Making films to understand life better: that's the approach taken by Danish filmmaker Nils Malmros, born in 1994, who has over the last four decades created a highly personal, autobiographically informed oeuvre. Seeing Truffaut's "Jules et Jim" was a key experience in his life and brought the self-taught director (who is actually a trained doctor) to filmmaking. Since his first self-financed, no longer publicly screened debut in 1968, Malmros has shot ten feature-length films, which despite numerous international festival premieres have never become well known outside his home country. Taking his own experiences and those of the people close to him as a starting point, Malmros returns to the same themes again and again. Childhood and youth, discovering love, usually unrequited, for the first time, unsatisfied yearnings, jealously, the worries and hardships of growing up: a whole palette of emotions and behavioral modes are described by Malmros with unobtrusive sympathy. He repeatedly returns to motifs, actors, and people, with filmmaking also becoming an elemental part of life in his later works. Most of his films are set in his hometown of Århus, where he still lives to this day. His protagonists usually come from ordered, bourgeois-liberal backgrounds, the stories he tells are of the everyday and the unspectacular. His is a quiet, unflustered cinema, whose greatness and beauty unfolds with all the more force as a result, a feeling most tangible when all his films are seen as a whole. Malmos has never become part of any movement, with his individuality seeming like something fallen out of time, even as his work remains truly timeless. The lack of any degree of sensationalism is also in evidence in his most recent film SORROW AND JOY (2013), in which he deals with his life tragedy – the killing of his young daughter by his mentally ill wife – and, like in all his films, tells tenderly and quietly of the essence of love.
We are showing all ten feature-length films by Nils Malmros and are very happy to welcome him to Arsenal in person across four evenings.