Throughout the 20th century there has been a strong tradition for making Denmark films to promote Danish culture to the world, a tradition continued in the 21st century. The most well-known and discussed Denmark film is Poul Henningsen’s ‘Danmark (Denmark)’ from 1935. The first Denmark film was made back in 1917, and the latest is Max Kestner’s ‘Verden i Danmark (The world in Denmark)’ from 2007.
The objective of my paper is to analyze the Danish band Nephew’s video project VideoVideo as a new way to make a Denmark film. What makes the VideoVideo project interesting is how it both continues and renews the tradition of Denmark films. Even though VideoVideo is not officially released or branded as a Denmark film it draws on this tradition.
VideoVideo is the visual side of Nephew’s album DanmarkDenmark. The twelve songs on the album describe and criticize Danish society, to a higher or lesser extent, with the track ‘Danmark (Man Dark)’ as the most obvious political commentary. When you buy the CD DanmarkDenmark it comes with a DVD called VideoVideo where every track on the CD has been interpreted in a video by a young Danish artist. The artists that have created the videos have had full artistic license to interpret the songs, and the videos are not what you would call traditional music videos: the band doesn’t feature in all the videos and the tempo is significantly slower than in most music videos. The twelve videos are very different in their expression and style but what connects them is that they all except for one take place in Denmark and that they all in one way or the other treat important aspect in contemporary Danish society: from substance abuse amongst teens, to women’s rights, the war in Afghanistan and Danish Identity. Like the songs on the album, some of the videos are more direct commentaries on Danish society than others.
In my analysis of VideoVideo I will look at three specific videos and analyze how they comment on Danish society and how they have chosen to relate to the Nephew song they interpret. I will then broaden my view and draw perspectives to the whole project and what it expresses about Danish contemporary society. Last I will look at how the project positions itself in the tradition of the Denmark film.
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