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Ronja Mannov Olesen,
Helene Reingaard Neumann
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Erik, a lecturer in architecture, inherits his father's large old house in Hellerup, north of Copenhagen. His wife Anna, a well-known television newscaster, suggests that they invite their friends to come and live with them. In this way she hopes to evade the boredom that has begun to seep into their marriage. Before long, a dozen women, men and children move into the country house, make collective decisions, engage in discussions and go swimming together in the nearby Øresund strait. They also rub each other up the wrong way on account of their smaller and larger idiosyncrasies. Their fragile equilibrium threatens to come undone when Erik falls in love with his student Emma and the young woman moves into the house. Fourteen-year-old Freja, daughter of Erik and Anna, aloofly observes these goings-on and seeks her own way.Written by
The film is based on Thomas Vinterberg's play of the same name, which is inspired by his colourful childhood in an academic commune north of Copenhagen. See more »
The signs on the bus stops were not introduced until the late 80's or 90's. See more »
450 square meters is too big. The difference between living together and not is that you can feel, see and hear each other.
Or perhaps living in a small place makes you small-minded
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Som En Tyv I Natten
By Schairer, E. Schrrer, H. Bradike
Performed by Tony's See more »
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.
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