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‘Dogma’ Film Shown at Berlin Fest

February 9, 2001

BERLIN (AP) _ Danish director Lone Scherfig brought the latest movie to emerge from the minimalist Dogma school to the Berlin film festival Friday.

``Italian for Beginners,″ based on Scherfig’s own screenplay, follows three men and three women who meet at a language class in a provincial Danish town.

The group _ which Scherfig describes as ``slightly aloof singles who gradually discover that they can find happiness″ _ find the language less and less important as the film follows them through a study trip to Italy.

In 1995, four Danish directors _ among them Lars Von Trier, director of ``Dancer in the Dark,″ which took the best film prize at Cannes last year _ created the so-called Dogma 95 guidelines, pledging to respect certain minimalist production techniques: hand-held cameras, no props, lighting or special effects.

``Italian for Beginners″ is the fifth film to be made according to those rules.

Scherfig said she understands the manifesto as ``the vow to search for a truth, to follow the eye and to avoid cliches as far as possible.″

The Berlinale, as the Berlin International Film Festival is better known, opened Wednesday and runs through Feb. 18.

Also showing in competition Friday: Mike Nichols’ ``Wit,″ starring Emma Thompson.


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