20 / 7 / 2012 – 7.30pm
Goethe Institut Hanoi (Screening Room)
56 – 58 Nguyen Thai Hoc
Subtitles in Vietnamese and English
The Onion Cellar and Hanoi DocLab present an official screening of Copenhagen Dreams, plus 3 short films by Martin De Thurah.
“A documentary in poetic mode” – Copenhagen Dreams is the portrait that director Max Kestner painted of the Danish capital. The film is exactly what it says on the tin, and then much more. We meet a group of Copenhagen citizens. They are, amongst others, architects, estate agents, social workers, tire-shop employees, antique dealers, poets, musicians, separated couples, children of separated couples, sons, daughters, and above all – dreamers. We hear about their experiences, sometimes mundane, sometimes surreal: he likes to bike across a snow-covered Kongens Have, she likes to watch the tracks disappearing behind her on the train, he loves taking the ferries when it rains, she loves hearing the rain patter on the Palm House roof.
And what do they dream of? A new larger flat with high ceiling, an Eiffel tower by the lakes, more parks and squares and benches painted Copenhagen-green, buildings that grow out into the ocean…, dreams big and small, realistic and otherwise.
Like Patrick Keiller’s ‘London’, the film is also a ‘city symphony’ about the place that inspires and lives its inhabitants’ dreams. “The people are usually out of focus or on the periphery of the framework that constitutes a central part of the film’s aesthetics. [..] Copenhagen is the main character of the film; the people are just passing bit players whose job it is to draw out the distinctive features of the protagonist. “
Accompanying the film is an original score courtesy of veteran Iceland-born, Copenhagen-based post-classical composerJóhann Jóhannsson. With Jóhannsson’s subtle blending of the classical and the electronic, the melancholic and the hopeful, the music could easily stand alone in its own right, but works best when placed alongside Kestner’s lyrical cinematography, sometimes even taking on the narration role.
Over the course of 70 minutes, we learn about the essence of Copenhagen. If you have ever sat in the café listening to fragments of conversations around, or felt the nostalgia of the last days in a rented room before moving out, then this is the film for you. It is life itself.
Opening the proceedings are 3 short films about Copenhagen directed by Martin De Thurah (the director who makes music videos for Mew, James Blake, Fever Ray etc). With lush cinematography plus an eclectic selection of soundtrack (Jónsi (Sigur Rós), Mew’s Jonas Bjerre to Chopin and Bach), these shorts add yet another dimension to the portrait of Copenhagen.
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