Already in his childhood, Pablo Picasso shows talent for painting and is sent to the Academy of Arts in Madrid. He becomes a painter but has to live in Paris in poverty. But one day he is discovered by a rich American millionaire and starts to earn money. But he wastes his talent by painting plates. He meets the famous people of the 1920s; Gertrude Stein, Alice B. Toklas, Appolinaire, Hitler and Churchill. Continue reading
A young woman, Karin, has recently returned to the family island after spending some time in a mental hospital. On the island with her is her lonely brother and kind, but increasingly desperate husband (Max von Sydow). They are joined by Karin’s father (Gunnar Björnstrand), who is a world-traveling author that is estranged to his children. The film depicts how Karin’s grip on reality slowly slips away and how the bonds between the family members are changing in light of this fact. Continue reading
In the mountains of Germany stands a grim and secluded castle – the haunted legacy of the beautiful medieval vampire Baroness Varga. Put to death for her ravenous hunger for female blood, the Baroness uttered a curse that she would one day return to forever satisfy her unnatural lust and that day has finally come. Four women have gathered at the castle unaware that its darkly seductive housekeeper is a satanic high priestess presiding over a coven of delectable servants who each night perform sensual rituals and profane acts to keep the Baroness’ spirit alive. As the women are drawn deeper into the ultra erotic nightmare, it will be the most uninhibited among them who shall serve as the vessel into which the Baroness passes to continue her unholy reign of terror.
Marianne (Liv Ullmann) and Johan (Erland Josephson) always seemed like the perfect couple. But when Johan suddenly leaves Marianne for another woman, they are forced to confront the disintegration of their marriage. Shot in intense, intimate close-ups by master cinematographer Sven Nykvist, the film chronicles ten years of turmoil and love that bind the couple despite their divorce and subsequent marriages. Flawless acting and dialogue portray the brutal pain and uplifting peace that accompany a lifetime of loving. Originally conceived as a six-part miniseries for Swedish television, The Criterion Collection is proud to present not only the U.S. theatrical version, but also, for the first time on video in the U.S., Ingmar Bergman’s original 5-hour television version of Scenes From a Marriage. Continue reading
Swedish director Lisa Aschan decided to follow up her critically acclaimed film “She Monkeys” with “White People,” which she describes as “a space odyssey inspired by ‘The Shining.’” The story follows a group of people who are kidnapped from the street and held hostage in an underground prison to await deportation. Will they escape? What will be the cost of freedom? The thriller opens up a discussion about universal themes of power and hierarchy. Continue reading
Based on the novel by Per Olaf Sundman, Ingenjör Andrées Luftfärd (Flight of the Eagle) tells the real-life story of a Swedish engineer’s attempted expedition to the North Pole in a balloon. Jan Troell directs this over two-hour adventure drama set in 1897. Max Von Sydow stars as Salomon August Andrée, the engineer who leads the tragic journey in a balloon called The Ornen (The Eagle). He is accompanied by explorers Nils Strindberg (Goran Stangertz) and Knut Fraenkel (Sverre Anker Ousdal). Ingenjör Andrées Luftfärd was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film in the 1983 Academy Awards. Using his experiences making this film, Troell went on to make the hour-long documentary En Frusen Drom (A Frozen Dream) in 1998 with archival information from the remains of the expedition found in 1930 on an island near the North Pole. ~ Andrea LeVasseur, All Movie Guide Continue reading
For many, The New Land will be where Jan Troell’s two-part Swedish immigrant story set in 19th-century America really starts to take off. In many ways, The Emigrants [review] was merely preamble to get us here.
Released in 1972, a year after the previous entry, The New Land picks up the story of the Nilsson family almost immediately after the final scene in The Emigrants. Karl Oskar (Max von Sydow) has claimed a patch of riverside Minnesotan land as his own, and he’s bringing Kristina (Liv Ullman) and the kids, along with his younger brother Robert (Eddie Axberg), to start transforming it into a home and farm. The work will be hard, but it ends up being rewarding, and the Nilssons become part of a growing community of Swedish transplants. Continue reading