Further Reading

Bordwell, David. The Films of Carl-Theodor Dreyer. Berkeley:

University of California Press, 1981. Dreyer, Carl. Dreyer in Double Reflection. Translated by Donald Skoller. New York: Dutton, 1973.

Drum, Jean, and Dale D. Drum. My Only Great Passion: The Life and Films of Carl Th. Dreyer. Lanhan, MD: Scarecrow, 2000. Milne, Tom. The Cinema of Carl Dreyer. New York: A. S. Barnes and London: Zwemmer, 1971.

Schrader, Paul. Transcendental Style in Film: Ozu, Bresson, Dreyer. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1972.

Peter Schepelern

Balling's (1924-2005) Kispus (1956), a romantic comedy set in the fashion world. Outside all the typical trends and traditions is Dreyer's religious drama Ordet (The

Word, 1955), the only one of his films to enjoy general popularity with both Danish and international audiences (it earned a Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival).

Carl Theodore Dreyer. everett collection. reproduced by permission.

Carl Theodore Dreyer. everett collection. reproduced by permission.

The 1960s was marked by the drastic decline in cinema attendance—from 1950 through 1970 admissions fell from 52 million to 23 million people—due to the arrival of TV (Danmarks Radio started regular TV broadcasting in 1951, and was a monopoly until 1988). This decrease led to new film legislation in 1965 in which state support for the production of artistic films was introduced. In the long period when movie theaters were a very lucrative business, Denmark had a licensing system by which having a license was a precondition to running a movie theater and was given as a special reward to well-merited artists (such as Christensen and Dreyer) or to production companies that produced culturally valuable films. However, the decrease in cinema attendance led to the deregulation of cinema exhibition in 1972.

Overall, European cinema gained cultural respectability during the 1960s. New artistic movements flourished—most importantly, the French New Wave and modernist films by Fellini and Antonioni. In Denmark the 1960s became a transitional period: groundbreaking New Wave films, such as Palle Kjxrulff-Schmidt's Weekend (1962), about disillusion among couples in their thirties, written by the versatile writer Klaus Rifbjerg, and modernist works, such as Henning Carlsen's Suit (Hunger, 1966), based on Knut Hamsun's novel about a starving writer in Kristiania (now Oslo) of the 1890s, appeared alongside the ever-popular folk comedy. Of particular note is Balling's Olsen-banden (The Olsen Gang, 1968-1981) series of thirteen films, in which the population recognized itself in the unsuccessful trio of petit bourgeois criminals who, guided by their leader Egon, are always involved in fantastic heists that inevitably go wrong. As had been his practice throughout his career, Dreyer produced a film that went completely against the grain of contemporary taste, the melodrama Gertrud (1964), his last work.

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