Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Swedish Movie Night in Stockholm

DCP and I watched a nice Swedish movie last night. Masjävlar. And to be honest I have no idea what the mas part of masjävlar means so if someone wants to fill me in I’m all ears. I bought the movie because it was on sale. And DCP needed a Swedish movie to watch for her class. So what the hell.

It was a pretty solid movie. Takes place in Dalarna so they had a nice little accent. Amazing how many accents there are in Sweden considering it’s only the size of California.

The movie was billed as one of the best movies of the year. The year being the end of 2004 into 2005. The cover bragged that 785,000 people had seen the movie in theaters. 785,000 people. Sometimes this country seems so quaint. I love it.

But the movie itself was kind of what I have come to expect from Swedish films. The ones that I actually take the time to watch tend to be decent. But filled with awkward moments. And angst. Lots and lots of angst. Followed with a dash of depression, social anxiety, intense introspection. You know, all the makings of a light hearted film.

I’m not sure why this is. Maybe Swedes are just depressed as an entire country. If art imitates life then that must be the case. Or maybe they are still playing off that Bergman tradition from so long ago. But it’s not very often that a Swedish comedy makes any headlines. Or even seems to get noticed. The Swedes seem to have this sort of movie down though. So they might as well stick with it.

In all honesty though this movie managed to be kind of intense, kind of depressing, kind of quiet, kind of funny, kind of awkward, and pretty good all at the same time. Kind of like Sweden itself.


  1. I swear, it's genetic. I'm learning to embrace those particular genes of mine. LOL.

  2. http://sv.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mas
    Mas is a person fron Dalarna.
    so Masjävlar is devils from Dalarna
    Films by Hasse & Tage are great fun

  3. Sweden makes to many movies for the size of the country, and quality suffers from that. But there are a few good ones. Fucking Åmål has yielded success abroad, aswell as Cops (manuscipt sold and re-written for the US, result: Supertroopers).

    As for comedies YallaYalla is quite a nice one, as well as Tillsammans.

    As a swede living abroad in a non-anglo country I struggle with the humor over here. I simply don´t understand the jokes, or even when people are making one. And they certainly don´t laugh at my jokes. As a result I tend to believe they simply do not have any humor at all.

    What´s the take on this for you expats living in Sweden? Do you understand swedish jokes? Are they funny? Is there a good amount laugh and joy in Sweden?

  4. There are and has been a lot of Swedish comedy shows and series on TV but you're right a lot of Swedish movies are kind of depressing. That's probably why so many Swedes don't really care that much for Swedish movies. I don't think we're a depressed country, do you? I think that most movie makers (and actors) in Sweden are pretty pretentious and to put it simply, a pretty special bunch of people. But there is a pretty large amount of funny Swedish comedy series, both old and new. For example, Nile City, Hipp hipp, Torsk på Tallin, Sverige dansar och ler and pretty much everything by the comedy duo Fredrik & Filip etc.

  5. I have to tip you on some GREAT swedish movies:

    Fanny och Alexander
    Det sjunde inseglet

    Mitt liv som hund
    Fröken Julie
    Allt om min mamma
    Lilja for ever
    Fucking Åmål

    .. please watch them, instead of like Beck. I promise you that they will change your opinion about Swedish movies, even though they generally suck.

  6. I'm a swede, and I don't like swedish movies. Of course there are exceptions, but generally I think they're pretty crappy. The swedish movie business is in some kind of crisis (or so I've read). I'm not surprised. When they start making better movies I will watch them to.

  7. When I was in college, a friend and I went to see Scenes From a Marriage. Halfway through, my friend began sobbing and ran out of the theatre without a word. Needless to say, I did not recommend The Virgin Spring.

    I find his movies compelling. I cannot look away.

  8. I'm a half-Swede living in Chicago and stumbled across Fanny och Alexander on cable TV. I saw that it was Swedish and hit the record button. Thank you Sandra for putting it at the top of your list - I'm a little more motivated to invest the time into watching it. I may even increase my Svensk vocabulary by a few more words...

  9. some good comments. and good suggestions on movies. but most of those that I have seen that were suggested ar not exactly uplifting. very good. but not necessarily the stuff that will leave you smiling.

    I would add Ondskan also which I really enjoy.

  10. If you want to see fun, uplifting Swedish movies, then pretty much anything by Ulf Malmros is awesome. He is by far my favourite Swedish director. Tjenare Kungen and Bröllopsfotografen are, in my opinion, his best works. His movies will give you an authentic Swedish feel, but without the depressing angst bit. You also get to revel in Swedish dialects, especially värmländska. Watch them! Also, Kopps is pretty funny and oh so Swedish.

    (Sorry about commenting on your posts so much. It ain't my fault that you write/wrote some good stuff though. Skyll dig själv :P )

  11. Oooh, I'll have to check him out.

    (Sorry about responding so late to your comments. I kind of lost track of this blog after moving back to the US. And thank you. Although, I must say, reading through some of this is kind of painful sometimes. I wrote some ridiculous things. And some things that I don't even agree with anymore.)

    1. Bättre sent än aldrig! I was almost worried you had died or something ;)
      Haha, I know what you mean about it being painful reading old things you wrote back in the day! However, I really, REALLY enjoy your blog, even though I don't always agree with you. I wish you would write a blog again!

    2. Well like I said, I dont even agree with me about a lot of stuff. My politics have changed. Pretty drastically. But it's still fun to see what I wrote!

  12. Hairy Swede!!! Welcome back to the USA. So happy to see your font again. Will you start up the blog again? I had to stop And One due to personal reasons but recently started an art blog. Either way, nice to know you're alive and out there. :)

  13. Thanks, but actually now I'm back in Sweden. Only for a little while though - about a year and then back to the US again.