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Friday, 1 March 2013

A Royal Affair (the film)


A splendid film, seen at the Film Society last night: A Royal Affair, directed by Nikolaj Arcel (2012).

My impression was that the film was based on Per Olov Enquist's historical novel "The Visit of the Royal Physician" (Harvill Press, 2002), but apparently not. See article in Expressen

See also Wikipedia entry (I don't know how far this is accurate, on the question of rights and copyright):

"Nikolaj Arcel and Rasmus Heisterberg started the writing process by reading the 1999 novel The Visit of the Royal Physician by Per Olov Enquist, which is based on the events surrounding Johann Friedrich Struensee's time at the Danish court. The exclusive film rights for the novel were already sold to a company which had been struggling for over a decade to make a large-scale adaptation in English, and did not want to sell the rights to Zentropa. Research continued and the film was eventually credited as based on Bodil Steensen-Leth's erotic novel Prinsesse af blodet, which tells the story from the perspective of the queen, Caroline Mathilde. The film's perspective and characterisation did still remain highly influenced by Enquist's version, in particular in the portrayal of Struensee as an idealistic promoter of freedom of speech, the romantic view of the royal court as an ironical charade and the role of the queen as a revolutionary partner-in-crime to Struensee. To avoid conflicts about rights, Enquist was contacted to clarify some instances of what he had made up and what was based on documented events, and a person was employed specifically to compare the screenplay and the novel to guarantee that they were dissimilar enough.

The film was produced by Zentropa and is a co-production among Denmark, Sweden and the Czech Republic. It had a budget of 46 million Danish kroner. Before settling on the final title, the film had the production titles Dronningen og livlægen ("The queen and the royal physician") and Caroline Mathildes år ("Caroline Mathilde's years")".

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