Days of Pleasure in Stockholm

As you can see in the post below I have been to Stockholm, invited by filmmaker PeÅ Holmquist to tutor his graduating students for a week before they leave the Stockholm Dramatiska Högskola, English name: Stockholm Academy of Dramatic Arts. PeÅ had asked the students to come up with a project-idea for the post-school life that they are about to enter… and to pitch it to their teacher/him and me. As the students graduate examination takes place May 23rd it was busy time for several of them, who had deadlines to fulfill in the post-production. Nevertheless projects were presented and I had the chance to watch the nearly finished graduation films, some of them had passed the picture lock phase, plus mid terms work, the students had done before. Plus to have good talks with them.

Let me mention a couple of works finished in the school years and some in the making that impressed me.

Martina Carlstedt’s mid time documentary ”Claes” (photo) is very strong, both as a film and content-wise: Claes is a pensioner, who lives in complete isolation in is very neat, organised flat, in which he reflects on what his life has become and tries to make himself ready to leave the home to meet the outside world. But there is always an excuse to be found not to cross this border of fear, and to stay at home. Carlstedt has put the camera in the right places, she has a warm relationship to her protagonist, a very mature film in other words.

Equal maturity you find in the films of Ida Lindgren, ”Convent Girls” is mentioned in the post below and her previous ”Clownmedicin” demonstrates as well her talent for looking into the world of children, experienced in a hospital where (translated from the Swedish subtitle) there is playfulness and seriousness at the same time when the clowns move around.

Anna Padilla worked with Ida Lindgren on ”Convent Girls” and presented to me an emotionally strong story (her graduation film) about a 16 year old girl, who fights for her Iraqi father, who is to be deported from Sweden by

authorities which do not recognise his claim that he will be in danger the moment he comes back to Iraq. A kind of story we know far too well in Denmark as well.

Irene Lopez is on her way to DocsBarcelona to pitch her personal film story, ”The Promise”, that includes her late father Roberto, her step father Carlos, her mother Myrna and herself – and revolutionary Latin America and Sweden of today. Lopez also has ”The New Rabbi” on her plate = David Lazar who came to Stockholm from Israel, wanted to change the rules of and ceremonies in his Jewish community, and got into trouble… it can end up as a very strong and intriguing film.

Sven Blume graduates with a fine film from the Northest of Sweden, ”The Men from Vidsel”, men who are married to Thai women . You might think you have heard that story before but what characterises Blume’s film is that it does not fall into the cliché of Western men importing Thai women for sex and houshold. It has respect for the characters, who live in a long forgotten part of Sweden and try to cope with that together with Thai women who have found a safe, and cold, place far away from the world of palm trees.

Ragnhild Ekner graduates with an exhibition/video installation followed by a film, probably for cinema. I saw extremely strong material she showed to me from the life and world of Finnish Jussi, who took his own young life – born 1980, dead 2010. He – and the director and a lot of friends to him and her – were, what has been called ”ottitalister”, youngsters born in the 80’es, who grew up in a creative environment of music, art, literature, and lots of drugs. The classical story of a young artist who leaves this world by own decision. There is a lot of archive material, photos, videos, sound recordings, and Ragnhild Ekner has shot some impressive interviews with friends, who were close to and influenced by Finnish Jussi. Ekner works with renowned Swedish production company Story.

Conclusion: Watch out, a talented team of committed documentarians leave the school to contribute to the development of the Swedish documentary tradition. 5 women and 2 men enter a professional world that they already know pretty much about from their education, most of them are multi-skilled – they can do direction, editing and camera. They are all in search of their own voice as filmmakers and some have found their form/style, not bad when you are in your late twenties/early thirties.

Let me continue in Danish to express my enthusiasm for this week, Stockholm in May, a week full of sunshine and nice strolls…

… hver morgen fra det ganske særlige Hotel Örnsköld i begyndelsen af Nybrogatan, få skridt fra Dramaten og vandet, et af disse hoteller som en frequent traveller elsker efter at have prøvet alverdens Novotel’s, Ibis’er eller andre kæder, som er effektive, men som regel uden sjæl. På Örnsköld er interiøret nedslidt, men rent og ordentligt, du får en gammeldags nøgle, som du afleverer i receptionen, når du går, og der er frukost på rummet. På mit lille værelse var der to trin op tll badeværelset og en hel lille garderobe, jeg kunne gå ind i! Men ogå gratis internet og alskens tv-kanaler. Morgenturen: Op ad Nybrogatan, kryds henover Nybroplan, op ad Sibyllegatan, hvor Roy Andersson’s Studio 24 ligger i stueetagen (trænger til at få pudset vinduerne), og op til Östermalms flotte esplanader, Karlavägen og Valhallavägen, i kvarteret med de imposante arkitektonisk interessante bygninger, boliger for folk med mange penge.

Dramatiske Högskolan, derimod, er ikke det mest ophidsende bygningsværk, men kommer du indenfor, ser du store studier og teaterkulisser, for her uddannes ikke blot filmfolk, men også teatrets udøvende kunstnere på og bag scenen, radiomontagister, forfattere… Et ophidsende bygningsværk er derimod Filmhuset, som rummer SFI (Svenska Filminstitutet), indviet i 1971 og omdiskuteret, som man kan læse på hjemmesiden. Personligt har jeg altid ”læst” den som en magtfuld betonblok med en stejl indgang, som de stakkels støtteansøgere skal bestige før de forpustede melder deres ankomst og ærinde. Opstigning til magtens hus, hvor Harry Schein residerede i årevis. At stemningen er anderledes, på dokumentarfeltet i det mindste, tror jeg på efter at have mødt min tidligere EDN-kollega Cecilia Lidin, som er svensk films nuværende dokumentarkonsulent og årligt råder over 30 millioner kroner. Jeg gentager: tredive millioner svenske kroner! Cecilia tager møder, når der bedes om det, det lyder professionelt, hvilket Filmrummet også er, med egne (oversatte) ord ”samtaler og møder hvor der gøres nedslag i tidens vigtigste film spørgsmål”. Jeg var der til ”Film, Klass och Makt” med forfatteren Kristian Lundberg og filminstruktøren Måns Månsson, dirigeret af Tove Torbiörnsson, kvinden bag initiativet til debat om filmpolitik, – kunst, – branche, – forskning. Der var en alvar over en aften som denne, som Torbiörnsson indledte med at oplæse en solidarisk tekst med arbejderne i Bangla Desh, krydret med Marx-citater. Kunne aldrig have fundet sted i Danmark, hvor vi synes at være bange for alvoren og det højtstemte, og hellere vil pjatte det hele væk i debatter som disse?

Men ellers fik danskeren punkteret et par myter – jo, man ryge udenfor restauranterne og caféerne akkurat som i resten af Europa. Og der bliver ikke rynket på næsen fra nærtsiddende. På Berns Salong var PeÅ Holmquist så venlig at spørge tjeneren om danskeren kunne ryge en cigar midt på eftermiddagen. No Problem! Jeg blev ovenikøbet rost for cigarduften fra nabobordet. Ellers er det det jo herligt ”at fika” i Stockholm, jeg kan anbefale Tössebageriet på Karlavägen med udendørs-siddemuligheder, og er vi ved maden så er der et væld af gode muligheder nede omkring Dramaten – Riche er et dejligt brasserie, KB står for Konstnärsbaren og havde fremragende kalvelever, og på Östermalmstorg ligger Primewinebar, hvor de hvide asparges smagte, som de skulle. Man kan få god rødvin på alle de nævnte steder, men som dansker er det hårdt at se det første gode glas rødvin på vinlisten koste 125 SEK.

Men en skøn uge i Stockholm med film, godt selskab, god mad og en uforglemmelig ”Spöksonaten” (Strindberg) på Dramatens lille scene med Stina Ekblad i hovedrollen som Hummel.

http://www.stdh.se/mobile/vara-studenter/dokumentarfilm/avgangsklassen-2013/martina-carlstedt

http://clownmedicin.se/

http://filmbasen.se/filmare/anna-padilla

http://www.stdh.se/vara-studenter/dokumentarfilm/avgangsklassen-2013/irene-lopez

http://www.hotelornskold.se/

http://www.sfi.se/en-GB/About-SFI/Filmhuset/

http://www.stdh.se/in-english

http://www.sfi.se/sv/Filmrummet/

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Tue Steen Müller
Tue Steen Müller

Müller, Tue Steen
Documentary Consultant and Critic, DENMARK

Worked with documentary films for more than 20 years at the Danish Film Board, as press officer, festival representative and film consultant/commissioner. Co-founder of Balticum Film and TV Festival, Filmkontakt Nord, Documentary of the EU and EDN (European Documentary Network).
Awards: 2004 the Danish Roos Prize for his contribution to the Danish and European documentary culture. 2006 an award for promoting Portuguese documentaries. 2014 he received the EDN Award “for an outstanding contribution to the development of the European documentary culture”. 2016 The Cross of the Knight of the Order for Merits to Lithuania. 2019 a Big Stamp at the 15th edition of ZagrebDox. 2021 receipt of the highest state decoration, Order of the Three Stars, Fourth Class, for the significant contribution to the development and promotion of Latvian documentary cinema outside Latvia. In 2022 he received an honorary award at DocsBarcelona’s 25th edition having served as organizer and programmer since the start of the festival.
From 1996 until 2005 he was the first director of EDN (European Documentary Network). From 2006 a freelance consultant and teacher in workshops like Ex Oriente, DocsBarcelona, Archidoc, Documentary Campus, Storydoc, Baltic Sea Forum, Black Sea DocStories, Caucadoc, CinéDOC Tbilisi, Docudays Kiev, Dealing With the Past Sarajevo FF as well as programme consultant for the festivals Magnificent7 in Belgrade, DOCSBarcelona, Verzio Budapest, Message2Man in St. Petersburg and DOKLeipzig. Teaches at the Zelig Documentary School in Bolzano Italy.

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