01 February 2011

Festen (1998)


It was all you were good for.
So basically: A patriarch holds a celebration for his 60th birthday in a secluded hotel where he lives and his children grew up. His three children, two sons and a daughter, attend along with the rest of the huge family. The eldest son’s twin sister had recently committed suicide and he spends the whole night trying to explain why she did so as the patriarch’s dirty secrets are revealed.

I wasn’t looking forward to watching this. I don’t like films that take place over, like, a day. But, I was reminded of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and how I wasn’t looking forward to seeing that, either (I’m aware the plots are totally different, but they are both set over the course of one night), and I ended up loving that one. So, with some hope, I went into this picture hoping it would wow me. I didn’t. I just didn’t care for it. I didn’t like any of the characters, which is the main focus of the film – none of them were very interesting. It seemed like the writer was like, let’s make them as fucked up as possible! - and the story just didn’t hold my interest at all. I think the style, Dogme 95, is interesting, though. Maybe I’ll watch another one of those films, to get a better feel for it.

But, as for this one, I don’t think it deserves to be on the list.

Ziggi seal of disapproval!

1 comment:

  1. European cinema takes a bit of work, intellectually; self-examination, and so forth. But stick with it, really, and you may well be rewarded. ps Think in terms of layers/unpeeling an onion...