Danish Film Classics

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Alfred Lind: The Flying Circus & The Bear TamerAlfred Lind: The Flying Circus & The Bear Tamer

Danish Film Classics

The only two surviving films of the film company Det skandinavisk-russiske Handelshus (Scandinavian-Russian Trading) which was specialized in sensational topics. Alfred Lind is the star, the director, the writer and the cinematographer of the successful Den flyvende Cirkus which was soon followed by its sequel Bjørnetæmmeren.

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Benjamin Christensen: Sealed Orders & Blind JusticeBenjamin Christensen: Sealed Orders & Blind Justice

Danish Film Classics

Benjamin Christensen (1879-1959) is probably the most innovative director of Danish silent cinema. He had full control over the creation of his films, not only as a director, but also in many cases by being producer, author and protagonist. Christensen's first films clearly show his mastery of cinematic expression as well as his charismatic screen appearance.

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Carl Theodor Dreyer: Die Gezeichneten & GlomdalsbrudenCarl Theodor Dreyer: Die Gezeichneten & Glomdalsbruden

Danish Film Classics

Two rare classics by Carl Theodor Dreyer, digitally mastered and restored: Die Gezeichneten and Glomdalsbruden. Die Gezeichneten was for many years considered a lost film, until the 1960s, when it was found in the Russian film archive Gosfilmofond under the title Pogrom. Glomdalsbruden was shot quickly in the summer of 1926, before Dreyer went to France to make La passion de Jeanne d'Arc. The DVD set contains a small booklet with articles about the two films written by lecturer at the University of Copenhagen Casper Tybjerg and external lecturer Morten Egholm. Both films feature a new score composed by pianist Ronen Thalmay.

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Carl Theodor Dreyer: Leaves Out of the Book of SatanCarl Theodor Dreyer: Leaves Out of the Book of Satan

Danish Film Classics

In four episodes, we witness how Satan must walk the Earth and tempt men to do evil: Judas betrays Jesus, the Inquisition in 16th-century Spain, an episode in the French Revolution and a family tragedy during the Finnish civil war in 1918. Carl Theodor Dreyer's lavish period piece is presented here in its most complete version, even with an alternative happy ending. For this DVD a HD transfer was done from a restored duplication negative.

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Carl Theodor Dreyer: Once Upon a TimeCarl Theodor Dreyer: Once Upon a Time

Danish Film Classics

This DVD edition is a new restoration of Carl Theodor Dreyer's adaptation of Holger Drachmann's popular nationalistic play from 1883 is based on Hans Christian Andersen's Svinedrengen and William Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew. Despite the loss of approximately half of the moving picture content, the surviving scenes can now be seen in a complete narrative supported by still photos and new intertitles based primarily on original sources.

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Carl Theodor Dreyer: The PresidentCarl Theodor Dreyer: The President

Danish Film Classics

This DVD edition is a restoration of Carl Th. Dreyer's first feature film as director. Already in his debut we are witnesses to the thematic mainstay of most of his later films; the mother left to her own destiny with her illigitimate child. In this film the man is haunted by guilt, which he is not allowed to repent. Besides this DVD presents the one minute fragment of a Zola film adaptation written by Dreyer.

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Det förste Filmarkiv / The First Film ArchiveDet förste Filmarkiv / The First Film Archive

Danish Film Classics

In celebration of the 60th Anniversary of The Danish Film Institute / Archive & Cinematheque the first films donated to the Danish State are published on this DVD. The first film archive contains a total of seventy films showing Danish events and people of the period 1899-1913.

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Jørgen Leth 1: Anthropological FilmsJørgen Leth 1: Anthropological Films

Danish Film Classics

Over five decades, Jørgen Leth has created a cinematic oeuvre that is unique in all respects. In more than 40 films, Leth has maintained his experimental approach to the medium, exploring film as language, testing film's possibilities and limitations. Coming from a starting point in language-conscious modernist poetry, Leth has examined the world not only through language but through the film camera's lens, showing images combined with a singularly detached, descriptive tone all the while carried by an aesthetic and sensuous delight in images. The first volume of a DVD edition which covers all his films contains the anthropological films: The Perfect Human (1968), Life in Denmark (1972), Good and Evil(1975), Notes on Love (1989) and The Five Obstructions (2003). Also included in this DVD set is a booklet and extra notes on a new production entitled Tropical Mix.

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Jørgen Leth 2: Sports FilmsJørgen Leth 2: Sports Films

Danish Film Classics

The second box of the series "Jørgen Leth Collection" contains Leth's sports films, primarily emphasising the cycle film classics Stars and Water Carriers (1974), The Impossible Hour(1975), and A Sunday in Hell (1976). The director was tired of clichéd sports journalism and found "the inner psychological drama of the battles between great cyclists" more absorbing. The set also contains a documentary about the unique Basque ball gamePelota (1983) and two experimental films about the phenomenon of movement and speed Motion Picture (1970) and Chinese Ping Pong (1972), a coversation with Jørgen Leth and a 40 page booklet about the films.

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Jørgen Leth 3: Travel FilmsJørgen Leth 3: Travel Films

Danish Film Classics

In his travel films, the director is again an anthropologist observing the world with detached intensity and refraining from analysis. 66 Scenes from America (1981), the earliest film in the box set, shows snapshots of archetypical American locations motels, diners, highways, a lone cactus iconographic images of a mythological country presented in bright postcard colours, sanitized, like the myth of America. In the latest film, Aarhus (2005), Leth travels back to the city of his childhood, whose familiar locales are likewise captured in the director's trademark tableau style. In between, we find his films about Haiti and China. His film about Homo ludens, Moments of Play (1986), documents people at play around the globe, including the filmmaker's own game with reality.

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Jørgen Leth 4: Fiction FilmsJørgen Leth 4: Fiction Films

Danish Film Classics

Though the element of fiction is far from dominant in Jørgen Leth's oeuvre, he has made two "fiction features," Interference (1983) and Traberg (1992). Both are set in Haïti and both revolve around a lost, searching male character. The protagonists vanish or are gradually ousted from the centre of the fiction, as the real world moves in with a violence and obsessive power that makes Haïti itself the true subject of both films. As an added bonus, this box set also contains Jørgen Leth and Per Kirkeby's 1979 TV-production of A Midsummer Night's Play (1979), an 1803 Danish Golden-Age classic by the Romantic poet Adam Oehlenschläger. Leth and Kirkeby present the play in tableau form, featuring the finest Danish actors of the day in a festive romp through Oehlenschläger's elaborate verse and metrics.

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Jørgen Leth 5: Film PortraitsJørgen Leth 5: Film Portraits

Danish Film Classics

In this box set, we find Leth's ballet films about the dancer Peter Martins and the Bournonville steps and tradition alongside literary portraits of the Danish authors Klaus Rifbjerg and Søren Ulrik Thomsen, plus a many-headed portrait of illustrious Danish writers from H.A. Brorson to Michael Strunge, and, finally, his films about sports icons, the footballer Michael Laudrup and the boxer Ayub Kalule. Ballet, Danish literature and sports: In all three areas, the filmmaker strives to portray people and situations by zeroing in on the creative process itself. In the way he shapes his fascination through objective detachment and a formalist approach, we recognise the method of anthropological observation that is such a strong thread in Leth's works.

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Jørgen Leth 6: Experimental filmsJørgen Leth 6: Experimental films

Danish Film Classics

The sixth and final box set in the Jørgen Leth Collection comprises his early experiments. Here we find Leth's first films from the 1960s and early 1970s, when the poet and director moved into the world of film, playing around with images and sound. His very first film, from 1963, is about the jazz pianist Bud Powell. Like so many of these films, it is the product of a close collaboration with the cinematographer Ole John. Leth and John continued their tight partnership over the following years, exploring and challenging cinematic language. Eventually, they expanded their collaborative form into the ABCinema movement, a film collective of artists from many different scenes, including among others Bjørn Nørgaard, Per Kirkeby, Ursula Reuter, Lene Adler Petersen and Erik Thygesen. The box set offers a portrait of "the artist as a young puppy," and supplements the early experiments with an array of bonus materials almost a full five hours chronicling the rise of ABCinema, describing the director's life in Haiti today and pointing ahead to two brand new films about Leth.

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Valdemar Psilander: Three FilmsValdemar Psilander: Three Films

Danish Film Classics

Valdemar Psilander (1884-1917) was probably the greatest male star of Danish silent cinema. He died in 1917, only 32 years old. Despite his early death, he nevertheless acted in 83 films during his 6 years with the Nordisk Films Kompagni. The three films on this DVD are not only representative of Valdemar Psilander's qualities as an actor, but also the production of Nordisk Films Kompagni during the most productive and successful years of Danish cinema.

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