Scandinavian film

The Square

March 9, 2018
A fundraiser gone wrong in 'The Sqare'

As another Sydney Biennale looms one wonders why there aren’t more satires on contemporary art. The reason perhaps, is that reality routinely exceeds the wildest imaginings of the satirist. The beauty of Ruben Östlund’s The Square, which won the Palme d’Or in Cannes last year, lies in its understatement. It presents one bizarre scenario after … More

The King’s Choice

August 25, 2017
Jesper Christesen dodges a bullet in The King's Choice

Scandinavian history may not be a pressing concern for most Australians, but we can all recognise the importance of political courage – if only by its absence in Canberra. The King’s Choice deals with the dilemma that beset King Haakan VII of Norway when his country was invaded by the Germans in April 1940. Erik … More


August 18, 2012
Screen shot 2012-09-02 at 11.24.40 AM

Like me, you may be wondering how many more ‘new Stieg Larssons’ are going to be thrown up by the vogue for Scandinavian crime fiction before the spotlight of fashion turns elsewhere. Perhaps South America is preparing a wave of depressed, alcoholic detectives. Maybe Kazakhstan has a new age crime fighter ready to go? For … More

A Royal Affair

June 23, 2012
Screen shot 2012-06-27 at 6.21.32 PM

There’s something well made in the state of Denmark. A Royal Affair is one of those films that never seems to lose its way, or take flight. Danish director, Nikolaj Arcel, has gone about his task with consummate professionalism, for which one might be thankful in light of the awful mess Sofia Coppola made of … More

Iron Sky

May 12, 2012
Screen shot 2012-06-09 at 5.13.16 PM

Why is it that film-makers think the Nazis are funny? There may have been something inherently absurd about the Third Reich, with its fetish for uniforms, racial purity and Wagner, but it was no laughing matter for those obliged to share the planet with Hitler’s minions. A few weeks ago I expressed reservations about Hotel … More

The King of Devil’s Island

May 5, 2012
Screen shot 2012-06-09 at 4.21.03 PM

Prison camp movies are a distinct genre, with many minor masterpieces – from I Am a Fugitive From a Chain Gang to Stalag 17, to Cool Hand Luke. It’s not easy to say why we find these films so compelling. Perhaps it’s because the prison environment is so mysterious and frightening to the average citizen. … More