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

Friday, September 01, 2006

Toronto Film Festival: Description

Toronto Film Festival: Description

Film Title:
The Art of Crying
(Kunsten at græde i kor)

Programme: DISCOVERY
Director: Peter Schønau Fog
Country: Denmark
Year: 2006
Language: Danish
Time: 106 minutes
Film Types: Colour/35mm
Rating: 14A

Saturday, September 09 6:00 PM PARAMOUNT 3
Monday, September 11 3:15 PM CUMBERLAND 2
Friday, September 15 4:45 PM VARSITY 5

Production Company : Final Cut Productions ApS
Foreign Sales Agent : AB Svensk Filmindustri

Producer: Thomas Stenderup
Screenplay: Bo hr. Hansen, based on the novel by Erling Jepsen
Cinematographer: Harald Gunnar Paalgard
Editor: Anne Østerud
Production Designer: Søren Krag Sørensen
Sound: Henry John Michaelsen, Peter Schultz
Music: Karsten Fundal
Principal Cast: Jannik Lorenzen, Jesper Asholt, Julie Kolbeck, Hanne Hedelund, Thomas Knuth-Winterfeldt

Peter Schønau Fog's intense and unsettling The Art of Crying is a domestic drama-cum-horror movie, based on the celebrated novel by the Danish writer Erling Jepsen. The film follows precocious, eleven-year-old Allan ( Jannik Lorenzen), who is trying desperately to keep his dysfunctional, rural family together during the social upheavals of the early seventies.

Allan reveres his father, Henry (Jesper Asholt), the local milkman, and can't understand why others don't feel the same way. His family life is so twisted he thinks it's perfectly normal to stay awake all night dealing with his father's hysterics and suicidal threats. Allan's older brother left town several years ago, and his mother gave up long before that, relying on sleeping pills to escape Henry's tantrums.

Allan is obsessed with a rival family, whom he considers foolish white trash - until they start taking away Henry's customers. He is frustrated that his mother doesn't take his father's complaints seriously, and is perplexed by the increasingly rebellious and bizarre behaviour of his sister, Sanne ( Julie Kolbeck). Incapable of understanding what's going on and heavily influenced by his father, Allan commits appalling acts, unaware of their import.

While Schønau Fog uses his powerfully austere style (the early scenes have an almost tableau-like feel) to heighten the sense of entrapment, he also leavens the proceedings with comedy, though it's very much of the dark and sinister variety. The few extended family get-togethers are horrific and comic. No villain could be more publicly unimposing than Henry, who is virtually anonymous to the townspeople - or more tyrannical at home, where his nightly tirades terrorize everyone.

The Art of Crying chillingly dramatizes the gap between the innocent idealism of childhood beliefs and the starker reality of adulthood. Emotionally devastating and astonishingly mature, this is a unique feature debut.

- Steve Gravestock

Peter Schønau Fog was born on the island of Fanø, Denmark and studied filmmaking at the Film and Television School of the Academy of Performing Arts (FAMU) in Prague and the National Film School of Denmark. He has directed numerous short films, including Little Man (99), which won several international awards. The Art of Crying (06) is his first feature film.

Associated with European Film Promotion,
an initiative supported by the
European Union’s MEDIA Programme.