mon 21/08/2017

Sweden

theartsdesk at Bergman Week - finding the spirit of the great Swedish filmmaker

In his biography The Magic Lantern, Ingmar Bergman recalls his first encounter with the Swedish island of Fårö, in 1960, when location scouting for his next film, Through A Glass Darkly. A last, desperate bid by the film’s producers to find a...

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CD: Shitkid - Fish

Finally, a new band that lives up to a fine name and great cover art. Then again, Shitkid do a whole lot more than that. Their music sounds like the antithesis of contemporary chart-pop, which is refreshing, but even better, also doesn’t do the...

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Blu-ray: My Life as a Dog

My Life as a Dog is a bittersweet coming-of-age yarn which took Sweden and the art cinema circuit by storm on its release in 1985. Anton Glanzelius plays Ingemar, the 12-year-old narrator with a pixie-faced charm; his mother has TB and is exhausted...

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Midnight Sun finale review - 'terminal silliness, wholesale slaughter'

So here’s the thing: a heavily pregnant woman is hanging by her ankles above a raging torrent. Two teens, one with a broken arm, are stuck down a well. And 15 miners, deep below ground, take refuge from a fire in an emergency chamber, unaware it has...

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Midnight Sun, Sky Atlantic

You can just hear Måns Mårlind and Björn Stein, the clever-sick Swedes behind Midnight Sun, cackling as they cooked up the pre-title sequence to the first episode of their new series. A grizzled man in a grey suit wakes up to find himself strapped...

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CD: Zara Larsson - So Good

For many, music is simply background, blurring tinnily from phones, sense-candy to “Like”, swipe and scroll alongside Pokemon and Snapchat. Music is content, filling digital space in the same way Polyfilla fills dents in walls. Zara Larsson...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Mezzo Anne Sofie von Otter

What's a world-renowned mezzo-soprano in her middle years to do? Slimline of voice, tall and handsome in person with piercing and slightly intimidating blue eyes, Stockholm-born Anne Sofie von Otter isn't likely to sing what is known in the operatic...

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Blu-ray: The Emigrants/The New Land

The Emigrants and The New Land have to be seen. In each, the story is gripping, the acting marvellous and the depiction of the period setting evocative and flawless. Any of these aspects would be reason enough to see a film, but the clincher is...

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DVD: Ingrid Bergman - In Her Own Words

Ever nursed an immoderate fondness for Ingrid Bergman? This bio-documentary is the home entertainment of your dreams, an entrancing, melancholy memoir in letters, diaries and above all personal footage. Director Stig Björkman has earned the trust of...

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Lights Out

A woman cowers beneath her bedclothes, building a useless barrier against the thing she hears creeping and scraping across the room, the thing that only appears when she turns off the light. This is the most primal image of domestic terror in the...

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Proms at...Cadogan Hall: Hardenberger, Gruber, ASMF

Superior light music with a sting, done at the highest level: what could be better for a summer lunchtime in the light and airy Cadogan Hall? Our curator was that most collegial of top soloists, trumpeter Håkan Hardenberger. He'd invited colleagues...

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DVD: The Girl King

The story of Queen Christina Vasa of Sweden has been told in opera, novels and on stage. It was first addressed by cinema in 1933 when Greta Garbo played the title role in Rouben Mamoulian’s Queen Christina. Liv Ullmann then took the part in 1974’s...

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