Sweden, 1987, 110 min.

director.gif (905 bytes)Kjell Grede


Stellan Skarsgård -Soren Krøyer
Lene Brøndum - Lille
Pia Verth - Marie Kroyer
Helge Jordal - Christian Krohg

Morten Grunwald - Michael Ancher
Ulla Henningsen - Anna Ancher

Karen-Lise Mynster - Martha Johansen
Jesper Christensen - Viggo Johansen
Stefan Sauk - Hugo Alfvén
Lene Tiemroth - Elsie


September 4, 1987 in Sweden
 September 18, 1987 in Denmark


A group of talented and famous Scandinavian painters gather at Skagen, Denmark's remote, northernmost cape, at the end of the 19th century. Offering light and freedom, thundering seas and a brilliant sun, the artists come to Skagen with an unquenchable lust for life. Peter Severin Krøyer known as "Soren", the most famous and beloved of the painters, is their natural leader, and his Mozart-like brilliance inspires them to create their best work. His wife Marie is considered the most beautiful woman in Denmark. But Soren has a dark secret in his past - his mother suffered from mental illness, and he knows it's only a matter of time before he succumbs to madness as well.

button_box.gif (205 bytes)ACCOLADES:
  • Grand Special Jury Prize and Golden Osella for Best Cinematography  - Venice Film Festival
  • Young Audience Award - Rouen Nordic Film Festival
  • European Film Awards - Nominee: Best Supporting Actress
  • Guldbagge for Best Director and Best Actress [Lene Brøndum]

button_box.gif (205 bytes)PRODUCTION NOTES:

Filmed in Skagen, Jutland, Denmark. In Danish with English subtitles.

Director Kjell Grede believed Stellan to be an obvious choice to play Krøyer though he had no physical resemblance to the artist. He admitted he only wanted to make this film with him. Krøyer was very psychologically complex and Grede knew that Stellan had this fantastic expression for melancholy and solitude. Plus he knew the actor was remarkably good natured and easy to work with. Because the film was shot in chronological order, Stellan had a challenge to immediately create this very lilting, merry atmosphere that characterized the story's beginning. Krøyer's personality stretched from jubilation to madness so it was a complex role. At first he felt the pressure of carrying this disturbing film on his shoulders but then, as usual, it became a fun experience for him.

Read the Vecko Revyn 8/19/86 article on the making of this film.

button_box.gif (205 bytes)IMAGES

button_box.gif (205 bytes)POSTERS

button_box.gif (205 bytes)REVIEWS

NY Daily News:
"Skarsgård is a Scandinavian heartthrob."

"Skarsgård may be the hottest Swedish import since Garbo!"

All Movie Guide:
This plodding, depressing drama concerns the 19th-century painters who were collectively known as the Skaw (or Skagen) Colony. The group rejected the Impressionist style of painting, opting for the realism of natural light and using the lives of the poor fishing villagers as their inspiration.

World Films:
Stellan Skarsgard (Breaking the Waves) plays the artist Soren Krøyer, leader of the Skagen group of painters in 19th century Denmark. His brilliant talent cannot prevent mental illness from taking its toll on his life and work. This well-acted feature from the director of Good Evening, Mr. Wallenberg won the Special Jury Prize at the Venice Film Festival.

Apollo Guide:
"For many American audiences, non-English language films are a challenge. And when the language barrier is added to by European artiness, it can be too much for too many otherwise keen movie lovers. Often these films speak in abstracts, have overly drawn out silences and little to no discernable plot. The 1987 Swedish film Hip Hip Hurra! – starring Stellan Skarsgård, who has since made an impression in American films – proves to be no exception."

"Hip Hip Hurra! is a period piece set in a Scandinavian artists’ colony in the 1890s. The movie spans quite a number of years in the lives of the artists. Here the people seem to eat, breathe and sleep art and worship those who create it. The artists, however, appear to be overwhelmed by what they do and the pressure that they have to perform."

"The story revolves around artist Soren Krøyer (Skarsgård) and his quest for an eternal state of happiness. When Krøyer “fails” in his painting of Lille, an organist in town, he flees and marries Marie, a beautiful Danish girl. It is implied that Krøyer is in love with Lille and in denial of his love, and this is why he could not bring himself to draw her. Lille meanwhile is devastated that Krøyer  will not admit to having feelings for her. Krøyer’s journey toward self- fulfillment only makes him feel more tormented and ultimately alienates him from the ones he cares about."

"This is a film where reading between the lines is essential to understanding the plot, but for me – and I suspect many other viewers – the lines keep getting blurry and the film becomes directionless. It is extremely difficult to get a sense of narrative flow, as you can’t tell where the movie is going to go or what it is trying to say. Too often, it seems that the answers are left buried in the words that are not said. This can be an effective device when the film has a strong narrative flow, as we know what’s going on, but are simply left wanting more. This, unfortunately, is not the case with Hip Hip Hurra!, which is just frustratingly dense."

Video Business:
This 1987 Danish production is a terrific showcase for Skarsgård, a talented actor once tagged the hottest Swedish import since Garbo. He plays Krøyer as a singularly talented, benevolent artist sublimely appreciative of nature's beauty and a tragically frustrated husband whose latent insanity plunges him into a bottomless pit of despair. Writer/director Grede celebrates the artists' colony at Skagen, making it an idyllic retreat where painters of varying talent are uniformly inspired to produce their best work. Scandinavian somberness rules the day, however, from Grede's harrowing depiction of Krøyer's mental deterioration to his use of dark, shadowy lighting. The film will be sufficiently deep for regular arthouse patrons, but others will find it slow going."

Hedmark Reviews: 
visually appealing portrait of the Skagen Painters, a late 19th-century commune of artists inspired by the Impressionists who gathered in the Danish village of Skagen. Focus lies on Søren Krøyer (Stellan Skarsgård) who’s struggling with mental illness – our impressions of the landscape and people surrounding him go through his feverish eyes, and the filmmakers deliver a feast close to the original works by these artists."