Dogme 95 hit the ground running with this tremendous film from Thomas Vinterberg. The woozy hand-held Handycam winding through hallways and into hotel bedrooms is perfect in capturing the abusive dysfunctionality of a wealthy, entitled family witnessing its own decline. Dogme as a movement may be long dead, and shakycam a cinematographic cliche, but this tragic Pinteresque farce only gets better with age.
It would be a hollow gesture to suggest the way it uses its thematic draw (which I won't spoil, it's a terrific shock) is mere provocation; all of Festen is catered toward a kind of arthouse-bourgeois provocation. And while it in no way merits worth as a tale of familial trauma, it is repeatedly and jaw-droppingly one of the most ecstatic and inventive uses of a camera in mainstream until maybe Inland Empire 3.5
dogma95 is one of my favourite film movements, even though i've only seen this film. i love the idea behind it. this film proves that narrative and acting can trump technical achievement any time. one of my top 50 favourites. thoughtful and dark, but funny in a weird way. inspires me to make films.
Few films has ever managed to believably present a family birthday celebration documentary-style (with hand-held cameras and low-fi resolution footage), but it can be hard to take the plot seriously since it is more impressive and dramatic than ten seasons of a normal soap opera, but the acting is so spotless and intense that it sells this premise completely. A celebration from hell indeed.
First and best of the Dogma 95 movement. Shot with a Sony DCR-PC3, once you get past its initially ugly look you’ll get involved with a never ending explosion of characters airing out their dirty laundry at their father’s 60th birthday. An exhausting but brutal experience that for a moment makes you feel pretty good about your own family.
73/100 (Filmi beğendiğimi söyleyerek yorumuma başlamak istiyorum. Ancak yapılan övgüler, puanlamalar ister istemez kendinden soğutuyor. Beklentileri karşılamıyor. Kesinlikle buralara layık bir film değil. Farklı bir tarz oluşturan Dogma 95 akımının farklılığı ve filmin değindiği taciz konusunun hassasiyeti bence bu puanları oluşturuyor. Doğrusu bu durum benim puanımı da etkiledi....)
Familial explosions then implosion par excellence. Perhaps the best of the Dogma school - the approach is put to good use in this coldly baroque destruction of the perennially dysfunctional family. It works especially well on two main counts: we've all been there (if in a much lower gear) and the probing camera affords such a wonderfully nosey eye on the fire and ice that we feel like we probably are. Bludgeoning.
Performance 5/5. I love the simpleness of the '95 dogme films, because it allows you to get completely immersed in the plot. It's a concept that makes you rethink the way movies can be produced, which I find very fascinating. The Celebration is a perfect example where the performances are stronger than the story itself.