(London Film Festival, BFI Southbank, Belvedere Rd, Bishop's, London SE1 8XT, United Kingdom, Available soon on BFI Player, Wednesday 14 October 2020, 18:30 – 19:00 BST)
There's a theory that we should be born with a small amount of alcohol in our blood, and that modest inebriation opens our minds to the world around us, diminishing our problems and increasing our creativity. Heartened by that theory, Martin (Mads Mikkelsen) and three of his friends, Tommy (Thomas Bo Larsen), Peter (Lars Ranthe) and Nikolaj (Magnus Milang), all weary high school teachers, embark on an experiment to maintain a constant level of intoxication throughout the workday. If Churchill won 'WW2' in a heavy daze of alcohol, who knows what a few drops might do for them and their students? Initial results are positive, and the teachers little project turns into a genuine academic study. Both their classes and their results continue to improve, and the group feels alive again! As the units are knocked back, some of the participants see further improvement and others go off the rails. It becomes increasingly clear that while alcohol may have fueled great results in world history, some bold acts carry consequences.
In this story, we meet four good men a little late in their lives. We meet them in a world we know; a boring and mediocre one, which sees them locked in monotony and entrenched in patterns and habits, trapping them in middle ground. At the same time, death is moving closer. They've passed the half-way point in their expected lifetime. The freedom of youth and weightlessness have gradually become distant memories. They rediscover all of it and much more by taking part in an experiment entailing a systematic intake of alcohol. Initially, in connection with their jobs as high school teachers. 'I do not drink before breakfast'? The quote is from Churchill, who helped to defeat 'The Germans' and win 'World War II', while under the excessive and constant influence of alcohol. Other great thinkers, artists and writers, such as; Tchaikovsky and Hemmingway have found courage and inspiration that way. After the first mouthfuls of alcohol, we all know the feeling of the conversation growing, the room getting bigger and the problems getting smaller. With this movie, we want to examine and salute alcohol’s ability to set people free.
"Another Round" is inspired by 'The Norwegian' psychologist Finn Skårderud’s theories that man is born with a 0.5 blood alcohol level shortfall. The film creates a tribute to alcohol but it goes without saying we also want to paint a nuanced picture. Embedded in our examination of the essence of alcohol lies an acknowledgement that people die from, and are destroyed by excessive drinking. An existence with alcohol generates life, but it also kills. The movie is imagined to be rooted in the real world, in completely naked, blunt and at times improvised intimacy, like in “A War” by Tobias Lindholm, “The Celebration” by the undersigned and “Husbands” by Cassavetes. The moments play out, letting the camera observe and not dictate. The movie assumes a humoristic and, in some eyes, scandalous approach to a serious topic. "Another Round" is intended to be a multi-faceted story that at the same time provokes and entertains, makes us think, cry and laugh within the length of the movie. And hopefully leaves food for thought and debate for an audience who lives in a world which, to an increasing degree, is defined by puritanical rhetoric outwardly, but has a rather high alcohol intake even from a relatively young age. "Another Round" is imagined as a tribute to life. As a reclaiming of the irrational wisdom that casts off all anxious common sense and looks down into the very delight of lust for life; although often with deadly consequences. It's a fun, moving, life-affirming and thought-provoking drama about friendship, freedom, love, and alcohol.