Jonathan Crocker

Editorial Director | Journalist

DVD review: Festen

Posted by Jonathan On June - 11 - 2009

festen1Goodbye cake and balloons. Hello suicide and paedogeddon. Probably the worst birthday party of the 20th century, Danish bad-boy Thomas Vinterberg’s riveting family-meltdown drama is also the first, truest and best Dogma 95 film ever made.

Exploding inside a country inn, it sees various spouses, relations and friends gathered to celebrate patriarch Helge’s 60th. But the veneer of civility shatters like glass as the families deepest, darkest secrets spew out onto the table. Chekhov, Ibsen and Bergman would have eaten it up.

But as good as the tale is, the hook is Vinterberg’s telling of it. Shooting crazy angles on the tiniest hand-held digital camera available and jump-cutting furiously, Vinterberg marshals the drinking, shouting, crying and sex with breathtaking assurance. Amped by gripping performances and a streak of bitter farce, his grainy storytelling mutates with thrilling agility for the most catastrophic home-movie imaginable. Fresh, surprising, risky as hell and – above of all – incredibly watchable.

Cast and crew look back on the making of the film in Festen In Retrospective, a great doc that avoids overlap with talking-heads featurette The Making Of Festen and fails completely to disguise the fact Vinterberg’s Region One commentary is AWOL. Gone too are the deleted scenes, but at least there’s the 10-minute Disclosure Of Festen nugget from the director, in which he explains the fascinating ‘true’ story behind the film. “I actually wrote Festen based on a radio programme,” begins Vinterberg. “It’s a bloody good story…” And so it is.



Leave a Reply




About Me

Following a decade’s experience as a journalist, Jonathan currently specialises in editorial and brand storytelling as Editorial Director of London-based creative agency Human After All. He continues to write about life and film on a freelance basis.



     DSC_5033新床單小樹與小雨 以我愛買床單的經驗來說 太貴買不起 便宜的又看不上眼 買中價的品質都還不錯 最舒服的材質還是絲比較好 這個小樹應該是屬於精梳棉 (網路都寫這樣材質=棉嗎 ?) 不知道是幾啪就是了 摸起來還算舒適 但是還不夠細 睡覺的物品 還是要買好一點  #20151125_DSC9544 #love #staracademy #sharmelsheikh #friday #me #realmadrid #barcelona #lovely #today #instagram #elquseir #silfe #sunday #saturday #mondy #tuesday #hot #egypt #official #wednesday #thursday #zamalek #kik #snapchat #whatsup #photoghraphy #naturaluntitled-20320151125_132103LMAO!20151118_Tag 5-274.jpgYour IP Camera detected motion;here is a snapshotZzzz