Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The Kingdom - Series Two|
Actors: Udo Kier, Ernst-Hugo Järegård, Kirsten Rolffes, Peter Mygind, Holger Juul Hansen
Director: Lars von Trier
Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy, Drama, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Television, Mystery & Suspense
Acclaimed director Lars von Trier (Dogville, The Five Obstructions) presents Series Two of his supernatural thriller set inside Denmark?s most esteemed but cursed medical institution. Malicious forces are once again at wor... more »
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At last! Highly recommended to all fans of the first part!
Steward Willons | Illinois | 02/04/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Finally! Lars Von Trier's "The Kingdom Part Two" gets a domestic release! This is joyous news for all those Kingdom fans out there. No more terrible dubbed-from-a-Chinese-DVD VHS tapes. It's not a massive, feature-laden release, but at least we get to see the conclusion of the series. The previous reviewer is incorrect in stating that this is not the end of the series. It is my understanding that "The Kingdom" project has been abandoned for many reasons, not the least of which involves the death of one or two main characters. Although Von Trier repeatedly mentions a "Kingdom Part Three" in "Trier on Von Trier", I think he's basically lost interest in the story.
This series, much like Twin Peaks, does not end with a complete wrap-up of every story arc. And, without giving anything away, you'll probably be disappointed with the ending. Clearly, there should be a third part to the series, but I doubt it will ever get made.
The lack of a satisfying ending should not in any way hinder your enjoyment of part two. Where the first two episodes of part one were fairly deliberately paced, now by part two, all sorts of interesting stories are in place and each episode is incredibly engaging.
Most Von Trier fans already know about his Dogma 95 movement and the "vow of chastity" involved, but for those who don't, it's an important issue when approaching his work. The vow of chastity involves many technical features that seek to separate the movement's art film from mass Hollywood productions. Cameras are handheld, there is no artificial light, no non-diegetic music (save for the credits), all actors do their own wardrobe and makeup . . . you get the idea.
That is all to say, video quality isn't outstanding. It looks like what you would expect from handheld cameras using available light. The DVD looks about as good as one could expect. Since my previous experience was with a poorly dubbed Chinese DVD-to-VHS, the improvement is drastic. If you've seen the part one DVD, you know what to expect. I'm happy to report that there aren't any technical glitches like there were on disc two of part one. Everything looks fine.
If you enjoyed the first part, you *must* see the second. It's phenomenal. The pace is fast, the characters are weird, the situations are even more bizarre than the first part. It's an experience. Don't waste your time with the adulterated American version - see the original and enjoy!"
Twisted and Fun! ... and a little sick...
Ms. Patricia J. Adams | California | 01/25/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I just finished both Series 1 and Series 2 of The Kingdom or RIGET in Danish, or was it Swedish? I am now nursing the huge headache I've obtained from battling to read the sub-titles and trying to watch at the same time... very difficult at times. This series, if you do not know already, is the series which inspired the Stephen King U.S. version from a couple of years ago called Kingdom Hospital. And much of the story is the same, with mostly the same characters. However, do not expect the same character to behave the same way in both versions. There are enough variations in the plot to make each shine on its own. A few additional notes of warning... this series 2 is NOT the conclusion of the story, even though this is the claim on the packaging. Also, this version, as one might expect, being from europe, is more risque' than american viewers are used to. I've seen more sex and gore in motion pictures, but not very much more. Additionally, there are some serious visual and scripted references to demons and satanism present in the european version. I would suggest that the viewer arm themselves for a psychic nightmare/roller coaster ride should you decide to purchase this series. If these elements frighten you too much, perhaps you should stick to the american version, Kingdom Hospital."
Second and Final Season... Heady Mix of Comedy, Soap and Hor
dooby | 02/16/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is the second and final season of Lars von Trier's Riget (Kingdom). As we learn from the commentary and featurette, the third and concluding season was never filmed because Danmarks Radio which commissioned the first two, lost all interest in it. A major impediment was the fact that 4 of the main stars had died in the interim. Most notably the charismatic Ernst-Hugo Järegård who played Prof. Stig Helmer the dyspeptic and bigoted Swedish neurosurgeon. Kirsten Rolffes who played Mrs Drusse, the endearing hypochondriac and spirit-medium had also died by then. Morton Leffers the male half of the Dishwasher duo had also passed away. The Dishwashers were the pair with Down's Syndrome who acted as a kind of Scandinavian Greek Chorus intoning cryptic revelations and other surreal comments along the way. Ironically, the actor who played Death in Series 2 also died. As Lars von Trier quipped in the commentary, the quickest way to the crematorium was through Riget.
Series 2 takes place immediately after the events of Series 1. However it was shot some 3 years later. The children especially look much older - notably Mona the brain-damaged girl and Mary the ghost-child. Series 2 is zanier, weirder. Playing more towards comedy than horror. Nevertheless it's still very entertaining. Von Trier claims that even the Danish Royal Family were fans. In Series 1, Helmer the Swede, constantly went up on the rooftop to gaze longingly at his beloved Sweden, proudly and reverentially listing all of Sweden's wonderful achievements, "Tetra-pak, Volvo, Hepstars, Bjorn Borg," before looking around him in utter disgust at the backwater in which he has landed and screaming in exasperation "Dansk Jävlar" (Danish Scum). In Series 2 he adopts a new practise of screaming his ever increasing vitriol into a toilet bowl before flushing it down the sewer. The Swedish-Danish animosity is hilarious and can be easily appreciated even by non-Scandinavians.
Be warned. The series does not tie up its loose ends. It was meant to continue into a third season so it actually ends in a sort of cliffhanger - one which we unfortunately will never see resolved. Thankfully the main "Little Brother" storyline is brought to a conclusion.
The series is again shot on 16mm film. It is grainy but less so than previously. Post-production was done digitally. It is presented in roughly 1.33:1 fullscreen. The picture quality is better all round than on the previous DVD. Thankfully, no DVD defects this time round. It is shot in the same dogme style as previously, hand held, jerky, with natural lighting. Everything is sepia tinted with a warm golden tone. There are more special effects with more ghostly apparitions than before.
The DVD comes with a 40-minute interview with Lars von Trier where he discusses his various works for TV and Cinema including The Kingdom miniseries and of course his Cannes Film Festival triumph "Breaking the Waves". Well worth the price. Not quite like anything else on TV. Just be aware that there will be no neat conclusion. For those who need to have everything nicely wrapped up, get Stephen King's "Kingdom Hospital". King was so impressed with von Trier's miniseries that he wrote his own American version, set of course in his native Maine. Apparently King had access to sketches of von Trier's third season. Unfortunately King's version doesn't quite come up to the calibre of the original, especially in terms of its macabre humour.
PS. Don't miss the accompanying Music Video (The Shiver). It's hilarious. Lars von Trier performs what can best be described as a "spastic" dance with several cute Danish nurses."