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Swedish cinema

Mauritz Stiller

Mauritz Stiller

Swedish Cinema

Characterized by its cold and unique landscapes, the cinema from Sweden has consolidated as the most important among the Scandinavian countries. It all boils down to the beginnings when in less than a decade after the Lumiere’s brothers invent, Swedish productions were already among the most important in Europe.

The minds behind that impressive success were the filmmakers Victor Sjöström and Mauritz Stiller, who worked for Svenska Biografteatern in 1911. Precisely, the latter played an important role in Greta Garbo’s career with the movie Gösta Berlings (1924).

Years later, Greta Garbo and both directors headed to Hollywood longing for better conditions and leaving the Swedish cinema in a crisis which lasted almost two decades until the end of World War II.

Successful Rebirth

The leader of a new generation of filmmakers who also boosted the cinema industry of his country and placed it again in the selected group of the best ones was Ingmar Bergman. Despite beginning his career in the 40s, his international success came two decades later with The Seventh Seal (1960), and won afterwards two consecutive Oscars for Best Foreign Language movie with The Virgin spring (1960) and Through a Glass Darkly (1961).

Other of the key pieces in Swedish cinema in the seventies was Roy Andersson, who directed Lördagen den 5.10 in 1969, a winner film at the Berlin International Film Festival.

In addition, directors such as Lasse Åberg and Lasse Hallström commanded a vanguard of Swedish film industry in the eighties. The latter was the person behind the videos of the successful pop band ABBA, and also won two Oscars (Best Director and Best Script Adaptation) in 1987 for My Life as a Dog.


Ingmar Bergman

Ingmar Bergman

The Millenium Trilogy

The Millenium Trilogy

Latest success

In the latest decade, one of the biggest hits of Swedish cinema is Tomas Alfredson’s Let the Right One In (2008), a film about love between a vampire girl and his neighbour, a bullied kid. The movie, which belongs to a new wave of vampire  in cinema, was so successful that years later was adapted in Hollywood as Let Me In (2010), a doubtless blockbuster.

However, the main Swedish blockbuster is The Millenium Trilogy. Originally written by Stieg Larsson, the saga was turned into film in 2009 with its three pieces: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest, all filmed in 2009.

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