Sweden

Mikael Kristersson – Falkens öga AKA Kestrel’s Eye (1998)

Quote:
From a bird’s point of view atop a 13th century church, the human world seems alien and weirdly self-absorbed. People ride bikes, jog, attend weddings and churches and make an elaborate ritual out of tending and grooming a loved one’s grave.

That’s the way it looks, anyhow, in “Kestrel’s Eye,” a Swedish film that offers a genuine bird’s-eye view of the world. Directed by nature-film veteran Mikael Kristersson, “Kestrel’s Eye” was made over 2 1/2 years, during which Kristersson filmed a family of kestrels (European falcons) in the church steeple they had made their home. Read More »

Ingmar Bergman – Efter repetitionen AKA After the Rehearsal (1984)

Quote:
With this spare chamber piece, set in an empty theater, Ingmar Bergman returned to his perennial theme of the permeability of life and art. Lingering after a rehearsal for August Strindberg’s A Dream Play (a touchstone for the filmmaker throughout his career), eminent director Henrik (Erland Josephson) enters into a frank and flirtatious conversation with his up-and-coming star, Anna (Lena Olin), leading him to recall his affair with Anna’s late mother, the self-destructive actress Rakel (Ingrid Thulin). The sharply written and impeccably performed After the Rehearsal, originally made for television, pares away all artifice to examine both the allure and the cost of a life in the theater. Read More »

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 »