Gabriel Axel, RIP

by on February 13, 2014 at 12:34 am in Film, Food and Drink, Philosophy | Permalink

He was the director of Babette’s Feast and he just passed away at age 95.  What stuck with me most from that movie, and what is one of my favorite sentences ever, Axel himself cited upon receiving an Oscar:

Mr. Axel was a week shy of his 70th birthday when he took the podium in Los Angeles in April 1988 to accept the award. After saying his thank-yous, he quoted a line from his film: “Because of this evening, I have learned, my dear, that in this beautiful world of ours, all things are possible.”

The obituary is here.

Therapsid February 13, 2014 at 1:03 am

What’s so great about that quote?

Does the pregnant pause and the “my dear” make it profound rather than childishly inane?

Todd February 13, 2014 at 8:31 am

well, you kind of have to see the movie.

anon February 13, 2014 at 10:31 pm

“We are perishing for want of wonder, not for want of wonders.” G.K. Chesterton

carsten valgreen February 13, 2014 at 4:27 am

The Story was written by Karen Blixen

Rahul February 13, 2014 at 4:54 am

Why do Danes make such great movies? It’s a small country. Most similar small countries don’t seem to make half as many good movies as the Danes.

Andreas Baumann February 13, 2014 at 9:38 am

Heavy government investment in movie making. Also, there’s a lot of path dependence; once you have a Gabriel Axel or a Lars von Trier, it keeps rolling…

Rahul February 13, 2014 at 10:13 am

Ha. What say, our blog’s resident government haters? :)

carsten valgreen February 13, 2014 at 11:16 am

Danes are simply superior human beings…

Sean P. February 13, 2014 at 1:28 pm

Another thing that helps is that Europeans who want to produce dumb action movies tend to move to Hollywood rather than staying home. Germany doesn’t get blamed for Uwe Boll’s stinkers, for example.

Rahul February 13, 2014 at 2:04 pm

Per capita I think Danes produce far better movies than Germans.

Andreas Baumann February 13, 2014 at 5:33 pm

Actually, I think the Germans have had a strong showing the last couple of years. Das Weisse Band is one of my favourite films, ever (I know Haneke is Austrian, but his films are very German). How it failed to win the Oscar for best foreign film is beyond me.

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