A great poster for the film Melancholia that brings your mind straight to Millais' Ophelia.
I’ve totally fallen off the wagon. I’m back to being a film junkie again and I love it. A friend recommended me to start with something soft, like a gateway film. She suggested a couple of films that made me question our friendship. Let’s just leave it at that. Instead I went the other way, the heavier stuff, the Scandinavian stuff. I gave my mind a slice of Danish pie.
Everybody knows who Lars Von Trier is. He is Scandinavia’s best known auteur. He is also a man that often gets surrounded by controversy (Just google it). All this doesn’t matter because he is a master filmmaker and Melancholia is his latest Mona Lisa.
Trier opens the film with a range of gorgeous slow motion shots, followed by the end of the world. The planet Melancholia crashes into Earth. The reason why Trier does this is to put the focus on the characters. Don’t bother hoping it will solve itself in the end. Just accept it and slowly open the package of unhappiness wrapped in great characters.
To be fair now I haven’t always liked Trier’s films. I’ve felt that they have been a bit too out there for my taste. A little too much vegetables on the plate if you will. However, when it comes to Melancholia I can only say great things.
Alexander Skarsgård plays Kirsten Dunst’s husband-to-be and he does it in perfect manner, showing the world that he has range far past a True Blood vampire.
And where there’s one Skarsgård another one is not far behind. Stellan Skarsgård, Papa bear, also does a great sleazy character. I do so enjoy seeing great Swedish actors in good parts abroad.
So if you’ve missed Melancholia and enjoy when films dare to be a bit more brave then I couldn’t urge you enough.
We are finally here, at the end of the road. You are reading my last post in the Sweden.se’s film blog. I do admit that it’s a little emotional. My face isn’t leaking but I am ready with some tissues so if it breaks out I can wipe and type.
As a final goodbye here at the end of the year I do feel the urge to share my thoughts of what I consider being the most interesting and fun films & events of 2010. I didn’t just want to do a regular top 5 list. Those are so easily forgettable after reading. Instead I wanted to mix it up a little. I hope you enjoy.
Easy Money (Snabba Cash)
This is a film I haven’t mentioned in the blog. The reason for that is that it had a very early 2010 release. It’s based on a book by the same name by Jens Lapidus. Easy Money is a film that no doubt has flaws but at the same time it showed that Swedish crime film can do more than just watered down cop films.
Films people should have seen but didn’t.
Trust Me (Puss).
A very likable film with True Blood’s own Alexander Skarsgård. It’s directed by Johan Kling who did a film called Darling a few years back. Darling is considered being one of Swedens best films of this decade and Trust Me isn’t that far behind.
A film that scared basically everyone that went to see it. Sadly a lot of people skipped this one.
Best film where Swedes were involved.
A Better World (Hämnden).
This film which stars Mikael Persbrandt is my favorite Scandinavian film of 2010. The emotions and actors in this film are just mind blowing.
Directed with a perfect hand by Swede Mikael Håfström. It’s a film noir that basically makes love to your eyes.
Best event of 2010.
Uppsala Short Film Festival. Even if ticket prices are going up (Buu!) they still deliver a very high standard when it comes to films( Yeay!). Stockholm Film Festival was a great one but the very narrow selection of Swedish films forces this festival to take the backseat.
Where the hell are you hiding?
The director that took the world by storm a few years back has put the filmmaking hat on the shelf for a while and will be releasing his first book in 21 years this coming March. The book titled Death & Co is about a boy by the name of Lucas whose dad suddenly dies.
It’s an oldie but goodie. Swedish films that you just can’t miss.
And there we have it people, the latest of the greatest when it comes to Swedish cinema. I sincerely hope you have enjoyed reading my blog. I hope it’s been a fun read as much of an interesting look at Swedish cinema. Like I wrote in my last post I really don’t know when or even if I’ll be back but with fingers crossed it feel s pretty good.
What will I do now? I’m actually off to Asia for a few months to recharge my batteries. If you would like to follow my journey you may do so here or on my Twitter.
I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year.
The author Carl Sandburg once said “Nothing happens unless first we dream”. The reason why I’m sharing this is not because of the fact that his parents were Swedish immigrants. And It’s not me trying to turn the film blog into a poetry corner either. My focus is on the word dream and when most people in the film business dream, what do they dream of? Hollywood of course! Sadly that’s basically the furthest away from poetry you can come. However, that hasn’t stopped a lot of Swedish actors and actresses one bit. Looking now at Sweden from a film point of view it’s hotter than ever (the weather however is not).
It’s now little over two weeks until Uppsala Short Film Festival (If you haven’t voted yet for your favourite short, do it now or forever hold your peace). I’m getting very excited and feel lucky that I get the opportunity to cover the festival once again. At the same time I’m mentally and physically preparing myself for those 8-10 hours a day I’ll be sitting down watching films and writing about them. Then, in the middle of my “training”, with Eye Of The Tiger playing in the background, I read that Daniel Craig is in Uppsala now. I told him to wait for me. I guess he didn’t care. We are so not best friends any longer. My ex best friend was here shooting the Hollywood version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (couldn’t find an English link).
Meanwhile our girl with the dragon tattoo, Noomi Rapace, is busy in Hollywood. Not only has she landed a role in the upcoming Sherlock Holmes 2 with Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law, she is also on a short list of possible women for a Ridley Scott film. And it’s not any Ridley Scott film. We are talking about a possible role in a new Alien movie. Apparently Ridley Scott wants to make a prequel to the other ones and she could be perfect for the role.
Staying on Noomi Rapace, her co-star from The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Michael Nyqvist has landed a role most boys only dream of. He will be the bad guy in the new Mission Impossible movie. His mission, if he chooses to accept, will be to try to kill Ethan Hunt, played by Tom Cruise. Lucky bastard.
Do I even have to bring up Alexander Skarsgård? He’s probably more known in the USA than Swedish meatballs. His roles in Generation Kill and True Blood has skyrocketed him to movie stardom. He is now shooting a film called Battleship. The project is directed by Peter Berg (Hancock, The Kingdom) and some of Skarsgård’s co-stars will be Liam Neeson and Rihanna(?).
If one young Skarsgård wasn’t enough in Hollywood, why not have two? His yonger brother, Gustaf Skarsgård, will be in the soon to be released The Way Back with Ed Harris and Colin Farrell. It’s directed by none other than Peter Weir (Truman Show).
I think I’m done name dropping for one night. I really think it’s great that so many Swedes are starting to conquer Hollywood. I just hope they brought a flag.
Chris Gardner is a 29-year-old Swedish-American film junkie. He has studied film at Stockholm Film School and screenwriting at Berghs School of Communication. He currently works as a freelance writer and balances that with being head of the film department at one of Sweden’s larger retail chains.