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Added by johanlefourbe on 31 Jul 2011 05:38
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My favorite Scandinavian movies

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People who added this item 706 Average listal rating (371 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 8.1
Original Title: 'Festen'

Country: Denmark

Directed by: Thomas Vinterberg

With: Ulrich Thomsen, Paprika Steen

Plot: At Helge's 60th birthday party, some unpleasant family truths are revealed.

Note: Dogme #1. In my opinion, the first movie following the Dogme rules was just great. No special effects, no big stars just a simple and pure movie. It was also the first time I felt nauseous after watching a movie. Not because It was bad but because it was so heavy and emotional. I think it is a great movie and it is one of my all time favorite movies.


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People who added this item 1738 Average listal rating (1052 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.8
Original Title: 'Män som hatar kvinnor'

Country: Sweden

Directed by: Niels Arden Oplev

With: Noomi Rapace, Michael Nyqvist

Plot: A journalist is aided in his search for a woman who has been missing, or dead, for forty years by a young female hacker.

Note: I thought it was an amazing movie with a fascinating story. I really loved this flick and this girl Noomi Rapace gave a very strong perfomance. It is easily one of the best of the movies to come out in 2009.


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People who added this item 748 Average listal rating (353 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 7.9
Lilya Forever (2002)
Original Title: 'Lilja 4-ever'

Country: Sweden

Directed by: Lukas Moodysson

Plot: Lilja is 16 years old. Her only friend is the young boy Volodja. They live in Estonia, fantasizing about a better life. One day, Lilja falls in love with Andrej. He is going to Sweden, and invites Lilja to come along and start a new life.

Note: I thought it was such a heartbreaking story. There is absolutely no redemption here and when you watch this flick, you wonder what does a guy feels when he goes to see such an underage prostitute. How can they enjoy themselves? Anyway, the directing and acting are just awesome and if you don't mind getting depressed while watching a movie, it is definitely worth a look.


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People who added this item 35 Average listal rating (15 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 6.4
Original Title: 'The King Is Alive'

Country: Denmark

Directed by: Kristian Levring

With: Romane Bohringer, Jennifer Jason Leigh

Plot: When a bus breaks down in the desert, the passengers decide to stage "King Lear."

Note: Dogme #4. It is one of the least known of the Dogma movies but it is actually one of the best (the best is "Festen"). It takes place in a desert in Africa where a group of tourists get stuck. They try to survive and most of them get eventually nuts. I think it is a great and fascinating movie featuring Jennifer Jason Leigh.


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People who added this item 1534 Average listal rating (893 ratings) 8.3 IMDB Rating 8.2
Original Title: 'Det sjunde inseglet'

Country: Sweden

Directed by: Ingmar Bergman

With: Max von Sydow

Plot: A man seeks answers about life, death, and the existence of God as he plays chess against the Grim Reaper during the Black Plague.

Note: I haven't seen many movies by Bergman so I am not a fan of his work but this masterpiece left a big impression on me. The directing, the story and the acting, above all by Max van Sydow, is nothing short of amazing. Probably one of the most thoughtful movies ever made, it is definitely a must see for any decent movie lover.


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People who added this item 2190 Average listal rating (1367 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 8
Original Title: 'Låt den rätte komma in'

Country: Sweden

Directed by: Tomas Alfredson

Plot: Oscar, an overlooked and bullied boy, finds love and revenge through Eli, a beautiful but peculiar girl who turns out to be a vampire.

Note : I guess it is an acquired taste but, in my opinion, it the most original and striking vampire movie made in the last 20 years. Yeah, it is that good but it goes beyond that as it explores the teenage anxiety with lots of sensibility.

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People who added this item 788 Average listal rating (521 ratings) 8.2 IMDB Rating 8.3
The Hunt (2012)
Original Title: 'Jagten'

Country: Denmark

Directed by: Thomas Vinterberg

With: Mads Mikkelsen

Plot: A teacher lives a lonely life, all the while struggling over his son's custody. His life slowly gets better as he finds love and receives good news from his son, but his new luck is about to be brutally shattered by an innocent little lie.

Note: Personally, I have always been intrigued about our current obsession about pedophilia and this movie gave me some really interesting insights about our current approach about such issues. Anyway, I thought it was a fascinating drama


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People who added this item 109 Average listal rating (55 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.6
Brothers (2004)
Original Title: 'Brødre'

Country: Denmark

Directed by: Susanne Bier

With: Ulrich Thomsen, Nikolaj Lie Kaas, Connie Nielsen

Plot: Two brothers must negotiate changing roles and shifting family dynamics when one is sent to war in Afghanistan.

Note: Actually, I had some mixed feelings about this movie. What bothered me was that the story starts with two stereotypes and ends with two stereotypes. But the directing is very good and efficient and above all the acting is just really awesome. Who thought that Connie Nielsen could be such a great actress? Definitely worth a look.


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People who added this item 187 Average listal rating (105 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 7.7
Original Title: 'Kauas pilvet karkaavat'

Country: Finland

Directed by: Aki Kaurismäki

Plot: The recession hits a couple in Helsinki.

Note: In my opinion, it is a mixed of drama and comedy. The humor is rather subtle and very pitch black. So, I guess it is an acquired taste but I thought it was rather awesome.


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People who added this item 247 Average listal rating (148 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.7
Original Title: 'Hævnen'

Country: Denmark

Directed by: Susanne Bier

With: Ulrich Thomsen

Plot: The lives of two Danish families cross each other, and an extraordinary but risky friendship comes into bud. But loneliness, frailty and sorrow lie in wait.

Note: Bier delivered once again a very strong drama and probaby one of her best movies so far. Once again, her directing was quite beautiful and she managed to get some very good performances from her cast, especially from those two boys who were both quite impressive. Indeed, the relationship between those teenagers was the best thing in this flick, how they were both messed up for some reasons, how they bond with each other and how they got into same massive trouble together.


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People who added this item 460 Average listal rating (212 ratings) 6.9 IMDB Rating 6.9
The Idiots (1998)
Original Title: 'Idioterne'

Country: Denmark

Directed by: Lars von Trier

With: Nikolaj Lie Kaas, Paprika Steen

Plot: The group of people gather at the house in Copenhagen suburb to break all the limitations and to bring out the "inner idiot" in themselves.

Note: Dogme #2. The main issue here is that the whole thing seems honestly rather pointless to me. But even though it was not entirely successful, I thought this flick was still really interesting. As usual, Lars von Trier manipulates the viewer and he manages to make this flick still rather fascinating.


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People who added this item 769 Average listal rating (490 ratings) 6.9 IMDB Rating 7.2
Original Title: 'Flickan som lekte med elden'

Country: Sweden

Directed by: Daniel Alfredson

With: Noomi Rapace, Michael Nyqvist

Plot: As computer hacker Lisbeth and journalist Mikael investigate a sex-trafficking ring, Lisbeth is accused of three murders, causing her to go on the run while Mikael works to clear her name.

Note: Honestly, it was not as good as the first movie but the whole thing remains still pretty amazing. I really liked it. The directing and acting are very good and so different and refreshing compared to Hollywood thrillers. Anyway, it is a very good flick and it is definitely worth a look.


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Original Title: 'Luftslottet som sprängdes'

Country: Sweden

Directed by: Daniel Alfredson

With: Noomi Rapace, Michael Nyqvist

Plot: Lisbeth is recovering in a hospital and awaiting trial for three murders when she is released. Mikael must prove her innocence, but Lisbeth must be willing to share the details of her sordid experiences with the court.

Note: Again, it is not as good as the 1st one but still pretty damn entertaining. Too bad you barely see anything from Noomi Rapace (3/4 of the movie she is in a hospital and then in jail). Still, it remains a fascinating trilogy.


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People who added this item 367 Average listal rating (197 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 7.6
Original Title: 'En kongelig affære'

Country: Denmark

Directed by: Nikolaj Arcel

With: Alicia Vikander, Mads Mikkelsen

Plot: A young queen, who is married to an insane king, falls secretly in love with her physician - and together they start a revolution that changes a nation forever.

Note: It was probably one of the most ambitious Danish productions I have seen so far and it looked really neat and convincing but, I don’t know, even though the story was quite compelling, it was missing something or maybe, in the contrary, it was maybe too much. Indeed, the movie was not only about the love affair between the queen of Denmark with the king’s own doctor but also about the fact that both of them, the queen and the doctor, influenced the king to make some big reforms in Denmark. Well, while this mix might sound appealing, I don’t think it completely worked though.


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People who added this item 307 Average listal rating (189 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 7.8
Adam's Apples (2005)
Original Title: 'Adams æbler'

Country: Denmark

Directed by: Anders Thomas Jensen

With: Ulrich Thomsen, Mads Mikkelsen, Nikolaj Lie Kaas, Paprika Steen

Plot: A neo-nazi sentenced to community service at a church clashes with the blindly devotional priest.

Note: When you watch a movie and the least crazy character is a neo-nazi, you know you're watching a weird movie... This movie mixes drama and comedy at the same time and I was sometimes laughing my ass off when a priest was really slaugthered by this neo-nazi character.. Weird, weird, weird... But in a good way. Unfortunately, the end was not really strong but still it is a very intriguing movie.


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People who added this item 573 Average listal rating (339 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.6
Show Me Love (1998)
Original Title: 'Fucking Åmål'

Country: Sweden

Directed by: Lukas Moodysson

Plot: Two teenage girls in small-town Sweden. Elin is beautiful, popular, and bored with life. Agnes is friendless, sad, and secretly in love with Elin.

Note: I wasn't blown away like I expected to be but it was still a very good flick. It is a touching story and the young actors were all very convincing.


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People who added this item 302 Average listal rating (165 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.8
Original Title: 'Efter brylluppet'

Country: Denmark

Directed by: Susanne Bier

With: Mads Mikkelsen

Plot: A manager of an orphanage in India is sent to Copenhagen, Denmark, where he discovers a life-altering family secret.

Note: I thought it was pretty good. The cast and especially Mads Mikkelsen gave very good perfomances and the directing was nice aswell. However, even though the story was interesting and involving, it was not really fascinating. Still, it is a very good flick.


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People who added this item 187 Average listal rating (102 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.3
Insomnia (1997)
Original Title: 'Insomnia'

Country: Norway

Directed by: Erik Skjoldbjærg

With: Stellan Skarsgård

Plot: Two criminal investigators arrive in a town in the north of Norway to help the local police solve the murder of a young girl. A second murder sets the investigators off on an intense race where the stakes are as high for them as for their quarry.

Note: I'm not sure which one I prefer between this movie and the remake by Christopher Nolan. Even though, the plot is obviously similar, the style between those two movies is completely different. Anyway, this is a fascinating story, the directing is pretty good and Stellan Skarsgard gives a very good perfomance.


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People who added this item 117 Average listal rating (58 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 7.6
Open Hearts (2002)
Original Title: 'Elsker dig for evigt'

Country: Denmark

Directed by: Susanne Bier

With: Mads Mikkelsen, Nikolaj Lie Kaas, Paprika Steen

Plot: It is about an engaged couple that is torn apart after the man is paralyzed in an accident, and the woman falls in love with the husband of the woman who caused the accident.

Note: the acting was pretty amazing and all the 4 actors (Mads Mikkelsen, Sonja Richter, Nikolaj Lie Kaas, Paprika Steen) gave some impressive performances. The only issue for me would be that they were too many storylines. Still, I really liked this emotional and heavy drama.


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People who added this item 417 Average listal rating (226 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 7.7
Original Title: 'Mies vailla menneisyyttä'

Country: Finland

Directed by: Aki Kaurismäki

Plot: The film follows a man who arrives in Helsinki and gets beaten up so severely he develops amnesia. Unable to remember his name or anything from his past life, he cannot get a job or an apartment, so he starts living on the outskirts of the city and slowly starts putting his life back on track.

Note: Even though I wasn't really blown by the whole thing, I thought it was pretty good. It has such a peculiar style. It is very quiet, with few dialogs and based more on silence and body language. It is a drama which still manage to make you laughs at rather unexpected moments.


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People who added this item 773 Average listal rating (379 ratings) 8.2 IMDB Rating 8.1
Original Title: 'Fanny och Alexander'

Country: Sweden

Directed by: Ingmar Bergman

With: Stellan Skarsgård

Plot: The title characters are children in the exuberant and colorful Ekdahl household in a Swedish town early in the twentieth century. Their parents, Oscar and Emilie, are the director and the leading lady of the local theatre company. Oscar's mother and brother are its chief patrons. After Oscar's early death, his widow marries the bishop and moves with her children to his austere and forbidding chancery. The children are immediately miserable.

Note: This one belongs definitely in the catergoy 'misundertood masterpiece'. Basically, it is not really my cup of tea. It is very bleak and there are loads of weird stuff and symbolism. In spite of all that, It is really well done and quite fascinating. Maybe I'll rewatch again in the future to make up my mind for good.


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People who added this item 82 Average listal rating (54 ratings) 6.1 IMDB Rating 6.7
Easy Money (2010)
Original Title: 'Fanny och Alexander'

Country: Sweden

Directed by: Ingmar Bergman

With: Joel Kinnaman

Plot: When JW becomes a drug runner in order to maintain his double life, his fate becomes tied to two other men: Jorge, a fugitive on the run from both the Serbian mafia and the police, and mafia enforcer Mrado, who is on the hunt for Jorge.

Note: Even though it was maybe nothing really groundbreaking, I thought it was still a solid gritty crime thriller. Above all, it was really neat to a much younger Joel Kinnaman and, for the first time, speaking in his mother tongue. Seriously, this guy is just so charismatic and he was once again quite spellbinding to behold here. Concerning the story itself, it was quite entertaining and it gave a realistic view on the criminal underworld in Stockholm, involving the Yugoslavian mafia but also some Chileans. Eventually, the only thing really preventing this movie to become really amazing was probably the fact that there were many slightly too many characters and sub-plots to deal with.

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People who added this item 391 Average listal rating (268 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.6
Headhunters (2011)
Original Title: 'Hodejegerne'

Country: Norway

Directed by: Morten Tyldum

With: Nikolaj Coster-Waldau

Plot: An accomplished headhunter risks everything to obtain a valuable painting owned by a former mercenary.

Note: A couple of years ago, my wife bought me a book written by Jo Nesbø, it was one of these thrillers starring Harry Hole. Eventually, even though I didn’t expect much about it, I thought it was pretty good and I even ended up reading a 2nd book about Harry Hole for which, by the way, they will soon release a movie adaptation starring Michael Fassbender as Harry Hole. Anyway, I had noticed that this movie adapted from his work had some pretty good ratings so I was quite eager to check it out and I even managed to convince my wife to watch it with me. Eventually, we both enjoyed it, even if the story was sometimes seriously far-fetched.


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People who added this item 64 Average listal rating (30 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.2
Original Title: 'Mifunes sidste sang'

Country: Denmark

Directed by: Søren Kragh-Jacobsen,

With: Paprika Steen

Plot: Kresten has moved from his parents farm on a small Danish island to Copenhagen in order to pursue his working career. When his father dies he has to move back to the farm, where nothing much has happened since he left. He places an add in the local newspaper to get help running the farm and taking care of his retarded brother.

Note: Dogme #3. Honestly, the story is not original whatsoever and rather predictable. But thanks to the refreshing rules of the Dogme, some competent directing and some definitely good acting, it is a good flick and I really enjoyed it.


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People who added this item 526 Average listal rating (337 ratings) 6.6 IMDB Rating 7
Troll Hunter (2010)
Original Title: 'Trolljegeren'

Country: Norway

Directed by: André Øvredal

Plot: A group of students investigates a series of mysterious bear killings, but learns that there are much more dangerous things going on. They start to follow a mysterious hunter, learning that he is actually a troll hunter.

Note: By now, you might think that the found-footage gimmick has been done to death but, apparently, the film makers still manage to find some way to be creative with this concept. Indeed, in this case, we get the opportunity to go all the way to Norway to follow some kind of troll hunter during the shooting of a mockumentary. Eventually, the end result was not bad and, above all, I liked the way they managed to mix comedy and horror which can be a tricky thing to do.

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People who added this item 101 Average listal rating (48 ratings) 6.9 IMDB Rating 7.1
Original Title: 'Italiensk for begyndere'

Country: Denmark

Directed by: Lone Scherfig

Plot: Several lonely hearts in a semi-provincial suburb of a town in Denmark use a beginner's course in Italian as the platform to meet the romance of their lives.

Note: Dogme #12. Most of the Dogme features are rather heavy dramas but not this one. Here, they decided to make a romantic comedy following the Dogme rules and the end result is actually rather satisfying. Like all the romantic comedies, the whole thing is not really original but there is definitely a refreshing feeling to it and I just really enjoyed it.


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People who added this item 207 Average listal rating (108 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.7
Original Title: 'Mitt liv som hund'

Country: Sweden

Directed by: Lasse Hallström

Plot: A boy and his brother don't get along well. In order to let her ill mother rest, they're separated and sent each one to different relatives.

Note: Before becoming a known figure in Hollywood, Lasse Hallstrom made some small intimate movies in his homeland, Sweden. This flick is a good example and probably his most internationally known. There are some very good perfomances provided by the children involved.


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People who added this item 142 Average listal rating (77 ratings) 6.2 IMDB Rating 6.9
Original Title: '101 Reykjavík'

Country: Iceland

Directed by: Baltasar Kormákur

With: Victoria Abril

Plot: Thirty-year-old Hlynur still lives with his mother and spends his days drinking, watching porn and surfing the net while living off unemployment checks. A girl is interested in him, but he stands back from commitment. His mother's Spanish flamenco teacher, Lola, moves in with them for Christmas.

Note: How on Earth did Victori Abril ended up playing in a Icelandic production?!? How on Earth did I end up watching this flick?!? No idea... and it doesn't matter since I rather enjoyed this movie which displayed some colourful and interesting characters. I thought it was also an interesting view on the life in Iceland (even though it may not be accurate at all).


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People who added this item 458 Average listal rating (294 ratings) 6.5 IMDB Rating 6
Original Title: 'Valhalla Rising'

Country: Denmark

Directed by: Nicolas Winding Refn

With: Mads Mikkelsen

Plot: 1000 AD, for years, One Eye, a mute warrior of supernatural strength, has been held prisoner by the Norse chieftain Barde. Aided by Are, a boy slave, One Eye slays his captor and together he and Are escape, beginning a journey into the heart of darkness. On their flight, One Eye and Are board a Viking vessel, but the ship is soon engulfed by an endless fog that clears only as the crew sights an unknown land. As the new world reveals its secrets and the Vikings confront their terrible and bloody fate, One Eye discovers his true self.

Note: Unfortunately, I thought the whole thing was rather disappointing. Indeed, it has been a while since I saw such an event-less feature. Basically, it starts as some kind of weird Viking Fight Club but, then, as soon as the main character escaped, nothing much really happened. There were about 120 lines of dialogue and the main character didn't say a word during the whole thing but I was fine with that. Still, I cannot dismiss this movie. Indeed, it was visually impressive with a great mood and some solid directing and even though it was awfully slow, it was still rather spellbinding above all thanks to Mads Mikkelsen who gave here another electrifying performance.


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People who added this item 650 Average listal rating (410 ratings) 6.1 IMDB Rating 6.3
Dead Snow (2009)
Original Title: 'Død snø'

Country: Norway

Directed by: Tommy Wirkola

Plot: A ski vacation turns horrific for a group of medical students, as they find themselves confronted by an unimaginable menace: Nazi zombies.

Note: It is a combination of horror and comedy. Above all, I have to congratulate the make-up artist(s). There are some gruesome moments but extremely well done. However, I'm not sure if the comic aspect worked for me. Consequently, I felt detached during the whole thing and didn't care much about the characters fate. Anyway, it is still one of kind of a zombie flick.


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Scandinavian movies are not my speciality but still, I wanted to create a list about the subject.

By the way, I am actually aware of the fact that Iceland and Finland don't belong to Scandinavia but 'My favourite Nordic countries movies' was not really a catchy list title. So, the title is actually incorrect, I know!

I will add more movies in the future.

If you want to check another country, please check this list :
- My favourite movies from all over the world -

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Comments

Posted: 5 years, 12 months ago at Aug 2 13:53
Glad to see at least two Finnish films here. But I'm not surprised that most of these are from Sweden and Denmark because their films are usually ridiculously better than Finnish ones :D
Great list!
Posted: 5 years, 12 months ago at Aug 2 14:00
@drugs, I'm sure there are way more good movies from Finland. I just don't know them.
Posted: 5 years, 12 months ago at Aug 2 15:12
Good list dude
Posted: 5 years, 12 months ago at Aug 2 15:41
Lilja forever - the story takes places "somewhere in Eastern Europe", though it was filmed in Estonia.

Oh, and great list again :)
Posted: 5 years, 12 months ago at Aug 2 16:21
I'm from Sweden and still I have only seen two of this movies :O but I know that I should see the movies about Lisbeth Salander cause everone says that it's so good, but I just haven't done it yet for some reason! :P
Posted: 5 years, 12 months ago at Aug 2 16:30
You can add "Sauna" too. Worth watching : )
Posted: 5 years, 12 months ago at Aug 2 18:52
Once again - Aki Kaurismäki = Finnish film industry :D Why am I not surprised...? You really should see Here Under the Northen Star I and II, Inspector Palmu movies and The Unknown Soldier if you haven't yet! All of them are based on Finnish literature classics and worth watching. In my honest opinion, Kaurismäki is overrated.

But your characterization of the humour of Kaurismäki's movies is apposite. We Finns absolutely love sarcasm and other wicked humour without intonation and intovisible facial expressions
Edit: 5 years, 12 months ago
Posted: 5 years, 12 months ago at Aug 3 5:47
@Hillaviina, I know, my knowledge about Finnish movies is pretty pathetic... thanks for the suggestions!
Posted: 5 years, 12 months ago at Aug 3 8:50
Actually, it isn't pathetic at all :D For example, I've watch mostly English and American movies but two French one, some series from German, Sweden and Italy, one from Japan (well, it was directed by Eatswood but in Japanese..) and three from Africa (if you count the Mma Ramotswe's). How pathetic is that? It just annoys me that when finaly someone sees a Finnish film they've always watched a Kaurismäki movie :D But nice to hear you liked Kaurismäki :)
Posted: 5 years, 11 months ago at Aug 6 22:01
Great list with many movies I'd never heard of. I remember watching and enjoying My Life as a Dog many years ago. I'm adding Celebration to my Want to Watch list -- maybe I'll finally grasp what the whole dogme thing is all about. :)
Posted: 5 months, 4 weeks ago at Jan 30 22:19
Shit list. 29 movies and no "Pusher" or "I Kina spiser de hunde" which are both way, way better then Easy Money in the same genre and blows anything from the overrated Bergman!

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