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Submarino


DENMA R K Director: Thomas Vinterberg Producer: Morten Kaufmann


Screenwriters: Tobias Lindholm, Thomas Vinterberg


Cinematographer: Charlotte Bruus Christensen


Editors: Andri Steinn Gudmundsson, Valdis Oskarsdottir


Cast: Jakob Cedergren, Peter Plaugborg, Patricia Schumann, Morten Rose, Gustav Fischer Kjaerulff


2010/color/112 min.


THOMAS VINTERBERG A Copenhagen native, Thomas Vinterberg was at age 19 the youngest student ever to enter the Danish Film School. In 1995, with Lars von Trier, he founded Dogme 95, a controversial— and exciting—school of filmmaking that adhered to a radically simple manifesto. In addition to his feature films, Vinterberg has directed music videos for such groups as Blur and Metallica.


Filmography When a Man Comes Home (2007) Dear Wendy (2005) It’s All About Love (2003) The Third Lie (2000) The Celebration (1998) The Biggest Heroes (1996) Sneblind (1990)


From Denmark comes a dark tale about two estranged brothers who cannot forgive themselves for their roles in a childhood catastrophe, treating the trauma like a curse on their adult lives. Adapted from a novel by Jonas T. Bengtsson, this drama is directed by former Dogme 95 adherent Thomas Vinterberg, best known for 1988’s The Celebration (SDFF21).


Elder brother Nick (Jakob Cedergren) is a bruising, tattooed ex-convict with a dangerous temper, his unnamed younger brother (Peter Plaugborg) a pale, hollow-eyed junkie struggling to take care of his six-year-old son. They have led mostly separate lives, but when they are reunited on the bleak outskirts of Copenhagen, the full fury of their shared demons is once again unleashed. Against a backdrop of dim whorehouses, dirty back alleys and, ultimately, a prison yard, the emotionally crippled duo struggles to survive, but the odds are stacked against them.


A grim prelude reveals the incident, involving a third brother, that damaged the protagonists, along with the abuses of their drunken mother. Little wonder that their future lives are so dysfunctional and hopeless—or that mishap upon ever-worse mishap befalls them as they stumble forward. “The only thing I care about is my boy,” the dessicated younger brother tells a social worker. But as Vinterberg and his cowriter here, Tobias Lindholm, show, no one at all cares about the traumatized boys still trapped inside the brothers themselves. Like the talking heads we intermittently glimpse on silent TV screens over the course of the film, they have something to say, but no voices with which to be heard.


—BILL GALLO


134


CONTEMPORARY WORLD CINEMA


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