King is Alive, The - Dogme #4 (2000)

Original Title : King Is Alive, The
Director : Kristian Levring
Writer : Anders Thomas Jensen
Kristian Levring
William Shakespeare
Genre : Drama
Country : Sweden
Language : English
Producer : Christopher Ball , Malene Blenkov , Kobus Botha , Peter Aalbæk Jensen , Patricia Kruijer , David Linde , William Tyrer , Vibeke Windeløv
Music : Derek Thompson
Photography : Jens Schlosser
MPAA Rating : Rated R for sexuality and language.
IMDB ID : 0208911
Official site :
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poster for "King is Alive, The  - Dogme #4" by Kristian Levring (2000)
King is Alive, The - Dogme #4 (2000) - Kristian Levring


Miles Anderson Jack
Romane Bohringer Catherine
David Bradley Henry
David Calder Charles
Bruce Davison Ray
Brion James Ashley
Peter Khubeke Kanana (as Peter Kubheka
Vusi Kunene Moses
Jennifer Jason Leigh Gina
Janet McTeer Liz
Chris Walker Paul
Lia Williams Amanda


But The Movie Is Not This is one of those films with a great potential. Brilliant actors, a debut from a very interesting director and a haunting "Survivor"-ish plot. But it does not work at all. To start with the good thing: The cinematography is stunning. The beauty of the Namibian desert shows itself as a merciless surrounding, also in the pictures. And then there is the acting. Quite allright. Jennifer Jason Leigh has never been better. Bruce Davison also seems to have developed his character from Altman's "Short Cuts". Then the disappointments: Janet McTeer. Romane Bohringer. And the plot. Why on earth does Levring pick "Lear" for their play? The whole idea of letting Shakespeare articulate their despair and inner longings does not work. It seems like a facade. And it is clear that the tragedies takes place because of the choice of "Lear". They just needs to fit in in the Script by Levring and Academy Award winner Anders Thomas Jensen. And the sex. It takes about three days, then more or less all of the characters are sexually frustrated. Dahh!! Sex is always the easy way out when you are in need of a crisis in a plot. Janet McTeer's part totally falls apart, mainly because of that ridiculous idea. The sex makes the plot fall promptly to the ground. Instead they could have focused on the dialogue. There must have been conversation between all of the characters, but we mainly see them talking in smaller groups. Their talking though is as dead as "Lear" and the rest of the film. "The King Is Alive" still is not the worst Danish dogme '95 movie yet. But comparing it to the most recent of the homegrown dogme '95 films "Italiensk for begyndere" by Lone Scherfig, this one fails badly. It is not a good film. It is a bad one. But it is beautiful.
poster for "King is Alive, The  - Dogme #4"
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King is Alive, The - Dogme #4 (2000) - Kristian Levring
poster for "King is Alive, The  - Dogme #4"
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King is Alive, The - Dogme #4 (2000) - Kristian Levring