Roy Andersson – En kärlekshistoria aka A Swedish Love Story (1970)

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Fifteen year-old Pär and fourteen year-old Annika fall in love…

Quote:
Summer with Annika: A Swedish Love Story (1970)
Jean A. Gili

Author of very few works – four films in thirty-seven years, including Songs from the Second Floor (2000) and You, the Living (2007) – Roy Andersson made his first film in 1970, a tale of adolescent love set against the backdrop of a cruel tableau of the petite bourgeoisie wedged between conformity and frustration. Rediscovered now, A Swedish Love Story (En Kärlekshistoria) shows the inauguration of a critical gaze that has never deviated from its just distance. Continue reading

Ester Martin Bergsmark – Pojktanten AKA She Male Snails (2012)

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In She Male Snails intimate bathtub conversation between Ester Martin Bergsmark and the author Eli Levén, is woven together the story of the She Male Snails – a fairy tale, which revolves around a human between two genders who, in order to survive, creates a third gender. Continue reading

Ruben Östlund – De Ofrivilliga aka Involuntary (2008)

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Synopsis wrote:
It’s almost summer in Sweden and minor indiscretions and misbehavior abound. Leffe likes to show off for his friends and play salacious pranks, especially when he’s drinking. Meanwhile, a righteous grade-school teacher doesn’t know where to draw the line: she insists her fellow educators need a bit of instruction. Then there are two young teenage girls who like to pose for sexy photos and to party, but one night in a park, one of them is found passed out drunk by a complete stranger. Continue reading

Gustav Wiklund – Exponerad aka Exposed aka The Depraved (1971)

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Quote:
With periodic flashbacks and fantasy sequences, Exposed, in terms of its narrative structure at least, is a bit more complicated than your average sexploitation picture. While on the surface Lena is a typical, if flawed, central character the film lets us get into her head enough that even if we don’t completely see her as an innocent, we can at least feel for her. Her plight with Helge and his blackmailing ways is a sticky situation to be sure and while his coercion into the world of kinky sex allows for many titillating sequences, you can’t help but feel sorry for Lena. That said, she uses her sexuality to put herself in rather precarious situations and at times you almost wonder if she subconsciously wants the dysfunction that seems to follow her around. Consider this alongside the way that she’s treated by most of the men in the film, whose eyes linger on her quite voraciously, and you’re left trying to figure out how much of her dire situation she’s put herself in, rather than found herself in. Continue reading

Roy Andersson – En duva satt på en gren och funderade på tillvaron AKA A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence (2014)

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Synopsis:
Like modern times’ Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, Sam and Jonathan, two travelling salesmen peddling novelty items, take us on a kaleidoscopic wandering through human destinies. A trip that shows us the beauty of single moments, the pettiness of others, the humour and tragedy that is in us, life’s grandeur as well as frailty of humanity. A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence was Awarded Golden Lion for Best Film at the 2014 Venice International Film Festival. Continue reading

Kristian Levring – The King Is Alive (2000)

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When a bus breaks down in the desert, the passengers decide to stage “King Lear.”

Thinking Inside the Box
Rating * Has redeeming facet

The King Is Alive, directed and cowritten by Kristian Levring, is the fourth film to have the dubious honor of qualifying for certification under the rules of the Dogma 95 manifesto, whose professed aim is to get back to the basics of realism — shooting, for example, in natural locations with handheld cameras, direct sound, and natural lighting. But what’s basic or realistic and what isn’t, in terms of film history and technique? The manifesto also insists that movies be shot in color, a rather ahistorical reading of what’s basic — unless one labels all possible uses of color in film realistic and all possible uses of black and white artificial. Continue reading

Ingmar Bergman – För att inte tala om alla dessa kvinnor aka All These Women (1964)

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“All These Women (Swedish: För att inte tala om alla dessa kvinnor), originally released as Now About These Women in the UK, is a 1964 Swedish comedy film directed by Ingmar Bergman. It is a parody of Fellini’s 8½.[1][2] Along with Smiles of a Summer Night, the film is one of the few comedy films ever made by Bergman. It also was Bergman’s first film to be shot in colour.”

“The director, who also collaborated on the script, is labyrinthine in his approach to his story and his initial use of color. A tongue-in-cheek subtitle states that “any resemblance between this film and reality must be a mistake.” But it is abundantly clear that it is Mr. Bergman’s intention to be serious about the occasionally elusive points he is making.” Continue reading