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.)