Mifune (Mifunes sidste sang) - Dogme 3
Threat advisory: Elevated - Significant risk of entertaining activities
You can't lie your way out of the past.
That's the basic philosophy behind Søren Kragh-Jacobsen's new film. Kresten (Anders W Berthelsen) lives in Copenhagen yuppie circles with the prospect of a glittering career until he receives a phone call on his wedding night. From the depths of the country he hears that his father has died. He has trouble explaining the situation, as he has told everyone, including his wife Claire (Sofie Gråbøl), that he had no living relatives. He returns to his father's dilapidated run-down farm and comes across his elder brother, Rud (Jesper Asholt), a lonely, seedy simpleton quite unable to fend for himself.
Kresten is embarrassed by the prospect of having his poverty-stricken red-neck past unveiled, and keeps his wife at bay with one lie after another. But the feelings that well up in him on his reunion with Rud inspire a desperate plan: to enable his return to his gilded city existence he advertises for a housekeeper to look after his brother. But when beautiful Liva (Iben Hjejle) arrives, everything is turned upside down. Because Liva isn't who she pretends she is either.
With a highly suspicious on her way to the farm, a nutty brother in the back garden, old enemies in the farmyard, and a lovely lady in the bedroom, Kresten's problems begin for real...
Also starring Emil Tarding as Bjarke.
Cinematic intelligence sources
- Awards and film festivals:
- Berlin International Film Festival 1999: Jury Grand Prix, Silver Bear
- American Film Institute (AFI) 1999: European Film Prize
- Norwegian International Film Festival 1999: Nordic Amanda
- NB: Danish language dialogue with English language subtitles
- See also The eighth day, The idiots (Idioterne)
- Studios and distributors:
Special Agent Matti
Hmmm. The Dogme 95 manifesto is a brilliant collection of rules designed to free the director from technology and factory-style filmmaking (think your average Hollywood film). That it creates a new way of seeing and directing film is not in question; whether it always needs to be used is.
Mifune is an incestuous little Rainman drama about damaged people who come together for their own purposes and never get around to leaving. It's incestuous because no character is left to themselves, their lives are intertwined on a multiplicity of levels and in a multiplicity of directions. That's great for the drama but not so good for the believability (life is complex, but not that complex).
The acting varies from natural to intense (and that's good), the most natural being Emil as the seriously messed-up teenager: his moods swing from bitter to delighted to regretful to afraid to dark joy and back. He's also very cute (love those Danes) and that never hurts, eh Olivier? Anders is also cute, but in that more mature "I'm a guy who needs a good woman to look after me" kind of way. Iben is just sex on legs.
Not that I categorise people solely according to their appearance or anything.
Mifune is the plainer, younger sibling of Dogme 2: The idiots. Where Lars von Trier took normal people out of their everyday lives and into the bizarre world of their own fears, Søren takes abnormal people out of their everyday lives and into the bizarre world of the others' fears. It's more artificial in its premise and execution so lacks the spontaneity of its elders.
If you're a serious alt.director or just hot for Danes then you'll probably enjoy Mifune. Otherwise, feel free to give it a miss.
Security censorship classification
MA 15+ (Medium level sex scene, medium level coarse language)
98 minutes (1:38 hours)
Not for public release in Australia before date
Film: 23 August 2000