Festen (1998)

Every family has a secret.

Original Title : Festen
Director : Thomas Vinterberg
Writer : Thomas Vinterberg
Thomas Vinterberg
Mogens Rukov
Genre : Drama
Country : Denmark
Language : Danish
Producer : Birgitte Hald , Morten Kaufmann
Music : Lars Bo Jensen
Photography : Anthony Dod Mantle
MPAA Rating : Rated R for strong sexual content and language, including references to sexual abuse.
IMDB ID : 0154420
Official site :
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poster for "Festen" by Thomas Vinterberg (1998)
Festen (1998) - Thomas Vinterberg


¬Ulrich Thomsen Christian Klingenfeldt
¬Henning Moritzen Faderen/Father Helge Klingenfeldt
¬Thomas Bo Larsen Michael
¬Paprika Steen Helene
¬Birthe Neumann Moderen/Mother
¬Trine Dyrholm Pia
¬Helle Dolleris Mette
¬Helle Dolleris Mette


A darkly comic journey into forbidden family territory. No one can ignore a person like Danish patriarch Helge Klingenfeldt. So on his sixtieth birthday, a celebration is required. Friends and relatives scurry to the country estate. Eventually, every family's secrets will come out. And since his twin sister's death two months ago, prodigal son Christian is more haunted than usual. The time has come for the darkest family skeleton to be revealed, and it must be done in their father's style - with flair, and malice.


Festen transcends tech limitations, and then some As the fans of Terry Gilliam out there can tell from my name, Brazil is indeed one of my favorite movies of all time. Comparing a movie of Brazil's visual grandeur to this brown-saturated, grainy, blurry film is like comparing apples and dinosaurs, but I mention it because each movie has its own visual tone that perfectly suits the material. Festen does not look as clean as most Hollywood movies do, but then, the material's a whole lot less clean as well. As it is, it just looks like a feature-length finalist from America's Funniest Home Videos, and its just as disturbing. And I mean that in the best possible sense. Watching Festen was the strongest cathartic experience I've had this year at the movies, and I think the natural film shooting policies Vinterberg has adopted have paid off here in making it seem like a real story with real people that you care about. It's like watching a play: there's nothing between you and the actors to interfere. Having also seen (and also loved) The Kingdom and Breaking the Waves, I think there's a lot to be said for the unusually extensive use of handheld cameras in film. But I can like a movie like this _and_ a movie like Brazil, because they each have their own appropriate visual aesthetic. Second best of the year (after Pi, which also used a similar visual texture, only in black and white. yeah yeah, I know, I'm this close to being a film student Nazi.) Vinterberg and Von Trier may be pulling a big publicity stunt, but I think it's all of us who are going to benefit from it. Looking forward to Idioterne.
poster for "Festen"
330 x 475
Festen (1998) - Thomas Vinterberg
poster for "Festen"
415 x 600
Festen (1998) - Thomas Vinterberg
poster for "Festen"
279 x 475
Festen (1998) - Thomas Vinterberg