Picks and Pans Review: Mifune

UPDATED 03/06/2000 at 01:00 AM EST Originally published 03/06/2000 at 01:00 AM EST

Anders W. Berthelsen, Jesper Asholt, Iben Hjejle

In the same way that some politicians are calling for the Ten Commandments to be displayed in classrooms, film schools might think about posting the 10 Vows of Chastity proposed by Dogma 95, the collective name for a group of Danish directors looking to shake up their profession. Their vows man-date that all shooting must be done on location (no studio soundstages) using only natural lighting, handheld cameras and props found on-site. Special effects are forbidden, as is dubbed-in sound or music.

Surprisingly, these rules can actually free filmmakers. Take Mifune, the third movie (after The Celebration and The Idiots) to emerge under the Dogma 95 banner. A darkly amusing comedy about a Copenhagen yuppie (Berthelsen) who returns to his family's rural farm to take care of his slow-witted brother (Asholt) and falls in love with a hooker turned housekeeper (Hjejle), the movie has an edgy, freewheeling feel. There's a spontaneity that might be missing if scenes were perfectly lit or if director Søren Kragh-Jacobsen had spent more time concentrating on fancy camera movements rather than on what his actors were doing. (R)

Bottom Line: Tasty Danish

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