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Greta Garbo
Greta Garbo in "Christina"

Swedish Film

Two of the first Swedish films ever, filmed in 1911, were based on August Strindberg´s dramas Miss Julie and The Father. Seven years later, Strindberg´s The People of Hemsö was filmed, and in 1921 it was followed by Körkarlen, a novel by Selma Lagerlöf. This film is considered a masterpiece, and it started a golden era for Swedish film. In this period we find the actress Greta Garbo and directors such as Victor Sjöström and Mauritz Stiller. Among the films from this time were Herr Arnes penningar and Gunnar Hedes saga, of which both were based on books by Selma Lagerlöf (the book title of the latter was actually Gösta Berlings saga). This golden era came to an end, however, when a lot of directors and actors chose to move to Hollywood.

In the 1950´s and 60´s Victor Sjöström made some films based on works by Strindberg, such as Miss Julie, Karin Månsdotter (1954), and The Father. One of Sjöström´s disciples was Ingmar Bergman, and Sjöström even acted in Bergman´s Wild Strawberries (Smultronstället).

Other Swedish directors to be mentioned are Lasse Hallström, Jan Troell and Bo Widerberg, all of whom have won international acclaim. Among the Swedish actors, there are names like Max von Sydow, Liv Ullman (both have starred in films by Bergman), Anita Ekberg and Ingrid Bergman.

The annual Gothenburg Film Festival gives directors, actors and cineasts an opportunity to meet, listen to lectures and, of course, watch movies. The majority of the films are made in other countries, but some new Swedish films are also shown.

Film Links

Photo 1: Copyright © Kamerareportage

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