When The Curse of Poverty set Norwegian films rolling
by Jorn Rossing Jensen
22/11/2011 - Acknowledged as Norway’s first art film, released on October 6, 1911 at Oslo’s Kosmorama, Halfdan Nobel Roede’s short The Curse of Poverty (pictured), starring Signe Danning, Hans Hedemark and Pehr Qværnstrøm is long lost, so the exact plot of Victor Mogens’ screenplay for the ”mini-drama in three acts about outcasts of fortune” is not known.
The film was on the repertoire for 12 days and was later that year followed by Qværnstrøm’s Confidence Tricks in Vaterland, Jens Christian Gundersen’s The Demon and Roede’s Under the Law of Change (aka The Thicker the Better) – none of these were feature-length, and only the latter has been saved.
The Norwegian Film Institute will celebrate the 100th anniversary with an exhibition depicting the Norwegian cinema tradition through films, stills, props, sets (such as the whole interior from Bent Hamer’s Kitchen Stories) at Oslo’s Film House, which will be opened by Culture Minister Anniken Huitfeldt on December 1.
While checking out housewife comedies from the 1950s, sabotage bombs from Joachim Rønning-Espen Sandberg’s Max Manus [trailer], and the Skoddeheimen road sign from Jannicke Systad Jacobsen’s Turn Me On, Goddammit! [trailer], visitors are also invited to participate in the celebration of a successful year for local films.
Between January 1-June 30, 2011, the growth of the theatrical market in Norway was bigger than in any other European country, according to Norwegian cinema association Film & Kino. As of October 1, total admissions reached 1.9 million with a 21.9% share for domestic features, up from 1.7 million and 18.3% on the record year of 2009.
This week boasts three local films on the Top Ten charts: No 2 Magic Silver 2 by Arne Lindtner Næss, Norway’s first live-action film in 3D (80,000 admissions after 1 week), No 4 Fallen Angels – At Night All Wolves Are Grey, by Alexander Eik (82,000/3 weeks), No 8 Twigson in Trouble by Arild Østin Ommundsen (309,000/9 weeks).