Arne Mattsson – Vaxdockan aka The Doll (1962)


A night watchman (Per Oscarsson) in Stockholm interrupts a burglary and finds a mannequin that he takes home; in his mind, it’s a beautiful and very much alive woman. Director Arne Mattsson knows how to use the shadows of black-and-white cinematography to chilling effect; that along with Oscarsson’s performance elevate this psychological look at loneliness and mental illness. The star must have studied Anthony Perkins in Psycho (1960); he looks like him and plays his character in a similar fashion. Behind the youthful façade lies insanity. Gio Petré is credible in the transition between doll and human. ~ Movie Hamlet. Continue reading

Ingmar Bergman – De två saliga AKA The Blessed Ones (1986)


“Things are never crazy in and of themselves. They only seem so from the outside.”
De två saliga (The Blessed Ones or The Blessed Pair) is a 1986 made-for-television film directed by Ingmar Bergman, with a screenplay by Ulla Isaksson, based on her novel of the same name made two decades earlier in 1962. Isaksson’s novel, heavy in Christian imagery, follows a psychologist as he becomes more and more obsessed by Viveka and Sune, a former patient and her husband. Continue reading

Göran Olsson – Concerning Violence (2014)


A new feature documentary by Göran Hugo Olsson

Concerning Violence is a bold and fresh visual narrative from Africa based on archive material from Swedish documentaries 1966-1987 covering the most daring moments in the struggle for liberation from colonial rule. This powerful footage is combined with text from Frantz Fanon’s landmark book The Wretched of the Earth – written in 1960 and still a major tool for understanding and illuminating the neocolonialism happening today, as well as the unrest and the reactions against it.

“Colonialism is not a thinking machine, nor a body endowed with reasoning faculties. It is violence in its natural state, and it will only yield when confronted with greater violence.” Continue reading

Jan Troell – Här har du ditt liv AKA Here’s Your Life (1966)


jwarthen-3 on IMDb wrote:
A beautiful bildungsroman– a young man goes wandering through the world, making his way as he goes and meeting vivid people. The material isn’t romantic– poverty is general, and the young man discovers his own cruelty as well as the strengths that sustain him. This film had a huge cast, and Troell’s use of widescreen fills the image with detail of 19th century provincial life that authenticates the performances– I have remembered the dirty leer of its blacksmith for thirty years. I remember watching it, wishing there were an hour more of it. Continue reading

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


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

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)


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