How much better it is to ride a train, listening to the metallic wagging of the cars along a predetermined stretch of landscape than to fly above ground or drive along a highway. Usually better for the environment, too. But despite the nostalgic conjuring, the relaxing atmosphere and the grand views on offer (or internet access that allows one to stare at a screen instead if one is so inclined), I say enough is enough. Let me give my revised train experience.
I was at the opening ceremony of Uppsala International Short Film Festival last night. During the socializing to follow, the company and drinks were so good I decided to stay an extra hour and take the last train home. I checked the train schedule in a hurry and noted a train scheduled to depart for Stockholm just after 11pm. So I had another drink. It ran a bit late, but I made it to the station. Bought a ticket in the machine by the platform. Climbed on board. All’s well that ends well. But no, the train conductor wouldn’t accept my ticket. Turns out I had bought it in the red machine instead of the blue (or was it the other way around? Either way, the bureaucracy involved felt very Swedish). And that the train I thought I was on only ran Fridays, “clearly marked” in the timetable with an F for Fredag.
So I was on a different train, operated by a different company with their own, different machines outside. I gave the conductor a bit of lip as I dug out my credit card again and paid for train journey that were to involve a change of trains and take twice as long as the one I intended to take. Bah! Trainbug! Good thing Uppsala offered such great entertainment in terms of films and events that I still ended up going to bed in a good mood. Next time, I’ll either take better notice of the fine print in the timetable, or I’ll take my Subaru.
Now that we’ve had a look at the iPhone applications and billboards the different parties use to promote themselves, I think it’s time for some TV commercials! Translations are just below every short film.
The Social Democratic Party focuses on unemployment among youth:
“207 000 young persons are just waiting to enter the game. We cannot wait.”
So does the Moderate Party:
“Love at work. One of many reasons why more people should have a job. Nya Moderaterna (The New Moderate Party). Sweden’s only workers’ party.”
The Center Party is doing the same with this film:
- What’s going to come out of this little powerhouse?
- I’ve been thinking of letting him take courses at the Public Employment Service.
-When I grow up I want to be “utlasad”. (very hard to translate this very Swedish word – it basically means losing your job because you were the last one they hired…)
-Are you going to be a pro?
-No, I want to be on unemployment benefits, like my dad!
-What do you want to do when you’re done with school?
-Most of all, I’d like to go from one internship to another.
-One month to go, after that it’s unemployment measures for me!
Voice-over: Are we going back to a Sweden built on benefits, or shall we have real jobs in new companies? It’s up to you!
The Green Party is more into green topics:
“All around us there are people working for the environment. Now it’s time for a government that does the same. Modernize Sweden!”
When it comes to the Christian Democratic Party, it’s more of an animal theme…
“We want a more humane Sweden.”
So, what do you think – would any of these films make you give the party your vote?
Sadly, soon enough we’ll have to consider the Swedish summer a chapter coming to an end. The evenings are getting darker for every day passing and this morning I actually had to find my stash of winter clothes and dig up one of my long-sleeved sweaters.
But the fall sneaking up on us is, in my opinion, not a bad thing at all. I find it kind of liberating to get rid of the feeling of obligation to spend every waking minute outdoors, always up to something. Now I can allow myself to spend my evenings on the couch watching films, which is something I really love doing! And there is a lot of interesting Swedish film! A few I’ve been planning to see for some time now is for example “Flickan“(The girl) and “Snabba cash” (Easy Money).
I’m no expert on love but I have had a few encounters with it over the years and I guess I would have a few things to say about it if asked. Wouldn’t we all? A couple of weeks back, my colleague Oliver and I hit the streets of Stockholm to find out what other people think about love, jealousy and relationships. What works for them? How do they define love? What peeves them off? Well, you get the picture. We brought a camera guy with us and managed to convince a few people to be filmed. Here’s a sample:
Rumor has it that David Fincher’s remake of the Millennium films will be shot in Stockholm. Danny Glover is involved in two upcoming Swedish projects: co-producer of The Black Power Mixtape along with Story AB; Glover is also cast in För Kärleken (Dear Alice, working English title). Swedish cult vampire film Let the Right One In is being remade in Hollywood as Let Me In…
Sweden certainly flirts with Hollywood. American films and TV series attract Swedish actors; one of Sweden’s top production facilities carries the nickname Trollywood; and recently the film center in Stockholm started their own version of Inside the Actors Studio.
International co-productions and international attention for Swedish film in general is great, but I have to admit I cringe at the thought of any more remakes. Is it that Swedish film, after the era of Bergman, is producing stuff more to Hollywood’s liking? Meanwhile, I am busy uploading new short films into Sweden.se’s soon-to-be-released video player…
…is Sweden.se’s very own outlet of individual opinion. We all work at the Swedish Institute in Stockholm, with our offices right next to the Royal Palace in the Old Town. But what is said here does not necessarily represent the views of the Swedish Institute.