In Palm Springs this past weekend we sat down for a crowded screening of this Danish comedy SuperClásico (ISA: The Match Factory). The audience loved it, really over the top response.
Afterwards we spoke with Director Ole Christian Madsen and Producer Lars Bredo Rahbek.
Ole hails from Copenhagen. As a boy his dad was a Colonel in the Danish Army and they moved a lot. His dad was the Commander of the first U.N. forces in Cyprus to monitor the peace between warring Turks and Greeks on the island.
He began – how else? – by making super 8 movies when he was young and at university. He also decided then NOT to make films for his life’s work. At that time, college age, he wanted to be a journalist.
Then one day he happened to see an ad for the Danish National Film School. He applied – and got in!!! Then he was on track to make films.
He founded his current company http://www.nimbusfilm.dk in 1993 as a production entity. They made 7 movies after forming, the first 2 were about immigration (into Denmark). They began slowly to develop higher concept work. They did a successful TV series, The Spider. He then decided to leave TV work to concentrate on feature films.
They then began their Trilogy on Love, which resulted in 3 films.
The first of these was Kira’s Reason which was a big international success (and U.S. success) and was picked up by Sandrew Metronome, a large and good Scandinavian distribution company.
The second film of this series was a love story, Prague with Mads Mikkelsen and Stine Stengade.
The number three film of this series about love is Superclasico.
It is called a series because all are about love. The first is before the breakup. The second is during the breakup. The third (Superclasico) is after the breakup and the (somewhat) pathetic attempts of the spurned husband to travel around the world to try and get his wife back.
I laughed when they explained this to me. I said to Ole Christian, “So you think that the main thing about love is the breakup?”
They liked this, and he, Ole Christian, agreed.
In 2009 they produced a very ambitious World War 2 movie, Flame and Citron. Ole Christian explained. “During the Second World War in Denmark there was almost total collaboration. They never talk much about that today. But we Danish did have a small and very determined resistance force. It was only about 1,500 people total but they sought out and killed Nazi collaborators, within the Danish population. The film cost $8.5 million Euros to make, the biggest budget ever for a Danish film. We eventually had 47 companies involved as partners. The German film Downfall about Hitler’s last days, was a huge success in Denmark. That made it possible for us to finance and make Flame and Citron. Downfall broke all box office records and 22% of the Danes actually saw it. So for our film on the War one half the money came from Germany. Another interesting figure about Downfall is that 80% of its eventual income came from international, not German, sources. This leads us on our way with our films’.
In Denmark they must rely on government subsidies for a portion only of their budgets. Their plan is to make movies that travel. Thus Superclasico, a Danish comedy in 3 languages set totally in Buenos Aires.
For now they take this latest film to Festivals (such as Palm Springs where we saw it) to gather buzz and reviews. They believe for a comedy like theirs this is how to go. Then after the Festival screenings they can successfully sell the international territories. The very good German company Match Factory is selling rights internationally for them. The Oscar campaign for Best Foreign Language Film from Denmark is another step. Lastly as the film in Denmark appealed to all ages of moviegoers they have great hopes for its international distribution.
Next up is For Madmen Only about beatniks in Europe in the early ‘60s.
Denmark, 2011, 99 Minute Running Time
Topics: Comedy, Road Movie, Romantic Comedy, Sex, Slapstick
Program: Awards Buzz : Best Foreign Language Film
Language: Danish, English, Spanish English Sub-Titles
An unsuccessful Danish businessman pursues his estranged wife to Argentina in this sparky tale of marital discord. Part wry romantic comedy and part love letter to Buenos Aires, it offers cheerfully non-PC entertainment for those who appreciate fine wine, fanatical soccer fans, steamy Latin lovers and the tango, while amusing on a meta-level by celebrating and satirizing its own sense of cliché.
Pudgy sadsack Christian owns a failing wine shop whose stock he dips into with increasing frequency while moping over runaway wife Anna. A tough-as-nails sports agent, Anna now lives in Buenos Aires and wants to marry her star client, buff soccer striker Juan Diaz, a cheerful fellow given to wandering his gorgeous villa in the nude.
An arch voice-over commentary by an unseen narrator gently mocking the characters and their feelings and advising viewers about their hidden thoughts supplies the backbone for a playful layer of meta-fiction. Christian’s dialogue, too, plays a part, as he declares just about everything in Argentina, including Anna’s relationship with the hot, younger Juan Diaz (un caso clasico), to be a cliché.
DIRECTOR: Ole Christian Madsen
Producer: Lars Bredo Rahbek, Signe Leick Jensen
Principal Cast: Anders W. Berthelsen, Paprika Steen, Jamie Morton, Sebastian Estevanez, Adriana Mascialino, Miguel Dedovich