Denmark

Cinedigm

It’s possible you haven’t noticed, but Hollywood  is in a bit of a superhero glut right now. This isn’t a bad thing — especially if the mediocre fare is balanced out with fantastic titles like Captain America: The Winter Soldier — but they all seem to be aimed at the same target demographic. Where are the comic book adaptations for Presbyterians? Or bodybuilders? Or even for kids? Antboy is a new film from Denmark that tries to address that last gap with a story and style aimed squarely at the pre-teen crowd. Pelle (Oscar Dietz) is a shy kid, small for his age, and crushing hard on the most popular girl in class. Trouble continues when he tries to help a kid being bullied and instead ends up chased into an abandoned yard, but it’s there where he’s bitten by a genetically modified ant. Soon he’s discovering new abilities like super strength, wall climbing and highly acidic pee, and with the help of his comic-loving friend Wilhelm (Samuel Ting Graf) he sets out to fight crime under the moniker Antboy. It all goes fairly easy too until a villain calling himself The Flea (Nicolas Bro) shows up on the scene, kidnaps his crush Amanda and holds the town in terror.

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A little over a year after jailing and banning their most famous filmmaker from making movies, Iran might win an Academy Award for Best Picture. It would be a first for the nation whose government seems to strongly dislike creativity and freedom of speech, but its entry this year, A Separation, almost seems like a sure thing. Come February, writer/director Asghar Farhadi and Iran might be standing on the winner’s podium. But it’s not a done deal yet. A Separation and 8 other films were announced last week as part of the Oscar shortlist – just one step away from becoming an official nominee. They include a Danish comedy set in Argentina, a masculine drama about the underground world of illegal bovine growth hormones in Belgium, and something marvelous from Wim Wenders. It’s, to say the least, a varied group. Except that almost all of them are dramas from writer/directors.  So, yeah. Subject matter-wise though, it’s a full spectrum. The final 5 will be announced tomorrow morning, but here first are the trailers from each of the 9 shortlisted movies from far off lands (like Canada):

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When Luke Mullen said that Bullhead was “damn near a masterpiece,” he wasn’t exaggerating. It’s a stirring, heart-vicing film that explores the rotten depths of manhood in the no-frills world of the Belgium mafia that controls illegal bovine growth hormones. His full review is absolutely worth the read, but the short of it is that the movie is pure, grisly and fantastic. In fact, it’s already been chosen as Belgium’s entry for Best Foreign Film at the Oscars, which is even more stunning because it’s the first film from Michael Roskam, and the country’s favorite go-to Awards contenders (the Dardenne Brothers) have a new film out this year (that won’t be going to the big dance). A newcomer has overthrown titans, and according to Badass Digest, Drafthouse Films has picked up the film for distribution. On top of that, they picked up fellow Fantastic Fest film Clown – the sex comedy from Denmark that sees men taking a young child on their “Tour de Pussy.” Adam Charles said that it displayed the awfulness of (some) male specimens with “one of the most pointed, extreme, and filthy senses of humor imaginable.” From Oscar nominees to raunchy foreign sex comedies, Drafthouse has picked up some great movies here, and hopefully they’ll be in theaters near you fairly soon. And no one will be texting or talking when you go.

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This week’s film comes from director Ole Bornedal (Nightwatch, Nightwatch), and it shows us that white people are violent and racist bastards no matter the language. An educated man named Johannes moves his family back to his small hometown and finds trouble when a local immigrant is targeted by townspeople out for revenge. The dark-skinned, Bosnian refugee is falsely accused of killing a kindly old woman, and when the angry, Danish citizens come looking for justice Johannes puts the lives of his family and himself at risk by taking the man into his home for protection. Bornedal’s film is part thriller and part social commentary as it explores the motivations of people both good and bad. And the razor thin line between the two…

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In what might be my favorite pairing of the entire tournament just for the sheer double feature potential, the legendary Miyazaki sees his masterpiece Spirited Away boldly represent Japan against the iconic Danish filmmaker Lars Von Trier and his Antichrist. Child-like wonder and abject terror. A perfect pairing. Chaos reigned over the cult gross-out of Human Centipede and the spirit-filled animated adventure beat the lesser-known film Moolaade, but both films actually have a fight this round. Let’s see what happens.

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Despite The Netherlands already handing it to Denmark in the real World Cup, the ninth bout in Round One of the Movie World Cup sees the cult grotesqueness of The Human Centipede go head to head and ass to mouth against the oddity of Antichrist. Both have completely different followings. Who will win? The mad doctor with an ass fetish or the woman masturbating violently in the woods? Will abject horror triumph or will chaos reign?

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Sam Raimi will visit Room 205.

Sam Raimi and his Ghost House Pictures are heading to Spain and Denmark to mine what scares they can from horror flicks Anguish and Room 205.

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published: 11.21.2014
D
published: 11.21.2014
B+
published: 11.19.2014
C+
published: 11.19.2014
B-, C


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