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The emotional upheaval of a tightly-knit community has become Thomas
Vinterberg's trademark as a film maker. He explored this theme with
great success in 'Festen' and in 'Jagten', and now he does it in
'Kollektivet'. This time, the community is a group of people living
together in a large house, a way of living that was trendy in the
sixties and seventies. The group consists of friends and acquaintances
of architect Erik and journalist Anna. Together, they fill up the huge
villa he inherited from his parents. Anna thinks this social experiment
can add some spice into her life. After all, she has been married to
the same man and doing the same job for fifteen years.
But the cozy atmosphere of having meals and drinking beer together with a group of friends, turns sour when Erik introduces someone new into the group: his girlfriend, a young and pretty student. His wife Anna agrees with this arrangement, and in fact proposes it, hoping to keep Erik close to her. But predictably, the whole experiment ends in tears, fights and bitter reproaches.
Vinterberg's film has a different tone of voice than 'Festen' and 'Jagten'. It is a bit more lighthearted, and less harsh. He not only analyzes the emotional feelings of the characters, but also shows how society has changed in the last forty years. What struck me, was how easily Erik gets away with abject male-centred behaviour. He cheats on his wife practically in front of her eyes, and seems to have hardly any emotional connection to her or their daughter. In the end, it is his girlfriend who has to point out to him that his wife is having an emotional breakdown. But even then, he doesn't see the damage he has created. Instead, he complains that all these 'women issues' distract him from his work. Nowadays, a man would get a slap in the face after saying something like that.
The seventies-atmosphere adds an extra dimension to the film, and the period setting makes it an easier viewing experience than 'Jagten' or 'Festen'. At the same time, it is also less intense. It's nice to watch, but doesn't make you shift uneasily in your chair.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The scenery in the commune is all about the fuzz. Lovely to watch a
scenery from a 70's. Fine performances by the whole crew of actors.
First, the line of story has some really weak spots. The turnaround of Anna, she persuades Erik in not selling the house and start a commune with some friends. Erik feels overlooked ONE time by her wife at a joyful dinner party. Minutes later he has found relief in a student of his which becomes his second girlfriend.
Anna openly accepts it in a awkward scene between Erik and Anna. Ulrich Thomsen is just one of the most awkward people to portrait the life of a couple. I didn't know whether to laugh or not.
Why does Anna turn from being a the main fire of the whole commune-thing into a deep crisis? It doesn't make sense, from what we know.
The woman is a very good looking and successful news host in television. She has a largely part of the Danish population of men to adore her.
To me, that makes the story unreliable. The movie could have been a lot more interesting, if she went with the flow and found her own sexual way of dealing with her challenge. It doesn't make sense that she is the one who crashes and become the victim of her own free spirit. You could tell the exact same story in 2016-settings. So why use a 70s commune setting if you won't use and exploit the unique spirit of open sexual relationships?
The Commune would have been a great pitch for a TV-show, likewise 'Arvingerne', 'Sommer' and so on. 10 episodes. Let's get deeper into the different characters, when the movie doesn't the have time. Why does Allon cry all the time? Why does Ole always burn other peoples stuff? Why does Mona lay with so many men? Why is Steffen so co-dependent? And let's see more about the development of the teen-years of Freja.
Instead, the movie which is a love story between three people, it fails as a comedy in a commune in the lustful 70's.
Indeed, Trine Dyrholm plays the role very authentically. I don't know if it is the luck of Thomas Vinterberg or maybe the movie would have been complete different without her going in destruction.
Again, would have been a great episode in a TV-show. But fails as a movie.
A middle class Danish couple find that they have inherited a rather
grand house on the death of Erik's father. It is going to be too big
for them and their only daughter and more over too hard to finance and
so Anna suggests they invite a few others to live with them and for a
'Kollektivet' or as we would call it a commune.
They waste little to no time in getting an assorted array of waifs and not so strays and soon fine that communal living bring challenges and opportunities in equal measure. Not all of them are going to be easy to grasp and the tensions, that go hand in hand with any social experiment, waste no time in pushing their way to the fore.
Now I really liked this, I loved the idea of a commune having spent time in one in the eighties (when they were a bit passé to be honest) and the themes are explored here but also the lives of the main characters are mostly to the fore. This is Anna played brilliantly by Trine Dryholm 'The Legacy' and her husband Erik (Ulrich Thomsen 'The Blacklist') and their young daughter who is growing up much too quickly. His is from director Thomas Vinterberg who brought us 'The Hunt' in 2012 and 'The Celebration' in 1998 and I think he has an eye for style but sometimes struggles to engage, but here I think he has melded all parts of the art very well together to bring a very entertaining watch recommended.
Less difficult to watch then The Hunt or Festen, Thomas Vinterberg's Kollektivet (The Commune) impresses with great cinematography and how successfully it seems to reconstruct the details of the sixties and seventies fashion in Copenhagen, Denmark. But at the same time, it fails to deliver a truly engaging story. It's an interesting story, it's an exotic story, but the situations presented are so unfamiliar for someone who hasn't even considered living in a commune that it simply makes the plot hard to relate to. The Danish director apparently grew in a commune, but that doesn't mean that the story is autobiographical. However, it is pretty obvious that such a subject couldn't be presented so convincingly by someone without the experience of living in a commune. European movies are more and more something of an alternative cinema treat and this movie is a quite a delight from that perspective. The alternative lifestyle of the protagonists is presented in such detail that it doesn't seem forced or artificial. Most of the characters have strong personalities, but these are kind of ignored, as the pace is too quick to stop for them. Ultimately, what truly sticks out in your memory hours even after watching the movie is a very sad love story. A story about allowing extreme changes to your lifestyle and then having to bear all the consequences, with all the associated happiness and tears. "Maybe this is what people use to do in the Northern parts of Europe, I don't know what to say" was the first reaction of someone in the audience that I overheard at the European Film Festival, after the Bucharest opening screening. I kind of agreed. It is quite difficult to relate to a movie about an extreme leftist commune from Denmark. However, if you like strange stories that show with great talent a historical time and place, then The Commune is something you might fully appreciate. Yes, the action could also take place in a more modern setting, as the world is full of communes. However, what really makes this movie watchable is the love invested in recreating the look & feel of a defunct 20th century decade as seen and felt in a Northern Europe capital by a truly talented and hard- working director.
The story is not a good study of characters. All of them are almost caricatures. When the existential problem between Erik and Ana arises, both behaves in a way too much elementary, taking in account the gravity of the situation which is going on. More precisely (1) Erik is absolutely incapable to realise that he is ruining the emotional life and the self respect of the woman with whom he has been married and living in a pleasant way during at least fifteen years. A woman who proved to be generous when she accepted that Emma could live with the community, and who had probably fantasies of living a ménage à trois, along with Erik and Emma, thing that I think reasonable and human, considering what was going on. Erik sticks with Emma as if he hadn't any responsibility with regard to Anna feelings. (2) Anna is incapable to react in time to rescue her dignity which is being hurt by the irresponsible behaviour of Erik. The rest of the characters manifest themselves very poorly with respect to the crisis between Erik an Anna. Except the young Freja, daughter of Erik and Anna which is the only one capable to say that her mother must leave the community and seek for a new life. In short, Erik who is almost a pivot of the whole story, behaves - in the light of existentialist philosophy - as an individual with bad faith. I would add also, on my part, that he is a kind of mediocre individual.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The film is set in 1970s Denmark, when idealists launched communes as a
love-loving, open counterweight to the conflicts of and over the
Today the film reflects upon the challenge that human emotions and relationships bring to any theory of social planning. Though set in the 70s it's clearly about the post-commune age of today as well. However strong the spirit or idea, the flesh, the human reality, may well prove too weak to sustain it. Write in your own contemporary context.
The commune spirit is personified by Anna. She has the idea of turning her husband Erik's inherited family estate into a commune so they and their teenage daughter Freja can afford to live there.
Erik is an architect, a builder, though his professional career still requires him to teach. Anna is a well-known TV news presenter, an observer not a maker of news or structures. In inviting family friend Ole to join she launches the commune over her husband's concerns. Anna most visibly enjoys the spirited life in the commune. The observer's venture into building seems at first to work.
But despite all that new idealism, the old male privilege persists. Erik may extravagantly deny being any "boss" and he signs over his ownership of the estate to the commune. But in the crunch he asserts his authority to admit his new mistress to the commune, at whatever pain to Anna. In her idealism Anna suggested his Emma move in, but her emotion at her loss of Erik and her sense of her own fading beside her young successor defeat her resolve. The modern sophisticated commune proves essentially tribal when its founder Anna has to move out to allow Erik's peaceful life with Emma.
Men are so privileged that even the little boy with the heart condition uses his weakness ("I'm going to die before I'm nine") to hustle women. Including Emma, at first sight: "You want to shag?" His heart finally gives out when his more practical romantic chance, Freja, brings her boyfriend to dinner.
In her New Age womanhood Anna tries to accept her husband's affair with the pretty third- year (i.e., really young) student. She even treats her rival warmly. But her valiant effort can't stand up to her emotional needs. She crumbles on air, then shatters the dinner table peace when she declares her own emotional needs. Erik's more violent emotional eruptions are excused but not Anna's. The temperamental male here even gets to faint! Anna is fired for her first freeze.
Fired, humiliated, shattered, she luckily has her daughter's trust and confidence which empowers her to move out of her idealized construction and take on the real world on her own. How she will fare we don't know, because the film opts for the happy ending of the commune, carrying on without her.
But there's still another scene. Daughter Freja leaves the family to go to her boyfriend. He's older but rather vacuous in looks, character, wit, manner, but he accepted her sexual initiative. In the last scene she finds him lying stoned at a party so she snuggles up. He offers her headphones to join his experience and doesn't hear her "I love you." Like her mother, Freja constructs an idealized, romanticized connection and invests herself in it, to her own peril and eventual cost.
Like Freja later, Emma took the sexual initiative with her professor with the delusion she's empowered by submitting to the supposedly impressive male. She comes to his office disturbed at his humiliation of her male student friend. She even puts up with the prof's arrogant dismissal of her own project proposal. She needs to plumb her own emotional experience, the up-tight unproven architect insists. Claiming to detect a more sensitive inner guy, she invites his kiss.
The 1970s setting allows for another ironic presence: the swarthy Allon, a broke, jobless, helpless loner, whose testiness at the admission interview provokes Erik's anger. By crying, Allon converts the commune's rejection to admission, even though he can't pay his share and seems incapable of making any significant contribution until he magically produces the collective's desired dishwasher! No contemporary representation of a European society could omit the refugee factor. Allon is a vulnerable outsider, anticipating the Muslim refugee issue we recognize today in fuller form.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
-Kollektivet (English: The Commune) is a Danish Swedish-Dutch movie
from 2016 under the direction of Thomas Vinterberg. The film was on 17
February premiered at the International Film Festival of Berlin.
--Story: -Denmark, 1970. Erik, a professor in architecture, inherits from his father an old large house in Hellerup, in the north of Copenhagen. Together with his wife Anna, a known newsreader on television, he takes up residence there. The boredom that occurred in their marriage is to go against, they decide to invite a few friends in the large house to live. As after for a while live a dozen women, men and children in the housing together. They live in a commune where everything is decided collectively. The balance that is so, threatens to be disturbed when Erik falls in love with his student Emma and the young woman also comes to live with them. Freja, the fourteen-year-old daughter of Erik and Anna observes the community and look for its own way with the events to go.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The film wants to tell the feasibility of free love in a shared house, concurrent with the sexual evolution of a 14 year old girl. Big fail. The camera is constantly showing the girl's face, the face and again the face, to the degree of of boredom or revulsion; for no reason fathomable. Maybe because for the lack of better options, or the director fell in love with her (didn't they also promote sex with children back then?). The girl wants to get rid of her virginity and decides to get shagged like a peace of meat, worse than in a porn movie. No problem for her. Why? Because she learned, that to love means also to suffer. Where did she learn that from? Her parents just separated, because the father wants to shag the younger edition of his wife. The younger being his student, admiring him for some reason, that the film isn't able to describe. The father always looks grumpy, because of stress, too much alcohol, too many women, life in general, or some other reason, not mentioned in the film. The wife, in a desperate attempt to win her husband back, agrees the mistress joining the happy commune. So she loses her mind, her job and her house, because so sweet an oh so smart daughter knows that love flows like a river - her boyfriend's sex skills had improved in the meantime - and convinces mummy to move out. The rest of the people in the group agree, because there is no way to deny the new couple their love. It doesn't get any more superficial than that. Like the director, they all seem to have the emotional maturity of teenagers.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I watched this move without understanding all the conversations. But I
guess the idea is transferred through the emotions.
First of all, it is a good trial to analyze the concept of the "Community". I graduated from a boarding school, sometimes I miss the atmosphere of it, and I dream an utopic commune life, where people share and make life easier.
The Director touches on ore intense and sad moments than happier moments. In this regard it is not an fantasy but more close to the reality.
Often we encounter hard moments due to the new love affair of Eric, but nobody step back from the set up, in another word the Commune continues and people stay in it.
In a family we can have sad and happy moments like sickness of the kids, even their loss, kids growing and having companions so in a Commune life. Maybe in a commune we can overcome more easily.
The movie focuses of the emotions of a Woman, Anna, who loose her husband to a more younger woman., Emma. Anna accept Emma and approve her stay in the Commune, with some hard emotions later. Anna enters into deep depression, loses her job and finally loose the race and leave the house. It seems that it is Anna who loses this game.
The movie concentrates on the emotions of Anna, and do not much delve into others lives apart from that of Eric, Anna and Emma. The movie could tell more about the benefits or the functioning of a Commune life.
As a good trial to explore a hard topic, it deserves a watch.
Thomas Vinterberg performs an experiment / study of the human personality by gathering a gallery of characters (with whom it is difficult to identify yourself personally) and placing them in an extreme situation of coexistence. The supposed pragmatism or cold- blooded of Nordic people to face problems, here blows up. The ability of the director makes the viewer to take part inadvertently in the plot of the film as one more character of his work. Anna, TV presenter. and Erik professor of architecture form together with his teenage daughter an apparently happy family with no more complications than "the problem" of managing the use of a big inherited house. So great the house that they decide to share the use. The new experience begins with great joy but ends up in a dramatic way by crushing the promoter of the idea of sharing the house. It is interesting to observe the behavior of the teenage daughter through the story and also trying to understand how difficult it can be for a teacher accustomed himself to dominate students and situations from a position of strength to have to give up the domain of his house and almost his way of life for the general interest of a group composed by people whose specific weight is equal to nothing; the parasite that barely contribute, the "bums" that do not compromise themselves in anything, a liberal couple contributing to the experiment with a sick child who possibly might have been better brought up in the privacy of a normal home, etc. In summary, this film is full of teachings and is a great exercise in the expression of different behaviors, through the coexistence of a group of people with whom (out of the movie) it would be difficult to establish a friendship and still less to share your life. Finally highlight the great interpretation of the wife versus the weak of Erik's lover. talking of actresses terms, of course. The plot is set in 1970 but this fact is totally irrelevant.
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