Scandinavia; Holland

topic posted Mon, November 3, 2003 - 12:20 AM by  Austin
(Other than the fact that Scandinavia and Holland are near each other in Northern Europe) what are the connections between Scandinavian cinema and Dutch cinema which moved you to associate them into a single tribe?
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  • Re: Scandinavia; Holland

    Mon, November 3, 2003 - 10:43 AM
    Strictly speaking, Scandinavia is made up of Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Iceland because they have the same Nordic language base. Some people include Finland because it is right next to Norway and Sweden and is culturally similar to some extent. The Finnish language, however, is dirivative of Hungarian (and other slavic languages). Whereas Swedes, Norwegians and Danes can basically understand eachother when speaking and in the written word, Finns are left out.

    Some people also include the Netherlands in Scandinavia, but like Finland, the language base is diffirent (though the culture is similar to that of its scandinavian neighbors).

    All that doesn't matter, though. I think we should include Finland because Scandinavia is such a small place - there are only 4 million Norwegians and only 280,798 Icelanders ( My philosophy is the more the merrier! That's also why I included Dutch film. "Antonia's Line" is Dutch and one of my favorite movies of all time.

    Sorry, I'm going off on a tangent... But, I hope that answers your question(s).
    • Re: Scandinavia; Holland

      Mon, November 3, 2003 - 11:01 AM
      Aha. Part of the pleasure of this discourse is in making distinctions, is it not? so these things are central, not tangental.

      The Finns I have known (while not minimizing the peculiarity of their non-Indo-European Finno-Ugaritic heritage) have identified themselves as Scandinavian, and it has seemed resonable to me, as an American, that a contemporary culture makes itself as its members make common response to common climate and geography and politics (in the case of the Finns, sharing the same piece of land, the same climatological challenges, the same trading routes, and the same encroachments by an imperial neighbor [i. e., Russia|USSR] with their peninsular neighbors). Propinquity trumps history?
    • Re: Scandinavia; Holland

      Mon, November 3, 2003 - 11:58 AM
      What is it that you specially like about ANTONIA'S LINE?
      • Re: Scandinavia; Holland

        Mon, November 3, 2003 - 12:30 PM
        ANTONIA'S LINE is almost Biblical in its scope, but is entirely feminine in its perspective. Antonia is the central character and the matriarch of a large Dutch farm. All the action and all the characters depend on her strength and reverence for life and growth. (The fact that she is a farmer is no coincidence.) She sees everyone through love, loss, death, rape/incest, and the harsh realities of existence. (Similar to Abraham or Isaac, no?) But, this is a modern tale which takes place post WWII. So, Antonia's natural foil is a Nietzsche-quoting philosopher who finds life unbearable and crushing....

        In short, it's a complex movie, and masterful storytelling...
    • Re: Scandinavia; Holland

      Fri, February 20, 2004 - 11:12 AM
      The Dutch most definitely don't see themselves as part of Scandinavia. I feel it's fair to say that there's a social gradient in the Netherlands ranging from a similarity to Scandinavian society in the North, to a similarity to Belgian society (which basically is French) in the south. The west of the Netherlands rather neutral.

      From a political perpective, Greenland should be counted as part of Scandinavia too, as it's Danish territory. Flying from Kopenhagen to Jakobshavn, for example, is a domestic flight. The main language on Greenland is Danish, followed by Inuit.

      • Re: Scandinavia; Holland

        Fri, February 20, 2004 - 11:27 AM
        Okay, add Greenland to the list. Shall we also add Belgium? Sounds good to me.

        (Btw, I know the Dutch don't see themselves as Scandinavian. I added them to the tribe because there is relatively little cinema that comes from this part of the world which reaches the U.S. I thought it would be nice to have a central place to talk about Northern European film without having to include the darn Germans. Moreover, there are common Northern European, protestant-existential, themes which connects the film of these countries.)

        • Re: Scandinavia; Holland

          Fri, February 20, 2004 - 12:07 PM
          I agree wholeheartedly. I wouldn't add Belgium, though... the people in Flanders definitely don't regard themslves as French, but socially they definitely behave French and although Flemish is almost identical to Dutch, it's very much like Dutch with a French grammar and idiom :-) And yes, by all means, let's not include those darn Germans!

          (I would consider including the Belgians if that would get their cheese here ~grin~)
    • Re: Scandinavia; Holland

      Fri, March 26, 2004 - 11:24 PM
      I've never been there (though it's on a list of mine somewhere), but I know that Swedish is a national language in Finland, as well as Finnish, so a fair amount Finns may be able to understand the other Scandinavian languages fairly well.

      So, with Finland in there, I'd also say that I've been impressed lately with the Kaurismaki brothers' films from Finland. "The Man Without a Past" is definitely worth a look.
    • Re: Scandinavia; Holland

      Mon, May 3, 2004 - 2:34 PM
      not to drag this out, but what about Iceland? (Kormakur, who's from iceland, has a couple brilliant films out (imho)... The Sea, and 101 Reykjavik.
      • Re: Scandinavia; Holland

        Mon, May 3, 2004 - 2:38 PM
        Oh, Iceland has long since been included under "Scandinavia."
        • Re: Scandinavia; Holland

          Tue, May 4, 2004 - 6:00 PM
          there we go then, cool.

          i love the place. norway,sweden. rugged and mystical. unlike the people (which is a good thing).
          • Unsu...

            Re: Scandinavia; Holland

            Fri, November 5, 2004 - 3:54 AM
            From the Finnish point of view Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Iceland are Scandinavian countries. That's not geographically correct but that's how it's seen here.

            Sweden occupied Finland for around 500 years and then Russia for a couple of hundred years. Swedish is the official second language of Finland but in reality Finns speak better English than Swedish.

            Finnish culture in cinema and literature for example is in many ways nearer Slavic melancholy than Swedish, kind of more positive attitude to life.


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