokyo International Film Festival

Sunday, December 31, 2006

Politiken interview - in danish

Director: Peter Schønau Fog
- Foto: Martin Bubandt Jensen

"Der er absolut ikke noget at grine ad
- man kan bare ikke lade være".
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)

Firpresci at Mannheim-Heidelberg

Fédération Internationale de la Presse Cinématographique
International Federation of Film Critics.

(...) Danish director Peter Schønau Fog also shows a lot of talent. In The Art of Crying he develops another horrifying and strong story. Based on the novel of Erling Jepsen, it shows a family in the south of Jutland in the 70s, whose harmony rests in the possibilities to calm the emotional non-equilibrium of the father, an egotistical and hysterical individual enjoying Schubert's lieder and suffering from crisis of crying with threats of suicide. The only one to calm him is his 14-year-old daughter, whose ingenuous younger brother always convinces her to sleep with the father, although in his innocence the boy doesn't know that what happens between father and daughter is a crime. A terrible and raw secret, also shared by the pusillanimous mother of the children and their older brother, who has left home to study but at his return, sees with impotence how the things at home are still the same.

With a story as this, we would be able to speak of a classical Nordic melodrama, tragic and severe. But the surprising thing is how the director achieves that The Art of Crying stands always on the thin line that divides drama from comedy. He holds a delicate balance that also includes black humor, tenderness and charm. The story is shown from a child's point of view, which is faced to complex situations (not recommendable for someone of this age) and never understands the gravity and sordidness of the situation. Although seeing the way his brothers are acting may tell him that something is not well at all. The plot develops without neglecting its literary origins, but as not many movies dare to do, is divided in chapters, each one dedicated to a character. So the events are made still clearer for the audience, leading to a powerful, captivating and sensitive human portrait in which the performances are fundamental: the two children, Jannik Lorenzen and Julie Kolbech, are true revelations, and as the father Jesper Asholt gives a spectacular performance.

Its formal characteristics – cinematography, music and art direction are excellent — would make this film what is called a "quality film", one that its country selects as candidate for an Academy Award in the best foreign language film’s category. It's true that the narration is traditional and the film has classical visuals, but that does not lessen the emotions of the story, splendidly guided by Schønau Fog, who never uses easy means to move the audience, although it would have been easy doing so, knowing that he had to direct children actors in a incest and abuse story. As Erik Richter Strand in Sons, the filmmaker knows how to create a work with popular leanings, that we can call a genre piece, but it goes a lot further. These are two stimulating debuts from two filmmakers, two new names to follow.

Joel Poblete


Joel Poblete is a journalist and film critic based in Santiago de Chile. He has worked on cultural subjects for Chilean TV, radio and papers and is now a movie critic in the magazine Capital. He is one of the founders and still member of the Chilean critics' publication

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Nashville Film Festival invitation

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.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Santa Barbara and Sarasota invitations

The Art of Crying has been invited to the followning festivals:

Santa Barbara International Film Festival
January 25 - February 4, 2007
Sunday January 28, 2007

Monday January 29, 2007

Wednesday January 31, 2007

Celebrating its 22nd year, the Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) continues to impress with an excellent lineup of films, informative panels, and celebrity tributes featuring the best and brightest in the industry. This year's festival runs from January 25 through February 4, 2007. Here is what has been announced so far: (be sure to check for updates) The 2007 Festival will honor Will Smith with the prestigious Modern Master Award for his career accomplishments, including this year's The Pursuit of Happyness, on Saturday, January 27 at the Arlington Theatre. Former Vice-President Al Gore and Director Davis Guggenheim will receive the Attenborough Award for excellence in nature filmmaking for their acclaimed film, An Inconvenient Truth. A screening of the film will accompany the award presentation on Friday, February 2, also at the Arlington Theatre. Also confirmed are Forest Whitaker, who will receive the Riviera Award for his performance in The Last King of Scotland, and Helen Mirren, recipient of the Outstanding Performance Award for her role in The Queen.
In addition to the tributes, the Festival will present over 200 feature films, over 50 short films, 6 Sidebar programs, 5 Panel discussions, several "Conversations with..." interviews, the 10-10-10 Student Screenwriting and Filmmaking Competitions, and free "3rd Weekend" screenings after the festival wraps. More information on the Santa Barbara International Film Festival can be found at

9th Annual Sarasota Film Festival
(13. - 23. apr.)
The 10-day event, which has grown into one of the leading film festivals in North America, will take place in the Gulf Coast resort city of Sarasota, Florida. The Regal Entertainment Group Sarasota Film Festival is presented by Mercedes-Benz of Sarasota. It has three competitions, Best Narrative Feature, Best Documentary Feature, and Independent Visions.

(The Art of Crying wasn't in competitions in Marrakech and Tallinn. I haven't been to any of the festivals and I haven't found any writings about those screenings on the net. Sorry.)

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Wins at Mannheim Heidelberg filmfestival

The Art of Crying has won the following prizes at Mannheim Heidelberg filmfestival:

The Audience Award

For the film most liked by the Festival audiense, regardless of genre and length.

Jury's Special Mention for

Jesper Asholt

"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.

Read about the festival wrap up:

Friday, November 24, 2006

Glasgow Film Festival

THE ART OF CRYING has been invited to a Danish Focus during:

(Feb 15 - 25).

The chilling tyranny of domestic abuse is told with black humour and acute understanding in this unsettling debut feature. Based on the bestselling novel by Erling Jepsen, it unfolds in the early 1970s when eleven year-old Jannik Lorenzen does everything he can to keep his family together. His innocence is his best protection against a father (Jesper Asholt) who behaves more like a child as he bullies, sulks and misbehaves to always ensure that he gets what he wants, however forbidden his desires.

Glasgow Film Theatre: Thu Feb 22 18:15:00 2007,

Diderot's Diary - review

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.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Radio Aktiv - review

Radio review by Heidi Simon:
(in german)

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Mannheim - Heidelberg screenings

The Art of Crying is in the International Competition in Mannheim-Heidelberg. Jannik, Julie and Peter will participate in the festival.

From the festival catalogue:

"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.


Date Time Cinema
November, 19 9.00 pm Atlantis 1
November, 20 11.00 pm Odeon
November, 22 6.00 pm Stadthaus

Date Time Cinema
November, 18 7.00 pm Gloria
November, 21 10.30 pm Schloss-Kino I
November, 22 10.30 pm Studio Europa

The Hong Kong International Film Festival

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)

Monday, November 13, 2006

The Art of Crying receives a SPECIAL MENTION at AFI FEST 2006

'The Art of Crying' receives a SPECIAL MENTION at AFI FEST 2006 in Hollywood. Read about it here: Risky Biz Blog or or Hollywood Reporter or AFI FEST.

Congratulations to the cast and crew!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

La Ultima Pelicula - review

The Art of Crying... a film to come out the cinema feeling with sonrisilla in the mouth and that strange sensation of happiness well of to have seen a current but special film.

Zabaltegui: The Art of Crying
(Auto-translated by Babelfish)

Kunsten at græde i Kor is the original title of the first film of the young Danish Peter Schonau Fog, winner of the prize of the jury of youth in the festival.

The film counts the story of a peculiar family of a lost town of Denmark from the point of view of a boy, perfectly interpreted by Jannik Lorenzen. His father is an expert in the art to cry, is depressive and every night threatens committing suicide, before which the greater daughter (of about 13 years)"consoles to him" and the mother watches towards another side. Everything goes well until the girl refuses to console her father, which the young person Allan does not include/understand. But, after a death in the town, the father gives a speech by which all admire to him and Allan realizes of which that makes its father happy and tries that there are more funerales at all costs.

The form that has Schornau to treat a as delicate subject as the sexual abuse or the death is admirable. All it does from perspective the intelligent innocent although and perspicaz of a boy of 10 years.

The story makes reir, cry and maintains to the spectator catched and astonished in peculiar personages, an admirable photography and a close story who cause that you leave the room with that sensation of to have been witness of an exceptional but daily history.

The best thing: Allan.
The worse thing: That probably they do not release it in Spain or if they do it he happens unnoticed completely. A pain.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The Blue Van - new CD out!

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:

And their myspace site here:

These days they are touring the US. and Japan.

Los Angeles Journal - review

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.)

Saturday, November 04, 2006

LA Weekly - review

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)

Getty Images

Director: Peter Schønau Fog

Sunday, October 29, 2006



Denmark, 2006, 106 min, Color, 35 MM
In Danish with English subtitles
US Premiere

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

Screening Schedule
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

AFM Screening
Fairmont 3 - November 5, at 11 am
Fairmont 2 - November 7, at 5 pm

Closing Ceremony of Tokyo International Filmfestival stream

Closing Ceremony of Tokyo International Filmfestival streaming video here:

14:00-15:20 Japan time

Cleveland and Marrakech invitations.

The Art of Crying has been invitated to the following festivals:

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Review in Tokyo

by Anthony Bradley
(Click on it to enlarge it.)

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Screening times at the 19th Tokyo International Film Festival

The Art of Crying
Kunsten at graede i kor
2006 / Color / 106min. / 35mm / Danish

Here comes a rookie director with formidable talent! A young Scandinavian genius tackles Bergmanesque themes of family taboos and relationships with pathos, humor, and a loving eye.

Director: Peter Schonau Fog Producer: Thomas Stenderup

Jesper Asholt / Hanne Hedelund / Jannik Lorenzen / Julie Kolbech

Danish films stole the spotlight at both Berlin and Cannes this year. Danish filmmakers boldly take on the challenges of addressing themes of loneliness and misery and taboos. This film depicts life in South Jutland in the 1970s through the eyes of an 11-year-old boy. Through him, we learn about the personalities, idiosyncrasies, and vices of his family, relatives, and neighbors. Bespectacled Allan adores his timid, unstable father. His father is a master at reciting eulogies, capable of bringing tears to everyone at a funeral. It is at such moments that his father appears the happiest. This ambitious film cuts to the heart of human malice against a backdrop of beautiful Scandinavian scenery. Rather than being an ironic commentary on life, however, the building 35-year-old director insists that the film, with its understated sence of humor, will make you smile and cry.
(Programming director Chiseko Tanaka)

10/27 11:00 - 13:36(open10:30)
Shibuya Bunkamura Orchard Hall
Guest: Peter Schonau Fog , Thomas Stenderup, Jesper Asholt

10/26 19:20 - 21:30(open19:00)
Shibuya Bunkamura Theatre Cocoon

10/25 20:20 - 22:36(open20:00)
Guest: Peter Schonau Fog, Thomas Stenderup

10/20 21:50 - 23:25(open21:30)

* The dates and times of the teach-ins, greetings from the stage, and film screenings are subject to change.

Reviews in Spanish, French and Euskara(Basque)

(Click icons for reading the original reviews - all texts are auto translated by Babelfish)
In french:

The art of crying of Peter Schonau Fog, Danemarck, Zabaltegi.
Masterly! Already the title: art to cry! Denmark, the Seventies. Still a history of family. Beautiful fair children, an attentive mother, a dairy father, who makes the round while his wife holds the cheese store. Nanan! With through the glasses of Allan, the little boy, we discover little by little as an onion that one peels skin by skin, the secrecies of this family. The father who threatens to commit suicide each night, the mother which throws the sponge, the girl which will calm her father, the big brother who comes and who leaves, the neighbors, customers, the priest, the cemetery and speeches of the dad who make cry everyone. Hard, hard to find itself there without charts, when one loves his father but whom one discovers little by little, which it is not the mast which holds the capital. An interpretation with the razor. Images on glazed paper of this so pretty Denmark, which, it should be said in passing, account the largest rate of suicidesŠ intimate Festen, distilled hand of Master by a realizer who can direct his actors. And an actor who plays the part of the father, parano and pervert with a little more nuances than our Nathalie Baye in My son with me.
In spanish


Terrible, desasosegante, the disquieting thing; what anesthesia in dry disturbs but you at the same time she is that in this Danish film everything seems to happen of a natural way, logical, traditional, atavic. As if the form to act of all and each one of their ambivalent, ambiguous and very cabrones personages were recorded in their DNA from the beginning of the times in the south of Jutlandia. The one that the father of Allan wants to commit suicide every five minutes, the one that the mother takes tablets and more tablets to disconnect, the one that Allan thinks that it is normal to make eróticos jueguecitos him to papi to console to him, the one that a doctor anyone, a generalist one immediately, decides the entrance of the sister in a frenopático, is things that are accepted because all suppose (rather, they have learned) that thus have been from always, it is and it will be.
The Art of Crying is of a coldness so that it leaves to the spectator with the generous soul. Of a chosen coldness, assumed and taken to the limit with all its consequences. No, they do not think about Lynch. He is not that. It is not that unhealthy world class. Here EVIL (capital and admiration) it has taken possession from souls and bodies. And those bodies, those souls, ignore that it is thus. The Horrible thing is already meat of its meat.
Addictive and awarded drama, the Volkswagen Prize of the Youth of the own festival of San Sebastián took, that treats a thorny subject as amply it is the child abuse. But this Danish film has osadía to portray to twigs with a certain interest for the somewhat Machiavellian spectators and victimas, incredible performance of the young person Jannik Lorenzen in its paper of the Allan upstart.
The action trascurre in Jutlandia, province of the south of Denmark, at the beginning of the Seventies. The family of the Allan young person is a true disaster. His father often has nervous crises and threatens committing suicide regularly. Her mother has thrown the towel and this in its world, its older brother has gone away of house and the small dairy of the family goes worse of every time. It will depend on Allan to maintain the family united. His father lives only for those moments in that he recites his famous and eloquent ones recited that make cry to all the assistants to a funeral. Soon, Allan will make use to make sure that there are sufficient funerales to maintain his contented father. But little by little it will see that his papa is not the person who he creates and when her older sister lets pass the nights in the sofa with her father, Allan will have to choose between the veneration that feels towards its father or the truth of which it happens between papa and his sister in the salita of house.
Film based on the novel of Erling Jepsen, where it counted his memories of childhood. Rolled to little distance of the places where it in fact happened the action and in dialecto that will cause that in own Denmark it is released subtitled. The director tries to give with a history with a humorous air to enter itself in the beginning in the dark side of the plot. But the force of the film is that there is no bloody nor ill-disposed scene, all this treaty of subtle form, but direct, there is no plane for the controversy. It is an intimist drama but that goes much more there that other films with the same subject, since all the personages overflow a humanity, as much the children as the own father. That causes that we do not feel like discomforts in happening of the action, somewhat non-uniform thing but that certain. As far as the distribution it is necessary to emphasize to Jannik Lorenzen by his paper of Allan and to Julie Kolbeck, like descarriada sister of Allan. They two, next to Jesper Asholt in the paper of afflicted family father, sustained the film with majestic interpretations.
Authentic surprise of the Festival of San Sebastián, this film is used for those incredulous ones that thinks that in Denmark the cinema only exists Dogma and nothing else.
Recently, in this same festival, we have had the opportunity to see the film aid "Mon fils to moi", that also it treated domestic subjects. It did front, showing the problem without adornments, and if it is wanted, without poetry. The film that now I criticize approaches a similar problem but of one more a more implicit way, mainly in the beginning, from the innocent vision of a boy. In my opinion he is superior, by the commented thing and other questions. Pain is one that we have not seen it aid, although at heart little matters.
Humor, black, cruel humor sometimes, flavors east familiar drama, making it thus more interesting and, simultaneously, obtaining a greater impact of its thematic one. With great scenes like the one of the first monólogo of the father in the cemetery, when the boy defies with his glance the person who can threaten her father.
A boy, the actor, who makes a work fantastic, specially for its age. Besides to have a perfect image, with its glasses and their so blond hair, very to tone with the ambientación. And like him, the rest of the actors. The father eats the film. The girl, with her face of going transmits a sensation of incredible resignation.
All this drawn with a fine and elegant photography, alive but nonestridentes colors. Two adjectives, fine and such elegant, can be applied to a direction that promises to obtain new good films that I hope bring to the festival and which they have the same scriptwriter. A counted history of original way but that speech of as old domestic horrors as the family.
With respect to my section, Zabaltegi, to emphasize the good mean level of the projections (far better that the official section to my to understand), in that I found the one who was better film to me from the festival in main lines, the Danish "The art of crying". It is history from the point of view of a small monkey, rubito and innocent of the life of his family, in which his father lacks all security in itself and night wants to force suicide on each (forward edge of dialogue is "in my house, is necessary to be well wide-awake at night because it is when my father is wanted to force suicide on"), the mother is bitter and the sister survives as she can. Sight thus, seems a melodrama to spurt, but nevertheless the film obtains an incredible balance between crude comedy, situations, and beauty of images, mounted with style, dynamism, intensity and a music to frame. When you take to several 4 days sleeping little and seeing pelis the day, and to 12 in the morning you stick 2 hours to the screen, they go flying, and all the room applauds to rage after reir and to cry... is that something has the film. It had raised well them but insuffrable, wishing that they finished. This no. He was agile and entertainment, treating several subjects like pedofilia from innate kindness to the man, as Stone in "World Trade Center" says (only reason why the its boring tear epic is acceptable, kindness and union arisen after badly from the attacks). It is difficult to describe to me I hope much that I liked "The art of Crying", and only to be able to return to see it to see if my enthusiasm is just. Although, to gain the prize of the young jury with as much difference speaking of which it speaks much... has is film that, of to have gone to official, safe, safe section, that it had won (although shared with the Iranian of gold, since there is no another one).
1 The art of Crying 10 Denmark
2 The boss of it all 10 Denmark
3 Babel 9 the USA of Iñárritu
4 Singapore Dreaming 9 Singapur
5 Glue 9 Argentina, produced by Isabel Coixet
6 Sleeping dog´s lie 8 the USA
7 Fair play 8 France
8 Sons 8 Noruega
9 Halfmoon 8 Iran
10- Elle´s bliss 7 Germany
11- Mon fils à moi 7 France
12- Delirious 7 the USA, better script and director to Tom DiCillo
13- Hana 7 Japan de Kore-eda "nobody knows"
14- Zulo 7 Spain
15- Factotum 7 Noruega/Francia/USA..., with the unjustifiable Donostia Matt Dillon doing well of tio hard
16- Children of men 7 USA/España... of Cuarón
17- The Old Garden 7 Korea, of Im Sang soon
18- Backwoods 7 Spain, with Gary Oldman and Aitana Sanchez Gijón
19- Chronicle of a flight 7 Argentina
20- Vete of my 6 Spain, better actor to Juan Diego
21- Prohibited to prohibit 6 Brazil
22- the way of San Diego 6 Argentina, special mention of the jury
23- Cashback 6 England
24- Little miss sunshine 6 the USA, prize of the public in front of Babel
25- ChineseGhosts 5 , inauguration
26- World trade to center 5 the USA
27- Lonely hearts 5 the USA, closing (good Gandolfini, boring script)
28- Children 4 Islandia
29- Copying Beethoven 4 USA/Alemania
30- Chinese One foot off theground 4
31- tail Tiger´s 3 Ireland, John Boorman
32- What I know of Lola 3 Francia/España
33- the lives of Celia 3 Spain
34- They are long! 2 Germany, original music of Mardi Grass
35- the distance 1 España
36- Eves 1 Argentina
37- the family turtle 1 Mexico

(Babelfish can be used to translate spanish and french. Copy the url(http:// ect.) into babelfish and change the language settings. )

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Capital Mag - review

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.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Time Out Movie Blog - review

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(...)

Variety - review

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

Thursday, October 05, 2006

AFI FEST L.A. Complete '06 Lineup

Check out the lineup at here!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Video from the Award Ceremony

Receiving the Youth Award

Votes for the Volkswagen Youth Award

Volkswagen Youth Award
The Youth Jury consists of around 350 youngsters from 17-21 years of age, from all over Spain and abroad, collectively selected from schools and film academies, by means of draws or in reply to individual letters of invitation. Participation in the Jury is therefore voluntary and implies the compromise of viewing all of the movies screened in the New Directors selection opting for the Volkswagen Youth Award. Members of the Jury must therefore watch a daily average of three films.

The members of the Youth Jury vote for each film after its screening by means of a piece of paper featuring the different ratings. The result of the votes is announced in the Festival Rag, on its TV channel, and on screens and panels installed at key points such as the Kursaal foyer and the Zabaltegi offices.

It is the Youth Jury members themselves who organize presentation of the award, previously announced to the press at the same time as the Official Awards ceremony. The corresponding plaque is presented at the Youth Closing Gala in the Kursaal Centre prior to screening of the winning title.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Review in Festival Daily

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

Festival Daily - interview summary


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”.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

San Sebastian Festival

Peter Schønau Fog (Denmark)
The 70s in a small, closed Danish village from which there’s no escape. A dairy farmer discontent with himself and the family he has contributed to forming constantly threatens to commit suicide in his endeavour to earn the love of the kids who console him in rather unorthodox ways. The monsters he has nurtured will leave home and create their own atrocities. A story seen through the eyes of a boy who has his own explanation for his family’s unusual situation. What sets out as a grotesque comedy soon turns into a fable gone terribly wrong.
  • 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 55th International Filmfestival Mannheim-Heidelberg

The Art of Crying has been invited to The 55th International Filmfestival Mannheim-Heidelberg.

AFI FEST in Los Angeles

The Art of Crying has been invited to AFI FEST in Los Angeles.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

IMDB user comments


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...