"Selvmordsskolen" is one of the best Danish films of its period inspired by the cinematic French New Wave. It uses the ideas and aesthetics employed by French filmmakers of the time - Godard in particular - but at the same time it is, very much, a Danish film. In the Sixties, Danish film basically meant comedy, and the actors who appear in "Selvmordsskolen" are all well-known comedy actors in Denmark. Axel Strøbye in particular gives a noteworthy performance (actually several noteworthy performances), but Jørgen Ryg is also well-casted as the main protagonist, credited simply as "the man who wants to kill himself". The film, however, is by no means an ordinary Danish comedy, and many Danish audiences were confused by it. Watching its darkly humouristic portrait of a modern welfare society which has no room for individuality or artistic ideas is very much like reading a book by the German philosopher Theodor W. Adorno - or watching an episode of the British TV series "The Prisoner". There are many moving scenes, and the end is deeply disturbing. Not before or since has Danish cinema produced anything like "Selvmordsskolen" (the title literally means "School for Suicide"). It is a true masterpiece and is highly recommended.
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