Festival of great Danes on big screen

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If you like movies of the artsy and award-winning variety, catch the last few days of the Danish Film Festival at the Labia this week.

On show are some of the best films to have come out of Denmark over the years, including several Oscar-nominated features as well as Mads Mikkelsen films – the flavour of the month because of his reprisal of the Hannibal role in the television series.

Films to look out for include:

lA Royal Affair: set in the 18th century, this is the story of British Princess Caroline (Alicia Vikander) who was betrothed to the mad King Christian VII (Mikkel Boe Følsgaard) of Denmark. German doctor Johann Struensee (Mikkelsen) used his influence with the king to introduce striking reforms, but his affair with the queen threatened to undermine all his suggestions.

lIn a Better World: two boys strike up a friendship which is quickly tested when they get involved in an act of revenge. The effect it has on their families, though, is what makes this Oscar-nominated film particularly touching and engrossing.

lValhalla Rising: Nicolas Winding Refn directs Mikkelsen in this slowly unfolding epic with brooding cinematography. It’s not a swashbuckling Viking action movie, though it is set in 1000AD (for a reference point, Refn directed Only God Forgives and Drive).

lWaltzing Regitze: nominated for an Oscar in 1990, this is one of those quiet dramas that gives you a slice of normal Danish life.

The rest of the programme includes: After the Wedding, perennial favourite Babette’s Feast, recent drama A Hijacking, Applause, Italian for Beginners and Marie Kroyer.

• Check www.labia.co.za for the exact schedule for the festival, which ends on Thursday evening.

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