Mifune

"Excellent"

Mifune Review


In 1995, Danish directors Lars Von Trier and Thomas Vinterberg established a code of ethics for an alternative form of filmmaking. The two directors were fed up by the way in which movie making was "raped" by technology such as special effects, expensive gear, cranes, filters, dollies, and spotlights. They wisely knew that they could never measure up to the Americans in that area, so they decided that European filmmaking should head in an all-together different direction. The result was a vow of chastity complete with the ten commandments of what they called Dogme filmmaking. Some of these groundbreaking rules included: on location shooting without the ability to bring in props, the rule that music will not be used unless it occurs where the scene is being shot, the camera must be hand-held, optical work and filters are forbidden, and the films must not contain superficial action such as murders, weapons, etc. The purpose was to force a director to think along unconventional and imaginative lines in order to create a Dogme film, and the first two attempts, Vinterberg's The Celebration, and Von Trier's The Idiots, were both successful.

Director Soren Kragh-Jacobsen's Mifune, is the third film from the Danish Dogme Collective. Subtitled in English, it is the story of Kresten (Anders W. Berhelsen) who has become an overnight sensation as a businessman in Copenhagen. The morning after his wedding to the boss' daughter, he receives a phone call that his estranged father has just died. He has trouble explaining this to his wife, since he has told everyone in the city that he has no living relatives, in attempt to disguise his humble origins. Now he must return to the family's run down farm to bury his father and make arrangements to hide the truth of his mentally retarded brother from his new family and friends.

Caught in a pack of lies with his in-laws, he comes up with a desperate plan to advertise for a housekeeper to look after his brother. But when the beautiful Liva (Iben Hjejle) arrives, she only complicates things for Kristen. Liva also is not what she seems. Out of a need to keep her rebellious younger brother Bjarke (Emil Tarding) in private school, she's been working as a high-class prostitute in Copenhagen. Now she's on the run from her pimp and a mysterious man who has been threatening her on the phone. When the two come together they get caught in a whirlwind of hysteria as their troubles begin to compound.

The film is excellent, and the Dogme style only adds to the originality of the production. Supposedly, there is one scene with music being played on a bent drainpipe, and another with an instrumentalist hiding in a ditch. The idea for the original Danish title (Mifunes Sidste Sang, literally Mifune's Last Song) came to Dragh-Jacobsen when Japanese actor Toshiro Mifune died in 1997. In Seven Samurai by director Akira Kurosawa, Mifune plays a phony samurai of peasant origins. The parallel is evident..

The Danish are really onto something with the proliferation of the Dogme style. Find out where Mifune is playing and enjoy it. It's worth the extra effort, and it's a breath of fresh air from the stale stench of the overblown Hollywood mega-productions.

Choo choo.



Mifune

Facts and Figures

Run time: 98 mins

In Theaters: Friday 12th March 1999

Distributed by: Sony Pictures Classics

Production compaines: Zentropa Entertainments, Danmarks Radio (DR), Nimbus Film Productions, SVT Drama

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 74%
Fresh: 23 Rotten: 8

IMDB: 7.2 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Søren Kragh-Jacobsen

Starring: Anders W. Berthelsen as Kresten, as Liva, as Rud, Sofie Gråbøl as Claire, as Bjarke, as Gerner, as Pernille, as Nina, as Hanne, Ellen Hillingsø as Lykke, Sidse Babett Knudsen as Bibi, Sofie Stougaard as Lady of bakery

Contactmusic


Links


Advertisement

New Movies

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

After the thunderous reception for J.J. Abrams' Episode VII: The Force Awakens two years ago,...

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Like the 2015 original, this comedy plays merrily with cliches to tell a silly story...

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

There's a somewhat contrived jauntiness to this blending of fact and fiction that may leave...

Ferdinand Movie Review

Ferdinand Movie Review

This animated comedy adventure is based on the beloved children's book, which was published in...

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Director Dave McCary makes a superb feature debut with this offbeat black comedy, which explores...

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

A dramatisation of the real-life clash between tennis icons Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs,...

Shot Caller Movie Review

Shot Caller Movie Review

There isn't much subtlety to this prison thriller, but it's edgy enough to hold the...

Advertisement
The Disaster Artist Movie Review

The Disaster Artist Movie Review

A hilariously outrageous story based on real events, this film recounts the making of the...

Stronger Movie Review

Stronger Movie Review

Based on a true story about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, this looks like one...

Only the Brave Movie Review

Only the Brave Movie Review

Based on a genuinely moving true story, this film undercuts the realism by pushing its...

Wonder Movie Review

Wonder Movie Review

This film may be based on RJ Palacio's fictional bestseller, but it approaches its story...

Happy End  Movie Review

Happy End Movie Review

Austrian auteur Michael Haneke isn't known for his light touch, but rather for hard-hitting, award-winning...

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Seemingly from out of nowhere, this film generates perhaps the biggest smile of any movie...

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

A Victorian thriller with rather heavy echoes of Jack the Ripper, this film struggles to...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.