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Festen
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The Celebration (1998) More at IMDbPro »Festen (original title)

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The Celebration -- At Helge's 60th birthday party, some unpleasant family truths are revealed.

Overview

User Rating:
8.1/10   58,111 votes »
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Down 44% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writers:
Thomas Vinterberg (screenplay) &
Mogens Rukov (screenplay) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Celebration on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
19 June 1998 (Denmark) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Every family has a secret. See more »
Plot:
At Helge's 60th birthday party, some unpleasant family truths are revealed. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Nominated for Golden Globe. Another 31 wins & 18 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Vinterberg achieves brilliant storytelling using Dogme 95 See more (254 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Ulrich Thomsen ... Christian

Henning Moritzen ... Faderen - Helge

Thomas Bo Larsen ... Michael

Paprika Steen ... Helene
Birthe Neumann ... Moderen - Else

Trine Dyrholm ... Pia
Helle Dolleris ... Mette
Therese Glahn ... Michelle
Klaus Bondam ... Toastmasteren - Master of Ceremonies
Bjarne Henriksen ... Kokken - Kim
Gbatokai Dakinah ... Gbatokai
Lasse Lunderskov ... Onklen - Uncle

Lars Brygmann ... Receptionisten - Receptionist
Lene Laub Oksen ... Søsteren - Sister
Linda Laursen ... Birthe
John Boas ... Farfar - Grand-dad
Erna Boas ... Farmor - Grandma
Bent Henningsen ... Statister - Extra
Poul Kajbæk ... Statister - Extra
Vibeke Dalset ... Statister - Extra
Janne Thomsen ... Statister - Extra
Anette Jakobsen ... Statister - Extra
Poul Petersen ... Statister - Extra
Gulli Sejrsen ... Statister - Extra
Vibeke Kaiser ... Statister - Extra
John Johnsen ... Statister - Extra
Dan Eilertsen ... Statister - Extra
Søren Søgreni ... Statister - Extra
Annette Jakobsen ... Statister - Extra
Kate Goldschmidt ... Statister - Extra
Jens Nørring ... Statister - Extra
Bent Kaiser ... Statister - Extra
Maria Myrgård ... Statister - Extra
Peter Krag ... Statister - Extra
Stig Poul Hansen ... Statister - Extra
Kaj Rasmussen ... I Køkkenet - In The Kitchen
Robert Strandgård ... I Køkkenet - In The Kitchen
Gry Worre Hallberg ... I Køkkenet - In The Kitchen
René ... I Køkkenet - In The Kitchen
Christine Louise Jørgensen ... Børn - Children
Dorte Olofsen ... Børn - Children
Kasper Olofsen ... Børn - Children
Emilian Sejersen ... Børn - Children
Susanne Funck ... Børn - Children
Rosmarie Jørgensen ... Børn - Children
Lasse Jacobsen ... Børn - Children
Sigrid Aalbæk Jensen ... Børn - Children (as Sigrid Aalbæk)
Mikkel Jacobsen ... Børn - Children
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Birgitte Simonsen ... Christian's Friend (uncredited)

Thomas Vinterberg ... Taxi Driver (uncredited)

Directed by
Thomas Vinterberg (uncredited)
 
Writing credits
Thomas Vinterberg (screenplay) &
Mogens Rukov (screenplay)

Thomas Vinterberg (idea)

Produced by
Birgitte Hald .... producer
Morten Kaufmann .... line producer
 
Original Music by
Lars Bo Jensen 
 
Cinematography by
Anthony Dod Mantle 
 
Film Editing by
Valdís Óskarsdóttir  (as Valdis Oskarsdottìr)
 
Casting by
Rie Hedegaard 
Lene Seested 
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Eigil Jacobsen .... assistant director (as Eigil Jakobsen)
 
Sound Department
Morten Holm .... sound designer
Bruno Langiano .... foley artist
Ad Stoop .... boom operator
Nick Watson .... sound consultant: Dolby
Kasper Val Bjerregård Larsen .... sound engineer (uncredited)
 
Special Effects by
Peter Hjorth .... technical supervisor
 
Stunts
Thomas Bo Larsen .... stunts
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Peter Hjorth .... additional camera operator
Lars Høgsted .... still photographer
 
Editorial Department
Thomas Caspersen .... synchronization: location
Jan Gundtofte-Bruun .... synchronization: location
Vagn Rose .... assistant editor
 
Music Department
Lars Bo Jensen .... musician: piano
 
Other crew
Mie Andreasen .... production staff
Jens Arentzen .... consultant
Peter Hjorth .... technical supervisor
Signe Leick Jensen .... production staff (as Signe Jensen)
Torben Stig Nielsen .... production staff
Alex Panagakis .... publicist
Karina Strand .... production staff
Camilla Thomsen .... production staff
David C.H. Østerbøg .... production staff (as David Østerbøg)
 
Thanks
Jens Arentzen .... acknowledgment: we are profoundly, unreservedly grateful to
Trine Breum .... acknowledgment: we are profoundly, unreservedly grateful to
Susanne Bruun de Neergaard .... acknowledgment: we are profoundly, unreservedly grateful to, Skjoldenæsholm Hotel og Konferencecenter
Per Fly .... acknowledgment: we are profoundly, unreservedly grateful to
Karin Trille Høy .... acknowledgment: we are profoundly, unreservedly grateful to (as Trille Høy)
Jørgen Kromann .... acknowledgment: we are profoundly, unreservedly grateful to (as Jørgen Kromann Larsen)
Ole Christian Madsen .... acknowledgment: we are profoundly, unreservedly grateful to
Birgitte Simonsen .... acknowledgment: we are profoundly, unreservedly grateful to
Ingerlise Vinterberg .... acknowledgment: we are profoundly, unreservedly grateful to
Carsten Walbom .... acknowledgment: we are profoundly, unreservedly grateful to
Lone Walbom .... acknowledgment: we are profoundly, unreservedly grateful to (as Lone)
Maria Walbom .... acknowledgment: we are profoundly, unreservedly grateful to
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Festen" - Denmark (original title)
"The Celebration: Dogme #1" - Canada (English title) (DVD title)
See more »
MPAA:
Rated R for strong sexual content and language, including references to sexual abuse
Runtime:
105 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
The film was declared to be the worst-dubbed movie released in 1999, in Germany.See more »
Goofs:
Boom mic visible: As the guests dance through the house, a boom mic can clearly be seen in the bottom left corner of the screen as they enter one of the rooms.See more »
Quotes:
[first lines]
[subtitled version]
Christian Klingenfeldt:[on his cellphone] Christian speaking... Hi, I'm here now. I landed this morning. What? Er... Washed? I shaved at the airport if you must know. I shaved at the airport if you must know! I'm fine... right now I'm looking across the fields. At the land of my father. It's beautiful. It makes me want to move back for good, but that'd be problematical. I'll make it. Yes, I suppose it will be... shocking. What?... You're dropping out. O.K. Bye.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
Jeg har set en rigtig negermandSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
112 out of 129 people found the following review useful.
Vinterberg achieves brilliant storytelling using Dogme 95, 10 March 1999

I have just seen Vinterberg's `Festen' an hour ago. Usually I try not to write or think about a film right after I have seen it. However, I am too overwhelmed to prevent myself from writing. I had been waiting over a year to see a film like the `Fetsen' that would both demonstrate superb craftsmanship and be able to move me personally at the same time. The combination of the two in a film is without a doubt the product of brilliant storytelling. I would, therefore, like to start by congratulating the storyteller Vinterberg before going on with my eulogies.

As for why I liked the `Festen' so much there is no better place to start from than Dogme 95. I must confess, though I loved Lars Von Trier's `The Kingdome', that I thought Dogme 95 would be nothing more than a fruitless publicity stunt. Of course I have been proven wrong. For one thing reading the comments on IMDB it is apparent that viewers, whether they liked the `Festen' or not, whether they are interested in film as art form or not and whether they are aware of what Dogme 95 is or not, have all commented extensively on the cinematography, the camera and the directing. I believe that this is an important achievement. All the expensive technology that has been used in mainstream cinema within the last few years have made viewers forget that there are actually people behind the cameras who are making decisions. This supposedly is good directing, because it carries the viewer into the universe in which the film is taking place. But carried to an extreme it homogenizes films to an extent where the viewer watches a ship sink with the same emotions as he/she watches cows fly in a tornado.

None however, despite the colossal events that they depict, can achieve the explosiveness with which the `Festen' turns a simple family gathering into a crisis of catastrophic proportions. This is mainly due to the brilliant use of Dogme 95 that, among other things, requires that camera movements be restricted to those that can be achieved with a handheld camera, and, only natural light and locations be used. I believe that these are only principles and whatever individual directors achieve with them solely depend on their respective talents. It is the same thing with mainstream Hollywood cinema, though there is a widely used form of narration, only Steven Spielberg and a handful of other directors are really good at it. As such one must look at how Vinterberg has used the principles of Dogme 95 to produce the work of superb storytelling that the `Festen' is.

Without a doubt the use of natural light only has worked to the advantage of the film by helping convey the atmosphere required by each scene. The film starts off in daylight as all the family members arrive at the family run hotel to celebrate their father's sixtieth birthday. The bright sunlight is therefore good to convey the idea that the family is actually attending what they believe will be a celebration. However, as the story unfolds and dark secrets of the family are unraveled, the light also changes. Outside shots give way to darker interior shots. Sharp images shot in daylight give way to darker and grainy images.

The use of handheld camera, however, is perhaps the most important element in conveying the general atmosphere of the film. The constant trembling and sharp movements of the camera in closed claustrophobic environments create the uneasy feeling that there is something constantly threatening to explode. I could think of no better way to shoot a film about a family that reveals its darkest secrets throughout the gathering. When the secrets in the `Festen' are eventually revealed unleashing anger and hatred, the explosive moments the viewers had anticipated, the fast camera movements only serve to enhance the violence of each scene. Another director, though not related to Dogme 95, I admire for his use of constant camera movements in closed environments to generate the same feeling is Martin Scorcese (especially in Mean Streets). This quality, among other things, has made Martin Scorcese one of my favorite directors of all times.

In addition to brilliant directing, I thought that the `Fetsen' had a superb cast of very talented actors. My only regret has been the fact that I do not understand Danish and could therefore not enjoy their performance as much as I would have wanted to. But the rhythm and emotion in which the actors delivered their lines is powerful enough to transcend any language barrier. The screenplay is brilliant. It could have been shot by the worst Hollywood director and still have become a decent film. I do not want to give the plot away. The only thing I will, therefore, say is that the character development is very good, and, the plot, the pace at which it unravels and each family member reveals or changes his/her position, makes the story fall together exactly as it should have.

One of Dogme 95's purposes is to bring the viewer closer to the story and the characters, if this is the case I believe that that the `Festen' has achieved just that. Ironically, though Dogme 95 also intends to undermine the role of the director as auteur it has achieved just the opposite. But I believe that this is a good and refreshing thing when most other upcoming filmmakers do not seem as concerned as their predecessors had been/still are with film as art form.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (254 total) »

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