After two days of kick-off events for filmmakers, press and industry, the Swedish film weeks at Lincoln Center’s Walter Reade Theater finally began in earnest today.
Friday afternoon saw screenings of one new film, The Girl, and of three older Swedish movies, Wild Strawberries, The Girl with Hyacinths and, the infamous and ground-breaking I am Curious (Yellow), which deserves a separate blog post. After the screenings there was an opening reception and viewing of the The multi media installation “Ingmar Bergman: The Man Who Asked Hard Questions” in the Film Society’s Furman Gallery.
The event, Northern Exposures: Social Change and Sexuality in Swedish Cinema, 1913-2010, runs from Friday April 16 to May 4. It is a collaboration between The Honorary Consulate General of Sweden, New York and the Swedish Film Institute, and is one of the largest Swedish film events in New York ever. Program director Richard Peña has spent a year digging deep in Swedish film archives. “Swedish silent cinema as well as the work of Ingmar Bergman have of course long been known and
justly celebrated, but in fact Sweden can boast of an extraordinarily rich tradition of filmmaking, of works by wonderful yet largely unknown directors such as Hasse Ekman, Bo Widerberg, Arne Mattsson and Mai Zetterling, who we hope through this series to introduce to American audiences,” says Peña.
With his selection, Peña aims to illustrate how social changes and views of sexuality have shaped Swedish cinema, which over the past 97 years has produced a surprising number of high quality movies.
So it is full throttle ahead, for the next two weeks. Tomorrow, Saturday April 17, will bring more by the way of screenings, as well as a special panel discussion on “Swedish Cinema, Then and Now“, at 8pm in the Walter Reade Theater with contemporary Swedish filmmakers—Fredrik Edfeldt (The Girl), Henrik Hellström (Burrowing), Babak Najafi (Sebbe) and Stig Björkman (Images from the Playground).