Provocative Danish filmmaker Lars von Trier became a house-hold name in Denmark when he presented his 5 hour miniseries, Riget (The Kingdom). It's a quirky horror story told in Copenhagen's leading hospital where strange things occur and apparitions haunt the corridors. Taking a lot of queues from David Lynch, Von Trier has crafted a dark and eerie ghost story with a very facetious undertone. Its the sort of film that would appeal to fans of Twin Peaks, although it does pack some very graphic imagery. Thankfully the film's biggest strength is its storytelling and performances because time has not served various aspects of Riget very well at all. The ghostly visions are lame compared to today's standards and an odd series of interludes involving two kitchen hands (with down syndrome) who narrate the story is confusing and nonsensical. Another oddity is Lars himself who appears during the end credits of each episode to reassure the viewer that the program is make-believe. I find him to be patronising but I guess in 1994 this sort of thing had never been presented on TV before... it must have been shocking for a lot of viewers. Anyhow regardless of these qualms Riget is a fantastic program/film and the 4+ hours of series 1 is well worth it, if even just for the final 15 minutes which are brilliant. Stay tuned for my write-up of Riget II.