At Necessary Fiction, on Danish film, Saul Bellow and Martin Amis, and PONG

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When I think about what inspired my dark comedy about a dysfunctional family beyond my own autobiography, I keep going back to two Danish films in the late 90s and early oughts: Festen (or Celebration), directed by Thomas Vinterberg and Årven (or Inheritance) by Per Fly. Both starred the brooding Ulrich Thomsen, who’s been in a number of American films. Vinterberg started the Dogme 95 movement with Lars Von Trier. I studied abroad in Copenhagen in 1997, and to this day, I’m interested in Danish literature and film. To be honest, I’m not a huge fan of any of Von Trier’s work, but Celebration and Inheritance are in my pantheon of great movies about dysfunctional, well-off families.

Read the rest of the essay here.