Netflix announced today Ehrengard: The Art of Seduction, a new film from Denmark starring Sidse Babett Knudsen and Mikkel Boe Følsgaard.
Based on the story Ehrengard by famed Danish author Karen Blixen (Out of Africa), who published the novel under the pen name of Isak Dinesen, Ehrengard: The Art of Seduction is a new humorous Danish period drama that stars Sidse Babett Knudsen (Borgen, 1864) and Mikkel Boe Følsgaard (The Chestnut Man, The Rain) in the lead roles.
The cast also includes Alice Esther Bier Zandén (The Night Manager), Emilie Koppel (Unruly), Sara-Marie Maltha (The Killing), Jacob Lohmann (When the Dust Settles), and Emil Aron Dorph (A Matter of Trust).
Set in the fairy tale kingdom of Babenhausen, Ehrengard: The Art of Seduction sees the scheming Grand Duchess (Sidse Barbett Knudsen) hire Mr. Cazotte (Mikkel Boe Følsgaard), a young, self-appointed expert on love, to help her secure an heir. While searching for a suitable future Princess, Mr. Cazotte teaches the timid and introverted Crown Prince Lothar (Emil Aron Dorph) the art of seduction and lovemaking. But their plan soon backfires, when an heir is conceived out of wedlock and the royal family has to seek refuge in the castle of Rosenbad. Here, as rivals within the royal family close in on their scheme, Cazotte himself falls in love with Ehrengard (Alice Esther Bier Zandén), the maid of honor, and gradually learns that, in fact, he’s no expert on love at all.
Directed by Academy Award®, Golden Globe, and two-time Palme d’Or winner Bille August (Pelle the Conqueror, The Best Intentions), Ehrengard: The Art of Seduction will feature set design and costumes by Queen Margrethe II, who is an honorary member of the Association of Danish Scenographers for her many years of work as a set designer in Danish film, television, and theater.
Said Sidse Babett Knudsen:
“It took me about eight seconds to say yes to Ehrengard: The Art of Seduction after reading the script and hearing who was involved. I love Karen Blixen’s writing, and in addition to her engaging way of writing, I always felt she had a cheeky, dry and not least great sense of humor, in the way she portrays characters, and exposes their less sympathetic qualities. It was a very joyful project, an adventure. And then it was a dream to work with Mikkel Boe Følsgaard, Bille August, and the Queen.”
Mikkel Boe Følsgaard commented:
“When Bille, Blixen and Babett ask if you want to play, you know it will be fun! And when the Queen then plays along, it’s even more adventurous – and that’s exactly what Ehrengard: The Art of Seduction is: A humorous and absurd adventure. I didn’t know Blixen’s short story “Ehrengard” – but reading it, I fell head over heels for it. You feel Blixen’s quirky and satirical tone throughout, and spiced with the magical visual universe that Bille and Her Majesty have created in the film, the story elevates itself to a playful and colorful kingdom that has not been seen before.”
Director Bille August stated:
“Ehrengard being realized as a Netflix film is a grand opportunity – and I’m really looking forward to introducing this fascinating story of seduction and desire to a global audience. The Queen has created the most fantastic decoupages for the occasion, and they will be the dominant feature of the film’s overall scenographic expression. ‘Fantastic’ (in the most literal sense) is our starting point for the film; we wish to use humor and elegance to create a devil-may-care, burlesque, fabulous and autonomous visual universe.”
And Queen Margrethe II remarked:
“Karen Blixen’s stories have always fascinated me, with their aesthetic tales, their imagination and their, to me, image-creating worlds – and I’m very happy to be part of this project. You can feel that the author was a visual artist just like H.C. Andersen. But who is Ehrengard? One of Karen Blixen’s intriguing female characters and one of the few whose story ends happily. The intrigues weave themselves in and out of each other and Blixen spins her spin around the characters until we (and they) are completely nonplussed. How will the riddle be solved? I have tried to interpret Blixen’s fantastic universe in the creation of the découpages and costumes and I’m looking forward to seeing the tale of Ehrengard come to life in this film.”
Written by head writer Anders August (A Fortunate Man, Follow the Money), the film is produced by Marcella Dichmann for SF Studios (Loving Adults, The Exception), co-produced by Jacob Jørgensen for JJ Film, and executive produced by Lars Bjørn Hansen and Tim King for SF Studios.
Ehrengard: The Art of Seduction will launch globally on Netflix in 2023 (date tba). You can set a reminder for it now at www.netflix.com/ehrengard.
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