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sthlm film festival 2011


Some thoughts from Stockholm Film Festival. It is a pity that something that is so near and so good tends to be forgotten again and again. I haven't been to Stockholm Film Festival since 2005 and that was my first time despite living here my entire life. I then said to myself that I should attend every year. It turned out that annually happens every six years for me. In any case I went to some 11 films and here is some notes to remember them.

It started out with me missing The Man from Le Havre by Aki Kaurismäki. Käthe went and said it was perhaps the best movie of the festival. We saw "Mannen utan minne" a couple of years ago an it was a very beautiful and slow film indeed.

Miranda Julys The Future was miserable as expected. She creates bizarre but real personas with such ease. Thinking about it - a theme of the films I saw is definitely "unhappy women".

The most touching film in the "unhappy women" genre was Martha Marcy May Marlene by Sean Durkin about a woman that leaves her life in a sect. It is about two very intense weeks after she left when she stays with her only relative, her sister and her sisters husband. The film clearly depicts the kind of damage one may get in a sect. This touched me very much since I have been brought up in a baptist kinda church that is on the border to sectishness (or whatever it is called....). I can really understand how a badly managed view of the world may create the strangest of minds. On the other hand the mindset of a sect, with its distancing from worldly, capitalist things is really refreshing and should be something to think about for us all. The film contrasted this nicely with Marthas sister being sort of living the capitalist way. Not in an extreme way but still....

The darkest of the "unhappy women" genre films was the russian Twilight Portrait by Angelina Nikonova. It takes place in suburban Russia where evil police and a lonely woman walks the broken streets. All is just very sad in a troubling real way. It also got the most thorough party mood sinker ever seen.

Victorian Britains contribution to the "unhappy women" genre was a "Wuthering Heights" version. In this film everyone was unhappy and it rained a lot and there were lots of mud. Still the camera did some awesome things so it was not a waste.

The japanese contribution to the "unhappy women" genre was called Guilty of Romance and was about a bored housewife that ventures out and eventually finds herself at the bottom of things. Or just finding herself as the films sometimes says. The ending is interesting to say the least. I liked it a lot.

Hysteria generalized the "unhappy woman" theme. Settled in late 19th century England it had lots of messages put into the story about a young doctor that sways between doing the good work and being successful and finally finds himself where one might guess in such a entertaining and high moods film. One of the best.

I saw two documentaries. I only managed half of the VERY long Harrison one by Scorsese. I slipped away in the break being a bit too restless to stay for another 1'45. It was a nice film though. The other one was called Knuckle and is a must see for every feminist wannabe. It was about irish travelers, how different families fight each other for who knows what. The only reasonable persons in the film (except the creator) was women. The men just wanted to fight each other and they passed it on to their sons. Thinking about ridding the planet of males is strongly backed by findings when seeing this nice documentary.

All she can was a nice movie bit it NEVER ENDED. It was about a high school youngster wanting to get to college via winning a qualification competition. It is about her struggle and I guess the nice thing about the film is that it didn't end as expected. There are failures and miseries but in the end it is sort of sorted out  - or not.

The weirdest film was korean Invasion of Alien Bikini. With lots of action, weird sex and awesome characters it was great entertainment.

The last film we saw was Sleeping Beauty about a young student that seems to live a divided life. She works with several things at the same time as studying and communicates a feel of meaninglessness. Then she accepts a job as a sleeping beauty and it is about this experience the film revolves.

So - putting the festival to sleep. I am now a bit film fatigued.... we'll see if there will be another six years until I attend next time. It would be a shame with so many good creations to watch each year.

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