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Celebration

Director:Thomas Vinterberg
Writers:Thomas Vinterberg and Mogens Rukov
October Films; NR; 106 minutes
Release:10/98
Cast:Ulrich Thomsen, Henning Moritzen, Thomas Bo Larsen and Paprika Steen
In Danish with English subtitles

With their newly formed movement, called Dogma 95, which they hope will revolutionize contemporary filmmaking, directors Thomas Vinterberg, Lars Von Trier and two other Danish filmmakers have taken a “vow of chastity,” which basically takes all the trickery out of their craft. They have promised to use no artificial light, effects or sound, film with hand-held cameras and “refrain from directorial personal taste.” Sounds like it may make for dull cinema. Not so. Celebration, the first product under the Dogma 95 banner, emerges as a raw, dynamic tale of a family's undoing. When an upper-class family gathers to celebrate the 60th birthday of the patriarch (Moritzen), one of his children, Christian (Thomsen), interrupts the festive atmosphere with the announcement that dear old dad sexually abused him and his twin sister, who recently killed herself. The guests, however, don't react as Christian had anticipated, and all hell breaks loose.


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