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The Celebration [Import]

42 customer reviews

Price: CDN$ 79.99
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Product Details

  • Actors: Ulrich Thomsen, Henning Moritzen, Thomas Bo Larsen, Paprika Steen, Birthe Neumann
  • Directors: Thomas Vinterberg
  • Writers: Thomas Vinterberg, Mogens Rukov
  • Producers: Birgitte Hald, Morten Kaufmann
  • Format: Color, Dolby, DVD-Video, Full Screen, Subtitled, NTSC, Import
  • Language: Danish
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: R
  • Studio: Universal Studios
  • Release Date: July 27 2004
  • Run Time: 105 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00023P4N8
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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By LGwriter on May 21 2004
Format: DVD
Thomas Vinterberg's Celebration is without question one of the best of the Danish Dogme (spelled this way in Denmark, not Dogma) 95 films.
As the film opens, we see various people, in groups of two, three, and more, converge on a large house--walking, driving, and bicycling. They are gathering to celebrate the 60th birthday of the man who fathered four children--they who have now come to pay their respects with their wives, husbands, boyfriends and girlfriends. The man has made a tidy sum thanks to his unnamed business, and he and his wife live quite comfortably. Also invited are the older couple's friends, and by the time everyone has arrived, there is a full house indeed, all seated at the host's large dinner table.
Speeches are made, glasses are chinked together in toasts, food is eaten. The daughter has a black American boyfriend and it's a wicked foreshadowing that has him insulted by one of his girlfriend's brothers--an out and out racist remark.
This sets the stage for a shocking turn of events when one of the man's sons stands and proposes a toast to his father that leaves the guests completely stunned. A dark secret is revealed that is so out of place with the reason for the "celebration", nothing can ever be the same following the younger man's toast.
The drama here is powerful, intense, seething. One of the trademark strengths of Dogme 95 cinema, as many of us know by now, is its focus on story alone, without reliance on any special effects--CGI, lighting, or otherwise--and Vinterberg has here wisely chosen a story so strong that to "enhance" it with anything remotely resembling special effects would be doing it a major disservice--would be, in fact, blatantly stupid.
This is one of the best Danish films of the 20th century and should absolutely not be missed.
Very highly recommended.
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Format: VHS Tape
Emotionally draining movie...I felt winded after watching the Celebration because the director grabs your attention and then runs you through an emotional tenderizer. He's clearly not afraid to tackle tough subjects.
It's refreshing to see such a well crafted, intelligently acted, and unflinching look at family dysfunction. (And you thought that "Ordinary People" was tough to watch!) The director does a good job of not glorifying the dysfunction - the movie is centered on the reactions and the relationship between father/son, between brothers, brother/sister, wife/husband, etc..., more than focused on the dysfunction itself.
The only negative thing about this movie was the lighting. I don't care what the "Dogma" group says, bad lighting is bad lighting. Because this movie was shot with a handheld and subsequently transferred to 35mm film, a lot of the lighting is so bad that the film appears very grainy - and not the cool, artsy, atmospheric graininess of "Eraserhead" but just grainy. Maybe he was going for the home-movie look, but hard on the eyes nonetheless.
Be warned, this is not the colorful, bad-sweater-wearing Cosby family with stern after-school-special toned messages about "say no to drugs/stay in school" family dysfunction... This is an intense, squirm-inducing, double-barrelled look at difficult family relationships.
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By A Customer on Dec 4 2000
Format: VHS Tape
Forget any of the stuff you have heard or read about Dogma. This is a really good MOVIE. The Celebration takes place at a mannor home where a family is gatherering for their father's 60th birthday. Basically the whole family has showed up, aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins, etc. The audience quickly learns that one member of the family is missing from an untimely death It is clear her death has shaken the family. When they are assembled for dinner the eldest son, Christian, makes a speech in front of the whole family revealing why his sister has taken her life. At this point in the film it is impossible to see this coming and it is quite shocking. As the film continues one outragious speech after another takes place as the party continues. It is enormously entertaining.
This film has a great story and is very well acted. It is fresh and original. Many Americans do not get exposed to films such as this one and that is a shame. Indeed the Dogma movement is very different. It is certainly not Conventional Hollywood Cinema and that is part of the reason it is so much fun to watch. People shold see this movie, inparticular fans of character driven plots and people who are not affraid to squirm.
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By person on Nov. 19 2000
Format: VHS Tape
Festen(The Celebration), is an incredible film, but I do not think it has the ability to move mountains, like previous reviews have illustrated, and its cover is a little dissapointing. It's cover is a real contrast to what beauty lies in the cinematography.
Festen, a Danish film with very independent-style cinema is set at the summer villa of a true Danish Tycoon that likes to party with his equally rich and racist friends. But this celebration is different. This time it is old Papa's 60th Birthday, and all of his troubled children are coming to their childhood home for the occassion, in the wake of their Sister's suicide. Everything goes swell, we are hinted of some trouble, in a brilliant little pre-climactic series of scenes, but it is mostly smooth sailing until their quiet, deeply depressed eldest son, Christian, drops the bomb in a speech that is disguised as a toast to his father. Daddy has been a little deviant with his kids in the past, Christian says in his toast. It is not taken seriously by the aristocrats at first, but the rest of the film is focused around everyone trying to shut him up and cover up the truth, but Christian keeps on disrupting the increasingly shaky celebration, until his enraged, psychotic brother ties him to a tree, in the depths of their estate. Christian escapes, and retrieves a suicide note written by his sister explaining the whole abusive mess of their childhood. It is read at the table, in front of everyone, by his sister.
The Celebration(Festen) is incredible for what shows on your screen. It is not a Bible. It is just a quirky, however brilliant, little film by a master director. It is a simple thing, one flavour, and it should not be so over-interpreted. It is an artful, suprising film that you will enjoy thoroughly.
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