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Defending the inherent interest of contemporary Danish cinema to non-Danes almost two decades ago involved making much of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' decision to honour Gabriel Axel's Babette's Feast (Babettes gœstebud) and Bille August's Felle the Conqueror (Pelle Erobreren) with Best Foreign Feature awards in 1987 and 1988 respectively. The indisputable talent of Lars von Trier, as manifested in an early work like Element of Crime (1984), was also important to anyone seeking to affirm the value of Danish film. Yet in the late 1980s von Trier was still very much an emerging figure, both at home and abroad, having directed only two feature films, the haunting film noir, Element of Crime, and the far less successful Epidemic (1987), both of which belong to the so-called ‘Europe trilogy’. Valiant attempts could be made to introduce viewers, critics and scholars to those many deserving filmmakers (especially in the area of films for children and young people) who warranted far greater visibility outside Denmark. In focusing on difficult issues faced by young people, filmmakers such as Nils Malmros, Soren Kragh-Jacobsen and Morten Arnfred had for years provided important alternatives (worthy of careful consideration elsewhere) to Disney's ideologically suspect ‘candyfloss’ (Zeruneith 1995). © in this edition Edinburgh University Press, 2007.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe cinema of small nations
PublisherEdinburgh University Press
Number of pages20
ISBN (Print)9780748630929
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2011


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