Bo Christensen

Bo Christensen

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Babette's Feast Review


Excellent
One of those foreign films that everyone's heard of but few have seen, this deliberate and nuanced Oscar winner takes some patience but rewards the viewer in the end. The feast in question doesn't really come up until halfway into the film, when the French refugee Babette who serves as a maid to the Danish sisters who took her in inherits a sum of money. Rather than saving it, she blows it all on a gourmet feast for the sisters and their congregation as a show of thanks for taking her in. The puzzlement the Danes (who pretty much eat only boiled fish every day) exhibit over her odd cuisine is alone enough to make the film worth watching (and Babette's preparation of the meal -- and its consumption -- is enthralling). Cold and lonely in the grand tradition of Scandinavian cinema, this is a seminal work about repressed emotions and the inevitable self-doubt about our life's decisions that we all experience. Enjoy with a bottle of wine.

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Zentropa Review


Good
Lars von Trier has never been known for making movies that are on the nose. In general, you're left to your own devices when it comes to figuring out what the hell is going on in The Kingdom or The Element of Crime. Zentropa is no exception, an inspired but devilishly confusing look at an American who takes a job on a German railroad -- in postwar 1945. Soon enough he's caught up in a mystery, a seeming pawn as a would-be terrorist, stuck between the Americans and the daughter of the railroad-owning magnate -- who winds up dead. Von Trier tries to emulate the work of Hitchcock like Notorious, but the suspense level never rises above a low simmer. Heavy on style (though budget constraints shine through from time to time) but a bit more than short on substance.

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Bo Christensen

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