For a better experience on MUBI, update your browser.

....And Now a Word about Swedish Cinema

by Moira Sullivan
....And Now a Word about Swedish Cinema by Moira Sullivan
There has been no one, repeat no one, that has ever been on the same level as director Ingmar Bergman in Sweden. He knew how to market his films, and for that reason they are known throughout the world, but he is an original. He can’t be compared to any another director in his country. Except perhaps the masters in Sweden that he learned from: the great silent filmmakers Mauritz Stiller and Victor Sjöström and later Alf Sjöberg. In the vacuum left by Bergman there are some directors that stand out, but not in the artistic way of Bergman. It is very common to hear in Sweden that Ingmar Bergman “ruined it for filmmakers today”. Let’s dispel… Read more



There has been no one, repeat no one, that has ever been on the same level as director Ingmar Bergman in Sweden. He knew how to market his films, and for that reason they are known throughout the world, but he is an original. He can’t be compared to any another director in his country. Except perhaps the masters in Sweden that he learned from: the great silent filmmakers Mauritz Stiller and Victor Sjöström and later Alf Sjöberg.
In the vacuum left by Bergman there are some directors that stand out, but not in the artistic way of Bergman.

It is very common to hear in Sweden that Ingmar Bergman “ruined it for filmmakers today”. Let’s dispel this complaint. Why is it that so few artistic films are made in Sweden? Could it be the archaic " Swedish Film Agreement " (filmavtal) that is hashed out on a regular basis? Or Harry Schein’s politics as architect of this “film politik”? Or the nepotistic system of film “advisors” that select the same kinds of films over and over? Or the lack of instruction in Sweden about film art at film and art schools in Sweden? Or that other kinds of Swedish films that could easily be marketed as Bergman did his films, just never make it to the continent and around the world? Let’s give some credit to the Swedish Film Institute for this, for keeping a lid on what is seen outside of the country such as DVD exports, “because we don’t do that”. Sweden has for a considerable time been one of the highest consumers of video and DVDs to compensate for the impoverishment of Swedish television and film. Legal disputes about rights in Sweden, and outside Sweden keep it starving. Walt Disney Sweden allows only the top papers and media to their press screenings, with the assumption that only mainstream consumers are out there, as just one stunning proof of a dinosaur hierarchy in the film world in Sweden. Let the films flow free. Let the art live!

There is outstanding work after Bergman: Bo Widerberg, Mai Zetterling, Vigot Sjöman, Arne Sucksdorff, Roy Andersson and Jan Troell, to name a few.This list is about the work of some of these directors. (Note: many Swedish films are not in “The Auteurs” database.)

For up to date information: http://www.filminstitutet.se/en/

Gustaf Molander,director
1936 – Intermezzo
1948 – Kvinna utan ansikte (co-writer Ingmar Bermgan)

Ragnar Hylten-Cavallius, screenwriter
1922 – Det omringade huset (director Victor Sjöström)
1924 – Gösta Berlings saga (director Mauritz Stiller)
1940 – Juninatten (director Per Lindberg)
1946 – Klockorna i Gamla Sta’n

Hasse Ekman, actor, writer
1936 – Intermezzo
1940 – Juninatten
1950 – Flicka och hyacinter (director)
1953 – Gycklarnas afton

Bo Widerberg
1969 – Ådalen 31
1971 – Joe Hill

Stefan Jarl
1968 – Dom kallar oss mods
1979 – Ett anständigt liv
1993 – Det sociala arvet

Lasse Åberg
1980 – Sällskapsresan eller Finns det svenskt kaffe på grisfesten

Suzanne Osten
1986 – Bröderna Mozart
1988 – Livsfarlig film
1993 – Tala! Det är så mörkt

Anders Wahlgren
1986 – Moa

Christina Olofson
1997- Sanning eller konsekvens

Roy Andersson
1975 – Giliap
1993 – Någonting har hänt
2000 – Sånger från andra våningen
2014 – A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence

Lukas Moodysson
1998 – Show Me Love
2000- Tillsammans
2002 – Lilja 4-ever
2013- We Are the Best!

Peter Schildt
2010- Tusen Gånger Starkare ( A Thousand Times Stronger)

Ola Simonsson, Johannes Stjärne Nilsson
2010 – Sound of Noise

Maud Nycander, Kristina Lindström
2012 – Palme

Malik Bendjelloul, Simon Chinn
2012- Searching for Sugar Man

Anna Odell
2013 – The Reunion

Per Fly
2013- Waltz for Monica

Mia Engberg
2013 – Belleville Baby

Återträffem
2013 – Anna Odell

Force Majeure
2014 – Ruben Östlund

Vi Är Bäst
2014 – Lukas Moodysson

Ingrid Bergman: In Her Own Words
2015 – Stig Björkman

Read less