lørdag, september 09, 2006

Dansk Lit

The population of Denmark is roughly 5.5 million. As such, not much in the way of Danish literature or film makes it into English. Even renowned (and often reviled) Danish filmmakers like Lars von Trier have moved to working almost exclusively in English.

For some films that are truly Danish and very very good, rent The Celebration and Open Hearts. Paprika Steen is a wonderful actress. She provides one of Celebration's eeriest scenes and is surprisingly effective in Open Hearts for being given so little screen time. Both are crushing Dogma 95 pieces, but really sharp. (Less crushing than, say, Dancer in the Dark, if you'd like a measure, but that is perhaps because the directors of the other two films use a bit more movement among characters. Lars von Trier tends to vaporlock on a character who's going to take an unyielding amount of crap in the face.)

As for Danish literature, Peter Høeg's name is recognizable to many readers, but only for his Smilla book. He has a new one out, The Quiet Girl, but it has been in need of translation.

The Danish Arts Council has entered the ring with some funding. They've provided up to DKK 50,000 (USD $8,500) per book to support translations and printings of five Danish authors in English: Morten Ramsland, Janne Teller, Christian Jungersen, Lief Davidsen, and Peter Høeg.

Read about it in the Copenhagen Post (a weekly, English-language newspaper).
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