Danish films are coming out in force this autumn, fighting for a share of the local audience. Barely a week goes by without a new local film premiering, giving US fare a run for its money as never before. Flickering Lights, the feature directing debut from talented screenwriter Anders Thomas Jensen, is in its fifth week at number one, keeping even The Grinch and Dinosaurs at bay.
The Grinch failed to shine in Denmark, as it had done in the US and UK, with Flickering Lights and local Christmas adventure Pyrus both notching up twice the admissions of the Jim Carrie kiddie flick (18,756 and 18,627 respectively).
With 216,266 admissions so far and a $1.44m (DKr12.2m) gross, Flickering Lights is on its way to become this year's chart topper. Only Danish animation Help! I'm a Fish is likely to stymie its rise to the top slot.
Flickering Lights features an all-star cast of Denmark's best acting talents, Soren Pilmark (The Kingdom), Ulrich Thomsen (The Celebration, The Weight Of Water), Mads Mikkelsen (Bleeder), Nikolaj Lie Kaas (The Idiots) and Sofie Grabol (Mifune), and is produced by Tivi Magnusson and Kim Magnusson's M&M Productions. It's the story of four petty thieves and best friends who flee town with a suitcase of money, but end up in an abandoned restaurant in the countryside, when their car breaks down.
Director Jensen, who has made a name for himself as co-writer of Mifune, The King Is Alive and Beyond, also wrote the local box office hit In China They Eat Dogs and won an Oscar as writer-director for best live action short in 1999. His flair for snappy dialogue and genrebending made local critics praise his debut, and called it "the crowdpleaser of the year, which completely renews the concept of Danish comedy," and "the talent sparkle in front and behind the camera".