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

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


FESTIVAL DAILY(editor's picks):


The Art of Crying is an affectionate yet toxic recreation of small-town Denmark in the early seventies. Amid the flowing blond locks and "moped rowdies" lies a brazenly despicable father: Henry (Jesper Asholt), a wretched, sour milkman. His shtick is to threaten suicide anytime he requires attention or does not get his way. He spends untold nights curled up brawling on the couch nearly inconsolable. A petty and small-minded instigator, he is the worst kind of manipulator. Everything is about him and his theatrical suffering. Needless to say, his impish young son, Allan (Jannik Lorenzen), inherits a skewed moral sense of the world, as does his doe-eyed, damaged teenaged daughter, Sanne (Julie Kolbeck).

What is so fascinating about The Art of Crying is that it presents a world in which laughter is discouraged and tears are rewarded, where Henry can achieve stature in Allan\'s eyes by sobbing paroxysms of dispair with eulogies. Divided into chapters named for characters - who each endure a trauma of sort (tearfully, of cource) - and elevated by phenomenal performances, Peter Schønau Fog\'s first feature film is a vivid portrait of a provincial family that has raised emotional contrivance to an art form. JD