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
An intellectual freedoms documentary based around the interpersonal triumphs, and defeats of the three main characters against the largest industry in the known universe. The media industry. Continue reading
Torgny Segerstedt (Jesper Christensen) was one of the leading journalists in Sweden in the 20th century. As managing editor of the Gothenburg economic daily Handelstidningen, he fought a one-man battle against Adolf Hitler and fascism throughout the war years. It was a difficult fight, only made possible because of his reputation, the power of his conviction and the fact that he had friends in high places, not least among them his lover, the Jewish intellectual Maja Forssman (another tour de force performance from Pernilla August), the wife of his publisher. Exquisitely filmed in black and white, The Last Sentence continues Troell’s mission to illuminate history. Continue reading
Baron Brusenhielm at castle Tröstehult in Skåne dislikes how his young son Karl Oscar is playing “mother and father” with the tenant’s daughter Ann-Marie, as he anticipates the beginning of a future misalliance. Years pass, and Karl Oscar is about to graduate high school. He pretends to study church history but reads in fact “The Seducer’s Diary” and thinks of Ann-Marie, who is now grown up into a woman.
Three sisters return home. Elin leaves a modelling job and a once-so glamorous lifestyle in Paris to be at her mother’s 70th birthday party. Lova gives up her studies in London to live at home until she sorts herself out. Katarina’s is rapidly losing control of her double life as the married mother of two children and a hard-working surgeon with a lover, and all the while their mother, Sigrid, is preparing determinedly for the big upcoming party in her honour. Continue reading
This made-for-television film constituted Bergman’s first production of Strindberg’s A Dreamplay – a play he would revisit three times more. Gunnar Ollén’s Malmö crew was behind this, for its time, prestigious and costly theatre production, involving more than 40 actors and no less than 75 extras.
In this production, critics thought they discerned a change in Bergman’s style of directing. Ebbe Linde in Dagens Nyheter:
‘I think one can differentiate between an old and a new Ingmar Bergman: an old sensational one from the beginning of his career and a subdued, demanding one, now at his peak. That his approach implies a deepening of his art seems clear to me, at the same time as it might limit his geographical appeal.’ Continue reading