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Hjort, Mette
Lone Scherfig’s Italian for Beginners

2010, 277 s., hft.
Territorial rights: UK and Continental Europe
ISBN 978-87-635-3483-3
Serie: Nordic Film Classics



Vejl. pris175 DKK  27 $  24 €  21 £
Onlinepris140 DKK  21 $  19 €  17 £


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Lone Scherfig was the first of a number of women directors to take up the challenge of Dogme, the back-to-basics, manifesto-based, rule-governed, and now globalized film initiative introduced by Danish filmmakers Lars von Trier and Thomas Vinterberg in 1995. Entitled Italiensk for begyndere (Italian for Beginners), Scherfig’s Dogme film transformed this already accomplished filmmaker into one of Europe’s most noteworthy women directors. Danish and international critics lavished praise on Scherfig and her film, and their reactions harmonized with those of festival juries.

Battered by life, but by no means defeated or destroyed, the characters in Italian for Beginners are all in touch at some deep intuitive level with the truth that is the film’s basic message: that happiness and a sense of self-worth are sustained by love—by romantic love, to be sure, but also by inclusion in a community of like-minded people.

The book includes the Dogme manifesto and interviews with the filmmaker as well as with the cast and crew.

Mette Hjort is Chair Professor and Head of the Department of Visual Studies at the Liberal Arts University of Hong Kong, Lingnan University.

 
Emneområde | Film og medier |
Emneord | Dansk film | Filmhistorie | Filmteori |
Specifikt emneord | Dogmefilm | Film auteur | Filmanalyse |
Land | Danmark |
Biograferet person | Lone Scherfig |
Periode | 21. årh. |
Sprog | Engelsk |

Pressen skrev

"Seldom does a monograph on a single film probe so deeply as Mette Hjort’s new book on Lone Scherfig’s Italian for Beginners. It’s easy to take this movie as Dogme Lite, since compared to the earliest, rather harrowing Dogme efforts, it’s an ingratiating romantic comedy-drama. Mette does justice to this side of Scherfig’s film, but she also shows that it’s an exercise in moral seriousness. Reconstructing the production process, she conducts in-depth analysis of performance and technique. She is sensitive to actors’ moments, such as simply laying down a knife and fork; aware that these gestures are developed through improvisation, she is able to trace how each character is built up through details.

In her books and articles on the Dogme school Mette has shown that its innovations go beyond the vaunted technical “rules.” She always addresses them, of course; here she provides an illuminating typology of ways the rules have been followed or dodged. But she also stresses, as most writers don’t, that Dogme films engage with matters of political importance. For example, she has shown that The Idiots’ controversial display of “spazzing” triggered an important debate about Danish attitudes toward the disabled. In her new book Mette indicates that Scherfig’s efforts to endow her characters with the dignity to be found in everyday life offers viewers a chance “to re-connect with one of their culture’s most powerful moral commitments.”
- Kristin Thompson and David Bordwell, David Bordwell's website on cinema davidbordwell.net
 


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