Her parents dead, Tuva discovers that she is adopted, and she and her daughter begin trying to find their hidden roots. This leads back to the small town where she grew up, but it seems people are desperately trying to hide something…
This is a story of IDA and KRISTER. It’s about a relationship that goes to hell. They are both crazy in love but manage to strangle the supply of oxygen and adapt to each other in a way that will lead to catastrophic consequences. Continue reading
Call Girl is set in the late 1970s – a time time of women’s liberation, sexual revolution, Swedish neutrality, nuclear power and social security. The film takes us on a trip from the very bottom of society, along dark back streets, through glitz and glamour, to the corridors of power which are a labyrinth of secrets. The story is inspired by a Swedish political scandal known as Bordellhärvan which linked underage prostitution with powerful customers believed to come from the highest levels of society. Continue reading
Better known as One Summer of Happiness, Hon Dansade en Sommar was the most popular and financially successful of Swedish director Arne Mattson’s romantic films. Based on the novel by Per Olof Ekstrom, the story revolves around the romance between college graduate Goran (Folke Sundquist) and farmer’s daughter Kerstin (Ulla Jacobsson). Their plans to marry are stymied by the opposition of a local clergyman (John Elfstrom). Only after a devastating tragedy occurs does Goran realize the folly of allowing others to make decisions for him. Though Arne Mattson could have spent the rest of his career turning out Bergmanesque exercises like this one, he decided to switch creative gears and concentrate on Hitchcockian thrillers.
Hal Erickson Continue reading
Under The Sun is a wonderful Swedish film about a lonely farmer, his slightly shady best friend and the beautiful, but mysterious, woman who steps into their lives.
The movie, which was nominated for Best Foreign Film in the 2000 edition of the Oscars (Spain’s All About My Mother took home the prize), is a gorgeously shot love story and character study that’s as sweet as honey.
Ostensibly, the plot sounds a little pulpy, almost noirish, but that’s the furthest thing from the reality. While this is a story about love, friendship and trust, it’s also about growing up — Olof is a 40-year-old virgin who can’t read or write, and the ad is his attempt to finally meet a woman.
Every scene is beautifully photographed — it seems as though a golden hue shimmers over each frame — and superb attention has been paid to making the sets and costumes look authentically period. English director Colin Nutley does such a fine job of gradually unfolding the story and immersing us in Olof’s world that it makes the film’s nearly two-hour runtime feel much shorter. Continue reading
A house in Paris happens to have two families living there with the same last name. In one apartment lives opera singer Gambetta Duval with his two daughters, Jeanne and Nita. In the second apartment lives old lady Duval with her grandchild Philippa and an her lodger, the physician Leon Monnier. Jeanne is secretly in love with Dr. Monnier who is secretly in love with Nita, who is secretly having an affair with the great playwright Armand de Marny. Continue reading
The Gardener is a 1912 Swedish silent drama film directed by Victor Sjöström. It is mostly known for being the first film to ever be banned by the Swedish censor system. It was long thought to have been lost, but in 1979 a copy was found in an archive in the United States. The Swedish premiere followed on 14 October 1980 when it was shown at the cinematheque in Stockholm.
In Sweden, the film was banned in 1912. The director said, “To the best of my recollection, the wreched faith of my ‘maiden work’ was due to the final scene. The president of the studio was horrified by the grubby, brutal gardener (played by yours truly)-according to him, the public didn’t want to see me tromping around with a big moustache. But I insisted that it was indispensable from an artistic standpoint, and I finally got my way. This particular stubby, brutal gardener lusted after a young lady in his employ, and he seduced- well, he virtually raped- the innocent thing in a lovely greenhouse among beautiful roses and every other flower imaginable. In the final scene, the girl is found dead the next morning on the floor of the greenhouse, with red roses and exquisite blossoms delicately strewn all around her. The marriage of death and beauty, in other words. But the thick-headed censors didn’t understand a thing- they had no feeling for that kind of beauty- and the film was banned.” The official comments of the censors were, “A breach of respectability. The association of death and beauty poses a threat to public order.” Continue reading