The Carlsberg Scandinavian Film Festival is back to warm your mid-winter at Palace Cinemas around the country from 12 July to 10 August 2022. The 2022 program includes a superb selection of the best new cinema from the Nordic region encompassing Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. It also features a number arriving direct from this year’s Cannes Film Festival.
The Festival opens with the Australian Premiere of MARGRETE – QUEEN OF THE NORTH (Margrete den første), a lavish historical drama set in 1402 from acclaimed director Charlotte Sieling. It explores the legacy and dilemmas faced by Denmark’s Queen Margrete (the brilliant Trine Dyrholm) a visionary ruler who brokered the historic Kalmar Union uniting Sweden, Norway and Denmark. Dyrholm also stars in A MATTER OF TRUST (Ingen kender dagen), a tender and moving portrait of interpersonal trust and unspoken truths. Five stories intertwine in Annette K. Olesen’s artful, elliptical, and bittersweet relationship drama, which had its world premiere at the 2022 Tribeca Film Festival.
This year’s Special Presentation is Finland’s THE WOODCUTTER STORY (Metsurin tarina), the directorial debut of Mikko Myllylahti, fresh from the 2022 Cannes Film Festival Critics’ Week. In an idyllic village, Pepe the woodcutter’s quiet life is suddenly torn apart by a series of tragic events over the course of a few days, but he seems to be fine with it as if he holds a secret to existence that is hard to grasp.
Closing the festival is THE NEW LAND (Nybyggarna), the 1972 sequel to the original THE EMIGRANTS (Utvandrarna), starring cinema legends Max von Sydow and Liv Ullmann as Swedish immigrants who struggle to establish a new life for themselves in the forest of Minnesota in the mid 19th Century. In 1973, the film was nominated for an Oscar and won Best Foreign Language film at the Golden Globes and in 2022 celebrates its fiftieth anniversary. As a counterpoint, THE EMIGRANTS (2021) (Utvandrarna) from Sweden is famed director Erik Poppe’s new adaptation of the award-winning classic. Starring Lisa Carlehed and Gustav Skarsgård, it follows the emigrants’ journey from Sweden to the United States in the mid 1800s, telling the story for the first time from Kristina’s perspective.
This year’s Festival celebrates Scandi Screen Sirens with the much-loved classics CASABLANCA (1942) starring Ingrid Bergman; QUEEN CHRISTINA (1933) starring the enigmatic Greta Garbo and the 2013 final-cut version of classic folk-horror film THE WICKER MAN (1973) starring 70s icon Britt Ekland. Norway’s Liv Ullmann stars in Ingmar Bergman’s Weimar Republic drama THE SERPENT’S EGG (1977) as well as The New Land.
Stand-up comedy (something perhaps not always associated with Scandinavia) features in two films: Berlinale Crystal Bear winner COMEDY QUEEN (Sweden), a story of loss, anger and healing that follows a 13-year-old girl who wants to become a stand-up comedian; and NOTHING TO LAUGH ABOUT (Ingenting å le av) featuring real life comic Odd-Magnus Williamson as a successful stand-up comedian whose life is changed in a single day forcing him on a journey to rediscover himself and his laughter.
And on a completely different note, Iceland’s QUAKE (Skjálfti) is an absorbing psychological drama based on a best-selling Icelandic novel starring Anita Briem. After suffering a major seizure whilst out with her young son, a single mother fights to keep him whilst trying to piece together her life after losing her memory.
Tickets are now on sale at www.scandinavianfilmfestival.com
Venues and dates:
Sydney: 12 July – 7 August, Palace Norton, Palace Central, Palace Verona and Chauvel Cinema (selected sessions)
Canberra: 13 July – 7 August, Palace Electric
Melbourne: 14 July – 7 August, Palace Balwyn, Palace Brighton Bay, Palace Cinema Como, Palace Westgarth, The Kino, Pentridge Cinema and The Astor Theatre (selected sessions)
Adelaide: 19 July – 10 August, Palace Nova Eastend Cinemas
Perth: 20 July – 10 August, Luna Leederville, Luna on SX & Palace Raine Square
Brisbane: 20 July – 10 August, Palace James St, Palace Barracks
Byron Bay: 22 July – 10 August, Palace Byron Bay
Other reviews you might enjoy:
- Scandinavian Film Festival 2017 – preview
- St ALi Italian Film Festival 2021
- British Film Festival 2021
David Edwards is the editor of The Blurb and a contributor on film and television