A few weeks ago, I had a conversation with Danish filmmaker Adam Neutzsky-Wulff, writer and director of The Stranger Within. He had a great deal to say about the
films which influenced him, in addition to his Scandinavian roots as a
filmmaker. This got me thinking about the Danish films to which I find myself
personally attached, and a fitting opportunity for examining the history of
this specific Scandinavian national cinema.
Prior to the advent of sound, country of origin was all but insignificant to a film’s international success. The introduction of dialogue into film, however, had the significance of God’s intervention on the
altering the universality of the medium. Some countries spend all resources
attempting to duplicate Tower
of Babel Hollywood success,
whereas the Danish film industry has instead spent decades defining their own
national cinema in a way that is self sufficient. For this reason, Danish
filmmakers often have less incentive to work within the confines of the Hollywood system.
The first film exhibition in
Denmark took place in June 1896 at the Town Hall Square in
long after, it was photographer Peter Elfelt who made the first Danish film.
Elfelt produced around 200 documentary films on life in Demark between 1896 and
1912, establishing realism in Danish cinema from the beginning. Copenhagen