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Danish movies: Anders Thomas Jensen

Just came home with more Scandi-culture: the latest Karin Fossum and Jo Nesbo mysteries. And managed to track down two more Anders Thomas Jensen movies: Flickering Lights (2000) and Old Men in New Cars (2002).

Spanish trailer for Flickering Lights:

Once again we have Mads and Ulrich in the same film (see Adams Apples post), Ulrich once again a thug, but Mads playing a ferret-like gun mad goof (reminiscent of a meth driven Steve Buscemi).

Basic plot is that a gang of hoods try to leave the life and open up a restaurant in the country (the hook is that they cannot and never really learn to cook). But the opening voiceover about the restaurant is quite beautiful ( roughly along the lines that there are some very few places that transcend the menu, that the bonhomie is such that no one faults the menu).

Not a great but certainly an interesting film but there was one character who I came to loathe and I don’t think I was supposed to. Played by Nikolaj Lie Kaas as a constantly eating layabout and for some reason never taken to task for this. The gang of four need to renovate the badly destroyed farmhouse and there appears to be some urgency and they are all working like mad (like Mads I guess) but he is sitting in the corner reading and eating. In the trailer, he is the one drinking beer and eating chips.

I did not recognize him from Adam’s Apples though he was there as well as in Green Butchers. Small continually working actor family we have here. But he showed up also in Old Men in New Cars. And once again, though not as much, tending toward the eating and sloth. I was wondering if this was kind of a Danish beloved quirk and I was not getting it like they might not get Jim Carey or Jack Black.

Old Men in New Cars trailer

Best way to describe this is a Danish Lock Stock and Smoking Barrels. It has some of the best car stunts I have ever seen (and not too shabby with the people and big plane effects either). One thing I have noticed about these films is that they cross a few lines that movies generally stay away from. Animals get shot, women get hit, and some fairly nasty things happen and even nastier things almost happen.

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