MIDSUMMER series (6)- A Nordic Superstitious Belief & The Danish Poet
Seven flowers? Future husband? These words are enough to make Scandinavian people think of Midsummer.
There is a Nordic superstitious belief that goes— If a girl picks seven different species of wild flowers and places them under her pillow for the night, the face or the name of her future husband will be revealed to her in a dream.(Info Source)
Today I bring you the animation masterpiece,“The Danish Poet”. The short is about the meeting of Kasper Jørgensen and his future bride. It doesn’t come as a surprise to me that this heartwarming masterpiece was created by someone who hails from Scandinavia where there is a lot of magic and delight attached to the revelation of one’s ‘future life partner’. The Danish poet’s creator – Torill Kove- has revealed in many interviews that the short was inspired by the meeting of her own parents, I still suspect that Kove must have done a lot of Midsummer flower picking herself in her youth…and a lot of dreaming of her ‘future spouse’. And perhaps, the whole theme of “Midsummer flower picking and future-spouse-dreaming” was running at the back of her mind while she was creating this timeless masterpiece.
The Danish Poet
The film follows Kasper Jørgensen, a Danish poet in the 1940s who is seeking inspiration. At the suggestion of his psychiatrist, Dr. Mørk, he travels to Norway to meet the famous author Sigrid Undset. However, after arriving in Norway, he meets Ingeborg, a farmer’s daughter, and they fall in love. He proposes to her, but discovers that she is already engaged, at her father’s wish. She promises not to cut her hair until they are reunited, and Kasper returns to Denmark.
Later, Ingeborg’s husband dies in an accident, and Ingeborg sends a letter to Kasper. However, it is accidentally dropped by the postman, and never arrives. When Sigrid Undset dies, both Kasper and Ingeborg travel to the funeral; they are reunited, and later marry and live in Copenhagen. As Kasper tells Ingeborg that he loves her long hair, she does not cut it, but when Kasper trips over it and breaks his thumb, she sends for her hairdresser from Norway. On the way, the hairdresser meets a young man on the train, who was also travelling to Copenhagen to meet Kasper, his favourite poet. The two fall in love, and are revealed to be the narrator’s parents.
|The Danish Poet
(Norwegian: Den danske dikteren)
a 2006 animated short film written, directed, and animated by Norwegian born Canadian film director and animator Torill Kove and narrated by Liv Ullmann. A co-production of the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) and Mikrofilm AS of Norway, it has won both the Academy Award and Genie Award for best animated short film.
Watch the trailer of The Danish Poet
More on the film’s main theme:
The film’s main theme shows the effect that coincidence and chance can have on the course of life — like the bad weather, angry dog, hungry goats, slippery planks, and careless postman that change the course of both Kasper’s and Ingeborg’s lives —and shows, as the film’s website states, that “seemingly unrelated factors might play important roles in the big scheme of things after all.” In an interview, Kove said that “what I’m trying to get across is just that I think life is really a kind of a meandering journey … a lot is really up to chance”.However, Kove has also said that she’d like people to be able to interpret the film in different ways:
I’d like them to walk away thinking it’s a film that can be interpreted in more than one way. I’m happy when I hear from people who’ve seen the short that it makes them think about the kind of strangeness where we find inspiration for art and where we find love, and the kind of miraculousness of just being alive and having a life. I’m pleased when people get that out of it.
She also identifies several subplots of artistic inspiration, as Kasper “finds [inspiration] within himself”, and not within another writer, and a “subtext … about nationalism and how much emphasis we in the western world put on stereotypes and on which country we’re from”.(Info Source)
Here’s what I think: Much as Kove says life is really a kind of a meandering journey and a lot is really up to chance, I believe that the bad weather, angry dog, hungry goats, slippery planks, and careless postman that changed the course of Kasper and Ingeborg’s lives did not appear by chance but were put there by the great force of nature to make their meeting happen. Whether we accept it sooner or later, there exist a greater force that directs the flow of the short film of our lives.