Tag Archives: movie

Series “Lights, camera, action! – Brief history of the Swedish cinema” / Part 1: The outset

Some weeks ago I had the chance to write a post about the Göteborg Film Festival, meant for not only highlighting the main features of the event, but also as an expression of my passion regarding the cinematic world. I’ve decided to give more room to this passion, by combining it with my experience in Sweden; that’s why this piece is the first one of the series called “Lights, camera, action! – Brief history of the Swedish cinema”.

It’s been a while that I’ve wanted to get to know better the cinematic reality of this Scandinavian country. Of course I’ve heard about Ingmar Bergman – probably one of the most famous Swedish (and worldwide) filmmakers. What I ignored was that behind his name there is as well a huge legacy of filmmakers and actors that made Swedish cinema remarkably rich and well-known at an international level.

Greta Garbo, one of the first famous Swedish actresses, known worldwide. Source: www.cameralook.it

Over the course of the past two centuries, Sweden has gone through different phases of its history. As many countries between the end of the 19th and the outset of the 20th century, the overall economic and societal situation was mostly shaped by an agrarian perspective, strictly linked to the precepts of the Lutheran Protestantism. This was the context in which the first public projection took place, precisely in Malmö, in 1896. From that moment on, people working in the cinema industry would have played a fundamental role within the Swedish society.

Numa Wilhelm Peterson and Ernest Florman are the very first two names that we have to keep in mind when it comes to dealing with the dawn of the Swedish cinema. Both of them collaborated and gave birth to the first production, a collection of newsreels. But in 1897, Peterson, who was the owner of photographic supplier companies, produced “The Barber’s Shop in the Village”, made by Florman. Swedes were in front of the first-ever Swedish film drama. Other short films came up, among these the one called “Slagsmål i Gamla Stockholm (A Battle in Old Stockholm)”, a particular one because its aim was to recreate an old 17th century Stockholm setting; proper costumes were also used, by the way.

  Numa Peterson and Ernest Florman. Source: http://www.victorian-cinema.net

In less than ten years, a cinematic mania pervaded the entire country. Many towns started establishing their own cinemas. One of the outcomes was also the foundation of a film production company by a bookkeeper, Gustav Bjösrkman, and his boss Nils Hansson Nylander, in 1905. Starting being active from two years later, the AB Svensk Biografteatern was essential in giving the push to a new era of the Swedish cinema, renowned as “The golden age”.

Are you still there? I know, too many historical facts and names that you (probably) have never heard of before, but hey: this is how the fascinating process that led to Ingmar Bergman and other famous personalities began – and I hope I can convey that feeling to you, since along with the passion for cinema, I’m mixing the one regarding history, too. So, let’s not lose the thread, going towards the end of the first part of this series of pieces full of past memories, old cameras and black&white backgrounds.

Where were we? Yes, a new film production company was born. Apparently, they were missing one important member, one capable of managerial skills and creativity. Here came the moment of Charles Magnusson, another name to remember. Known for his ability to film important public events in Denmark and Sweden, he started building an image in the relative business. He owned a laboratory and some cinemas in Gothenburg, the city where he came from. In 1908, the choice of Svensk Biografteatern could not be other than signing Magnusson. That turned out to be a decisive moment for the new established industry.

Charles Magnusson. Source: Wikipedia

We’ll have the chance to talk a bit more about what Magnusson did in order to boost the film industry, and we’ll see that his management will prove to be extremely crucial to the development of what it was defined as the aforementioned “golden age” of the Swedish cinema.

Stay tuned for the second part of the series “Lights, camera, action!”. To be continued…


Featured image: “The Seventh Seal”, by Ingmar Bergman. Source: http://www.originalprop.com/blog/2009/09/28/chess-pieces-from-ingmar-bergmans-the-seventh-seal-sold-by-bukowskis-in-sweden-for-144000-today-2/

Main sources: http://www.academia.edu/5943663/A_short_history_of_Swedish_cinema, https://swedishfilmshollywoodremakes.wordpress.com/further-readings-2/sweden/swedish-cinema-the-silent-era/

Göteborg film festival: the most important cinematographic event in Scandinavia

Have I ever mentioned how much I love cinema? Well, now you know that! It’s one of my passions and whenever I can, I always go and watch some good movies, possibly the independent ones.

Why cinema? I’m heading to the answer: today (Friday, 27 January) the most important and largest film festival in the whole Scandinavia is gonna start. And you know where? Here in Gothenburg, my city! That sounds simply wonderful.


Source: https://kinnegbg.wordpress.com/2013/03/01/draken/

Since 1979, Gothenburg has been hosting this great event which has become even more larger over the course of the years. For moviegoers and people who just want to attend something different and particular, it’s a nice chance to get. Along with showing movies, during the festival it will be possible to attend to other related events, such as seminars, music, art, projects analysing new stuff progressing in the film industry, and many other interesting activities – concerning children too!

Participating at this festival would mean immersing in the sea of many international movies, as well as films coming from the Nordic region. Regarding the Scandinavian area, there’s a specific section within the festival called “Nordic Film Market”: basically, authorized personnel such as sales agents, distributors and festival programmers will get to know better the professional Nordic world of movies and TV productions.

Every year the Göteborg Film Festival shows hundreds of exciting films from all around the world during the ten festival days. We travel to every corner to check out the very best.

Jonas Holmberg, art director of Göteborg Film Festival


Credits: Sofia Sabel/imagebank.sweden.se

The single ticket prices varies from 65 sek to 90 sek, and you should be able to get a festival pass (50 sek) in order to have access to screenings as well as concerts, seminars, exhibitions, and free entry to the festival center at Pustervik. The pass is actually free for students – you should bring with you your Mecenat card

Here you can have a look at the large selection of movies that will be shown. I can reveal you that last week there was a kind of free preview for students, a movie from Argentina called “The Distinguished Citizen”. I decided to go and… according to me, is one of the best movies I’ve seen recently. I really loved the plot and the way the film director shot it, and also I can recall the great performance of the main actor, Oscar Martínez.


Source: http://www.anonimacinefili.it/2016/09/08/venezia-73-la-recensione-in-anteprima-di-el-ciudadano-ilustre-no-spoiler/

Draken, Hagabion, Biopalatset, and some other as well: these will be the place where the movies will make your eyes shine, and your mind think.

Credits featured image: Sofia Sabel/imagebank.sweden.se

climate change renewable energies

“Before the Flood”, a reminder to take action NOW!

We continously hear about global warming and climate change, but still we forget about it very easily, I don’t want to sound like I know all the answers or like I am some kind example to follow in terms of pollution awareness because I’m not. I’m just a regular student concerned about climate change.

Before the Flood is a documentary that gives us a perspective of what are we facing, a look at how climate change affects our environment and what society can do to prevent endangered species to extinguish, ecosystems and native communities to disappear across the planet. It’s more than a movie, more than a documentary, it’s a reminder of the problem that we tend to forget so rapidly, it’s a call to take action.

“Climate change is the single greatest threat to a sustainable future but, at the same time, addressing the climate challenge presents a golden opportunity to promote prosperity, security and a brighter future for all.” – Ban Ki-moon, Secretary General, United Nations.

drought-780088_1920Source: https://pixabay.com/es/sequ%C3%ADa-aridez-seco-tierra-suelo-780088/

Global warming exists, it’s real and it’s getting worse every day. In this documentary, Leonardo Di Caprio takes us on a journey across the five continents and the artic, to witness the global warming effects on the ecosystems. In his expedition, he meets with scientists and political leaders around the world to discuss the problematic and the impact of climate change. He also unveils how huge companies intentionally misinform people to cover their interests, spreading inaccurate information to confuse the public about the urgency of this climate crisis.

qbtyuqtqj8k-roxanne-desgagnesSource: https://unsplash.com/search/global-warming?photo=qbtyUQtqJ8k, Roxanne Desgagnés.

What is happening?

All those things we heard about 10 years ago, all those predictions scientist made a couple of years ago, are now becoming a reality, and the future is no different. Heat waves, floods, wildfires, prolonged drought, extreme weather, sea level rise, all these natural disasters are related one to each other, and all of them can be explained from a global warming perspective.

Let me put it in simple and nonscientific words, the world is getting hotter because of the carbon pollution we have already emitted, since the world is hotter the ice melts and less ice means the temperature increases at a higher rate, at the same time the sea level increases which causes floods and this unleashes a chain of negative effects in the world.

Where is the carbon pollution coming from?

Over 60% of the carbon pollution comes from the burning of fossil fuels – coal, oil, and natural gas – around 25% comes from deforestation and agriculture. The rest comes from cement waste, industrial chemicals called F-gases. Burning fuels to produce energy is no longer a reliable source, it doesn’t matter if electric cars are in the streets if the energy to propel them comes from burning fossil fuel to produce electric energy, they might not be burning fuel inside the car, but somewhere else the fuel is being burnt. Although there are many sources, the most important ones are: burning fossil fuels, deforestation, livestock farming (food production) to mention a few.

What we can do?

You won’t believe it, but right now it is possible to solve climate change with the available technologies and sustainability measures. I’m not saying it is an easy task but it is possible. It has been proven that by using currently available technologies it is achievable to meet all our energy demands for heating, electricity, and transportation through 100% clean renewable sources by 2050.

There are a lot of things that we can do to lower the carbon emissions, I won’t list all of them but I will mention the most important one: GET INVOLVED! There are a lot of organizations, initiatives, technologies, and programs out there that could help to solve the crisis, the major problem is that no one cares about it, or everybody thinks that one change won’t make the difference.

global warming

Source: Giphy

I asked Francesco (you can check his stream here) to write his thoughts about the documentary, and to write about what we can do to deal with this crisis, this is what he wrote:

The days we all are living today are dramatic. We think we have reached the highest peak of human history – which is true in a sense and to a certain extent. However, everything we can do today, everything we can manage has seriously affected our planet, our real home. No matter the borders we as humans have drawn over the course of the centuries – in fact, there are NO borders. We all are part of the same reality, of the same matter which is planet Earth.

“Before the Flood” is a new attempt to open our eyes, to shake us and let us think: “Okay, do we really want this? Do we really want to destroy our future and the future of the planet?” The problem is that if we want to see the future, we must deal with the present. And the present, it’s far from being a foundation good enough to hope in a better future. We are driving our own species and, consequently, all the species in the world towards a sort of black hole: once we enter it, we cannot go out anymore. The process which leads us to this imaginary black hole is what Andres as well as the documentary talked about: the global warming.

Despite this danger, which is tremendously real, there are many people who really want to help the humankind and the planet to find the right solutions and affect positively the awareness about the global warming. Projects like Ecosia are simply wonderful. In Ecosia’s case, they may slowly but effectively help to change the vision that we, humans, have of our planet. What is Ecosia? Well, it’s “the search engine that plants trees with its ad revenue”: basically, when you want to look for something on the web, you open Ecosia main page and, just as Google or other search engines, you enter your search; once you see the outcomes, you can also look at how many trees you’re contributing to plant. That sounds amazing, right? And it just takes the space of a web search!

We can, we must do something for saving our planet. It’s our responsibility, and we should fight for it every day. We have the means, we have the technologies, we have the power to do that: it’s up to us.

For those of you who live in Gothenburg, Chalmers is screening the movie on december 6th, in Hörsalsvägen 4, SE-412 58 Göteborg, Sverige.