Thursday, July 27, 2017

Italian for Beginners (Scherfig, 2000): Mini-Film Review

Italian for Beginners (2000), directed by Lone Scherfig, is a Dogme 95 film produced in Denmark. Viewers unfamiliar with the stripped down aesthetic inherent to the movement, which lasted from 1995 to 2005 (notable Dogme 95 films are listed here), will be surprised by, among other possibilities, how stark the film appears in contrast to Hollywood production values, how ubiquitous this aesthetic approach has become in the mainstream since Dogme 95 (considering shows like The Office), and, regarding the narrative itself, how surprisingly easy it is to find oneself absorbed in the lives of multiple Danish characters from various backgrounds who are united by attending a beginners Italian course in this brief (90 minute) film.

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