________________ CM . . . . Volume XIII Number 17 . . . .April 13, 2007

cover

The Danish Poet.

Torill Kove(Writer & Director). Lise Fearnley & Marcy Page (Producers). Lide Fearnley, Tove Kløvvik & David Verall (Executive Producers).
Montreal, PQ: National Film Board of Canada, 2006.
15 min., 1 sec., VHS or DVD, $99.95.
Order Number: 153C 9106 010.

Subject Headings:
Animated films.
Short films.

Grades 10 and up / Ages 15 and up.

Review by Frank Loreto.

**** /4

   

 

The Danish Poet is an animated film which shows the complexity of love and how the story of each of our lives predates us. We are the product of events of which we had no control.

     Afraid that he is losing his inspiration, Kasper, the Danish poet, is instructed by his therapist (who specializes in these matters) to go on a vacation. The selected country is Norway because "it's cheap and they're practically Danish." In researching his trip, Kasper becomes taken by the writings of Norwegian author Sigrid Undset (who originally came from Denmark) and asks to meet with her. As she, too, could use some help with her inspiration, Kasper's request is granted, and off he goes to Norway.

      And so begins a delightful film about love, fate and the relationship between Denmark and Norway. As a Canadian-Norwegian production, there are several lighthearted references to the Scandinavian dynamic. "When a relative dies, you go to the funeral whether she was Danish or not!"

      Kasper's journey, as well as his story, has several unexpected turns proving that the way to true love is not always clear. Who could expect that being crushed to death by a falling cow is actually a good thing? How can the needs of one woman's hair lead to another woman's conception of a child? Everything is woven together in this film showing that life is rather complex. There is no predicting the long term impact of what seems, at the time, to be a small detail.

      Writer and director Torill Kove, presents the story with what appears to be simple clean animation. However, on closer viewing, one can see that the film is filled with little details that are repeated and altered slightly. Careful viewing is rewarded and recommended.

      The Danish Poet is short enough to be shown several times in a class. Art, animation or media classes would find this film both worthy of study and great fun. For classes dealing with the concept of Fate, this could be used as a reward. As the 2007 Academy Award winner for animation, The Danish Poet, narrated by Liv Ullman is yet another celebration of Canada's contribution to the world of animation. Having viewed the film three times already, I find myself wanting to watch it again.

Highly Recommended

Frank Loreto is a teacher-librarian at St. Thomas Aquinas Secondary School in Brampton, ON.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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