What do Georg Jensen, Bang and Olufsen, and Lego have in common? They’re all products of Denmark that have great design and have gone on to be household names around the world. The Danes have created a signature style of functionality in their designs and architecture, which date back to the mid-20th century. The upcoming Danish Film Festival, co-presented with the Royal Danish Embassy with the support of the Danish Film Institute on Mar 16-18 at The Projector, will give you a glimpse at the best in Scandinavian furniture craftsmanship, the contemporary installations of artist Olafur Eliasson and more art and design-focused films. Here’s what you can expect throughout the weekend.
Big Time (8pm, Mar 16)
Opening the festival is a documentary that focuses on Danish starchitect Bjarke Ingels over six years while he’s in the midst of struggling to finish two of his largest projects, the New York skyscraper W57 and World Trade Center 2, which is just one of skyscrapers replacing the twin towers. You’ll also get to see how his innovative mind works while he tries to stay sane and make the world that much better to live in; all at the same time. He’s been listed on Time’s 100 Most Influential People in 2016 and is lauded as “one of the design world’s biggest stars” by The Wall Street Journal.
Borge Mogensen: Designs For Life (5pm, Mar 17)
The celebrated and illustrious Danish furniture designer passed away from a brain tumor when he was 58 in 1972, leaving behind a wife, two sons and a big number of internationally recognized designs that made him one of the most important designers responsible for revolutionizing and bringing “Danish Modern” to the world. Even today, in his death, he continues to inspire and is often recalled by many when it comes to Scandinavian aesthetics. As one of his sons perfectly puts the sheer insanity of it all, “He wanted to make the chair to end all chairs. And he wanted to design the perfect closet, which he did. He spent an enormous amount of time designing these closets, a process that gave him the peace of mind he couldn’t provide for himself.”
Bugs (8pm, Mar 17)
It has been estimated that the global population will increase to 9 billion people by 2050, which means that food production has to go up by 70%. If you’ve got a finger on hot topics around the world, you probably know that the United Nations (UN) has recommended edible insects as an alternative resource to fixing the problems of global food security, which is what this film is all about. Andreas Johnsen, the director of Bugs, goes on a journey to follow a team of chefs and researchers around the world as they explore food cultures and systems to learn more about insects as a sustainable delicacy from people who already have them in their diets. Expect a lot of foraging, farming, cooking and, of course, eating of insects.
How Are You (3pm, Mar 18)
Remember that Prada store that was erected in the middle of nowhere in Texas, and was broken into and heavily vandalized numerous times? Yeah, that “pop architectural land art project” is the work of two internationally acclaimed artists, Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset. This film will take you back to the time they first set eyes on each other, and subsequently chronicle their career all the way to the grand opening of their two Pavilions at the Venice Biennale in 2009. Their work often treads on the subversive, addressing issues of identity, sexuality, welfare and democracy that will leave you confronting yourself.
Olafur Eliasson: Space is Process (5pm, Mar 18)
Icelandic-Danish artist Olafur Eliasson has made a name for himself by using elemental materials like light, water and air temperature to enhance the experience of viewing his sculptures and large-scale installations. This biopic was shot between 2004-2009 and follows Eliasson from the four walls of his Berlin studio to Iceland and New York, as he traverses his fascination with human perception and his mission to create art by changing the spaces people are familiar with, ergo changing their mindsets.