Sweden

Marcus Lindeen – Flotten AKA The Raft (2018)

In 1973, five men and six women drifted across the Atlantic on a raft as part of a scientific experiment studying the sociology of violence, aggression and sexual attraction in human behaviour. Although the project became known in the press as ‘The Sex Raft’, nobody expected what ultimately took place on that three-month journey. Through extraordinary archive material, and a reunion of the surviving members of the expedition on a full-scale replica of the raft, this film tells the hidden story behind what has been described as ‘one of the strangest group experiments of all time’. Read More »

Gösta Werner – Midvinterblot AKA The Sacrifice (1946)

Synopsis:
‘A mythic depiction of a pagan sacrifice in prehistoric Sweden.’
– Letterboxd Read More »

Alf Sjöberg – Bara en mor AKA Only a Mother (1949)

Statare, or country workers who recieved most of their payment in natura and didn’t own their own land, were the lowest of the low in Old Sweden. Maria – nicknamed ‘Rya-Rya’ – is born into this lot. A beautiful young woman, who the men tend to flock to, she quickly becomes with child. Her life changes forever…

Based on a novel by Ivar Lo Johansson. Read More »

Ingmar Bergman – Sommarlek AKA Summer Interlude (1951)

While waiting for the night rehearsal of the ballet Swan Lake, the lonely twenty-eight year-old ballerina Marie receives a diary through the mail. She travels by ferry to an island nearby Stockholm, where she recalls her first love Henrik. Thirteen years ago, while traveling to spend her summer vacation with her aunt Elisabeth and her uncle Erland, Marie meets Henrik in the ferry and sooner they fall in love for each other. They spend summer vacation together when a tragedy separates them and Marie builds a wall affecting her sentimental life. Read More »

Stellan Olsson – Sven Klangs kvintett AKA Sven Klang’s Combo (1976)

Sweden 1958. In a small provincial town there is a band who plays dance music twice every week. All decisions are made by Sven Klang, the undisputed leader of the band. A new member joins them, saxophone player Lasse. He starts to criticize Sven’s decisions, questions the way they divide the money and he also wants them to be more of a jazz band.

This is a very underrated movie with a strong jazz score. Norwegian cartoon artist Cristopher Nilsen has named this as the main inspiration for his Jazzbasillen book. As people familiar with the cartoon will know, this inspiration should involve the more shady sides of jazz culture. Read More »

Mats Ek & Cullberg Ballet – Giselle (1987)

Not for the staid traditionalist, Matts EK’s ballet turns expectations on their head. The basic story is there; and Adolphe Adam’s unmistakable music guides us through. But there the similarities end.

Set in a more modern era, Albrecht is a city sophisticate to Giselle’s rural innocent. And innocent she is, but far from the shy creature of yore, this Giselle is precocious, almost uninhibited. But there’s no suggestion that this excuses Albrecht’s use and abuse of her. The ‘white’ act is very different, too. Set in a lunatic asylum, the choreography will be earily famiar to anyone who has visited one of those places (or even seen One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest). Read More »

Ingmar Bergman – Rabies (1958)

“This made-for-television film was based on Olle Hedberg’s script, which Ingmar Bergman had directed for the City Theatre of Hälsingborg as early as in 1945, and as a radio play the following year. Bergman, who called the play ‘an unpleasant piece’, used stage actors from Malmö. The scarce reviews of the film focused on Bergman’s faiblesse for the puppet theatre and the morality play, with the result that the characters functioned as types.” Read More »