Tag Archives: swedish

Il capitano (1991) Jan Troell, Antti Reini, Maria Heiskanen, Berto Marklund, Drama

Il capitano (1991)
Triple murders are rare enough in Sweden that they qualify as headline-grabbing national news for prolonged periods of time. This movie is based on the story behind one such incident, which took place in 1988. A girl and a boy from Finland have traveled to Denmark, where they support themselves by various mildly nefarious means, generally small burglaries. The boy is captured for one of these crimes and does some jail time, while the girl tries to make a go of it on her own. However, when her aggressive young lover gets out of jail, she takes off with him to Sweden. There, they engage in ever-more daring criminal feats, until one day they murder a married couple and their teenaged son while they are visiting a cemetery. According to reviewers, there is a sense of inevitability in the progress of the story, which focuses on the alienation and isolation of these two congenital outsiders.

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The New Land / Nybyggarna (1972) Jan Troell, Max von Sydow, Liv Ullmann, Eddie Axberg, Drama, Western

The New Land (1972)
This film continues from where The Emigrants / Utvandrarna (1971) left off. Starting a new life in the New World from almost nothing is not easy. The winters and summers are more extreme than in the Old World. But the immigrants are rewarded for their hard work. They now live a better life than they did in Sweden. Bad times also come, however. The civil war starts and the Sioux Indians make a bloody uprising against the white settlers. Karl-Oskar’s family survives all these. His brother, Robert, decides to seek his fortune in the gold fields of California. He never reaches California but acquires some fortune from his boss who dies of yellow fever on the way to the gold fields. An immigrant Swede dupes him of this fortune. Robert returns to his brother where he dies from a disease contracted on the trip. Kristina, whose thoughts never leave Sweden, has several more births and gets pregnant again against the advice of her doctor. This last pregnancy kills her. The children grow up and take over the farm. Karl-Oskar becomes old and lonely. He spends his last days dreaming of his youth in the Old World.

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The Emigrants / Utvandrarna (1971) Jan Troell, Max von Sydow, Liv Ullmann, Eddie Axberg, Drama

The Emigrants (1971)
This monumental mid-nineteenth-century epic from Jan Troell charts, over the course of two films, a Swedish farming family’s voyage to America and their efforts to put down roots in this beautiful but forbidding new world. Movie legends Max von Sydow and Liv Ullmann give remarkably authentic performances as Karl Oskar and Kristina, a couple who meet with one physical and emotional trial after another on their arduous journey. The precise, minute detail with which Troell depicts the couple’s story – which is also that of countless other people who sought better lives across the Atlantic – is a wonder to behold. Engrossing at every step of the way, the duo of The Emigrants and The New Land makes for perhaps the greatest screen drama about the settling of America.

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Viskningar och rop / Cries and Whispers (1972) Ingmar Bergman, Harriet Andersson, Liv Ullmann, Kari Sylwan, Drama

Viskningar och rop (1972)
In turn-of-the-century Sweden, cancer-stricken, dying Agnes is visited in her isolated rural mansion by her sisters Karin and Maria. As Agnes’ condition deteriorates and pain management becomes increasingly more difficult, fear and revulsion grip the sisters, who seem incapable of empathy, and Agnes’ only comfort and solace comes from her maid Anna. As the end draws closer, long repressed feelings of grudging resentment and mistrust cause jealousy, selfishness, and bitterness between the siblings to surface.

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Lust och fägring stor / All Things Fair (1995) Bo Widerberg, Johan Widerberg, Marika Lagercrantz, Tomas von Brömssen, Drama, Romance, War

All Things Fair (1995)
Malmö, Sweden during the Second World War. Stig is a 15 year old pupil on the verge of adulthood. Viola is 37 years old and his teacher. He is attracted by her beauty and maturity. She is drawn to him by his youth and innocence, a god-sent relief from her drunk and miserable husband. They start a passionate and forbidden relationship – but it has consequences they never could have expected.

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Joe Hill (1971) Bo Widerberg, Thommy Berggren, Anja Schmidt, Kelvin Malave, Biography, Drama, History

Joe Hill (1971)
In the early 1900’s, the legendary Joe Hill emigrates with his brother to the United States. But after a short time, he loses touch with his brother. Joe gets a few jobs but is struck by all the injustice and tragedy going on. He becomes active in the forbidden union IWW, a union for workers without trades. It is forbidden to demonstrate and to speak in public but Joe gets around that by singing his manifests with the Salvation Army. He manages to get more and more people to get on strike with him but he also makes powerful enemies doing that. Finally he gets connected with a murder and during the trial he fires his lawyer and takes upon himself to become his own defender.

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The Seventh Seal (1957) Ingmar Bergman, Max von Sydow, Gunnar Björnstrand, Bengt Ekerot, Art-house, Drama, Fantasy

The Seventh Seal (1957)
Disillusioned and exhausted after a decade of battling in the Crusades, a knight (Max von Sydow) encounters Death on a desolate beach and challenges him to a fateful game of chess. Much studied, imitated, even parodied, but never outdone, Bergman’s stunning allegory of man’s search for meaning, The Seventh Seal (Det sjunde inseglet), was one of the benchmark foreign imports of America’s 1950s art-house heyday, pushing cinema’s boundaries and ushering in a new era of moviegoing.

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