Desert Island List: Danish Cinema



        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 Hollywood 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 Tower of Babel, forever altering the universality of the medium. Some countries spend all resources attempting to duplicate 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 Copenhagen. Not 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.

Throwback Thursday Review: Above the Law

  • Actors: Yuen Biao, Roy Chiao Hung, Cynthia Rothrock, Wu Ma, Melvin Wong
  • Director: Corey Yuen
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Weinstein Company
  • DVD Release Date: May 29, 2007
  • Run Time: 96 minutes


    The Weinstein Company spent so many years collecting the rights to release many films and have kept them in their grips till recently, which may explain the release of this 1993 action film from Hong Kong, Above the Law. Although a release in 1993 would have made little sense, it is surprising that this film is only now seeing a proper DVD release considering the director is Corey Yuen. Yuen may not be a household name, but after directing The Transporter he should have had enough credibility for people to begin viewing his earlier films. Still, Above the Law is available finally on special edition from Dragon Dynasty.


    When it is obvious that the law is not able to protect innocent people thanks to a corrupt judicial system, a renegade prosecutor sets out to take justice into his own hands. Each case he builds against the local mob is destroyed when his witnesses are brutally murdered, and it seems to be someone within the police force as well. What begins as one murder turns into an investigation and plenty more deaths to cover the first. Soon an intricate plot blurring the lines between good guys and bad guys takes place. 


    Giveaway Contest: Diana Prize Pack

    The only thing more incredible than the life she led was the secret she kept.
    The highly anticipated film, DIANA, which takes audiences into the private realm of one of the world’s most iconic and inescapably public women, Diana, Princess of Wales, will be in US theatres November 1st.  In support of the release, we have 3 prize packs available for giveaway. Prizes include a mini movie poster and the book which the film was based on, Diana: Her Last Love.
    There are two ways for entry in the contest: email or be the first to comment on the all-new Real Movie News Facebook page

    DIANA takes audiences into the private realm of one of the world’s most iconic and inescapably public women -- the Princess of Wales, Diana (two-time Oscar® nominee NAOMI WATTS) -- in the last two years of her meteoric life. On the occasion of the 16th anniversary of her sudden death, acclaimed director Oliver Hirschbiegel (the Oscar®-nominated Downfall) explores Diana’s final rite of passage: a secret love affair with Pakistani heart surgeon Hasnat Khan (NAVEEN ANDREWS, “Lost,” The English Patient), the human complications of which reveal the Princess’s climactic days in a compelling new light.  Hirschbiegel directs from a screenplay by award-winning playwright Stephen Jeffreys, inspired by the book Diana: Her Last Love by Kate Snell, which was in turn drawn from extensive interviews with close friends and confidantes. The result is a window into the tumultuous, change-filled period from 1995-1997, in the wake of Diana’s shattering divorce from Prince Charles, and at the moment when she stood on the cusp of a different life, evolving into a global humanitarian, a master of maneuvering fame and becoming her own woman.