Film: “Festen” [The Celebration] (1998)


From Denmark, this comedy-drama concerns a family that gathers to celebrate the birthday of the father at their family-owned hotel. But their relations are complex and difficult, especially as we learn more about them. This is the most acclaimed of the films made according to the principles of the “Dogme 95” movement, which had sought to minimize the role of technology in film, preferring instead to focus on traditional story-telling. Its production creed makes it interesting to film geeks, but the story and performances can more than recommend the movie to anyone. Written and directed by Thomas Vinterberg.