SINCE JUNE 2004 WITH OVER 300 PAGES AND 3000 IMAGES
Berlinale today: press
conference, photo call and premiere
For more photos, visit
came this week of Alexander's upcoming role in a Netflix
adventure thriller called HOLD THE DARK, directed by Jeremy
Saulnier. The cast includes Jeffrey Wright, James Badge Dale, Riley
Keough and James Bloor. Based on the book by William Giraldi, the
story is set in a remote Alaskan wilderness in which wolves have
taken and killed children. A wolf-expert biologist is called in to
investigate, but finds himself in between a secret-harboring mother
who disappears and her husband who goes on a maniacal spree when he
returns from Iraq and learns of his son's death. Jeffrey will play
the biologist with James in the role of the detective. Riley and
Alexander will play the parents. Filming will begin next month in
Alexander is also
slated to star in the $14M renaissance action film THE DWARF.
Brad Anderson will direct from a screenplay based on Par
Lagerkvist's novel of the same name. The action takes place during
the 14th century. Can you guess who plays the dwarf? Yes! Who else!
Peter Dinklage. He will play a fearless man who proves his
mettle and earns the trust of a prince (Skarsgard) after he conquers
an all-time wrestling champion in a contest. He then pledges his
undying loyalty and resorts to assassinations and subterfuge in his
merciless quest to protect his new master. Alexander is presently
starring in the current HBO crime drama "Big Little Lies".
It was 35
years ago that Stellan won the Silver Bear for Best Actor for "The
Simple-Minded Murderer" at the Berlin International Film Festival. What
a wonderful way to start a film career!
On Wednesday Stellan returns to Berlin for the premiere of his latest
film, RETURN TO MONTAUK. Commenting on
the director of the romantic drama, he says, "I have liked Schlöndorff
since the 70's. He's a very talented man... I've wanted to work with him
for a long time, and then this wonderful story came along."
Stellan says he had to learn an
unusual amount of dialogue. He says, "My motto for choosing roles is I'd
rather have as little text as possible, but here I gladly broke my own
principles. It was fun to work with such material. It's a very literary
text and it was a lot to learn. The script is based on a book by Max
Frisch and he's a wonderful writer."
Describing the film, he says, "The
story says something about how we experience life. I have many friends
who are writers, and I see how they use their subjects to portray the
world in their own way. Authors have the advantage that they can create
stories beyond time and space while they do not need to lose touch with
the real world. My character is part of a love story in which he has
created an image of the relationship the two had that has grown in his
locations included the title place - Montauk - at the tip of Long
Island. Stellan says, "We were there just before the tourist season
started, so there were not so many people. It is reminiscent of Skagen
with a magic light, surrounded by the sea and long sandy beaches and
As far as
future projects, he says he's been reading scripts. He's thinking of two
TV series in the US and two feature films, but nothing has been done
about them yet. Terry Gilliam's "The Man Who Killed Don Quixote" was
supposed to have gone into production in October but had to be canceled
when one of the financiers fell away. Stellan is still waiting word to
hear if filming will begin next month.
from today RETURN TO MONTAUK will
premiere at Berlinale! Stellan will be present at the world-famous
festival. Check out the beautiful poster and screen stills on the
The English-language film was partially shot on
location in Montauk, Amagansett and New York last spring, while interior
scenes were filmed in Berlin. Director Volker Schlöndorff,
who summers in Amagansett, co-wrote the screenplay with Irish author
Colm Tóibín. The story takes
its inspiration from Swiss writer Max Frisch’s novella
but the author and the screenwriters agreed that it
would be too difficult to translate to film because it was too
autiobiographical and essayistic. Schlöndorff
and Tóibín decided to use it as a model to
tell their own story.
Though the screenplay diverges so much from the book, the setting was
never subject to change. "Absolutely not,"
Schlöndorff said. "The main inspiration we
retained from Max Frisch was this somewhat legendary
'Montauk,' a place or a name quite well
known in Europe through this book, published in 1974 when
Montauk was not yet as popular … more a
poetical metaphor for a place at land’s end."
The director has ambitions of bringing the film to
the Hamptons International Film Festival, held annually in October.
There's a behind-the scenes video
that you can access on youtube.com
this link. It's in black and white and runs about 16 minutes.
Unfortunately, much of it is in German, but I think Stellan fans will
has been announced that RETURN TO MONTAUK
will screen in Competition at the 67th International Berlin Film
Festival (Berlinale) in what will also be a world premiere for the
Volker Schloendorff-directed film. The festival, which runs from
February 9–19, is one of the most important dates for the international
film industry. The film centers on writer Max Zorn (Skarsgård),
who comes to New York for the release of his book. His young wife Clara
(Susanne Wolff) goes ahead to work on the U.S. release. In his novel,
Max writes about the failure of love in this city 17 years ago. Almost
by chance he meets Rebecca (Nina Hoss). She is now a successful lawyer,
originally from East Germany and in New York for 20 years. They decide
to spend a weekend together in Montauk, a fishing port on Long Island.
has won both a Guldbaggen and Silver Bear but now he has a new award
added to his CV. He has been awarded an honorary doctorate by the
Faculty of Arts at the University of Lund. He gets the title
because he "has a deeply reflective and thoughtful approach to his work
as an actor and to his place in film production, and he personifies in
an outstanding way the international character that has permeated and
still characterizes the art of film and film work, both the practical
Martin Degrell, communicator at
Lund University, said Stellan was very happy and very honored and has
agreed to participate in the conferment ceremony on June 2. Degrell
added that it was gratifying that Stellan would attend since he's a very
biopic BORG/MCENROE has now wrapped principal photography in
Sweden, Prague, Monaco, London and New York. The film will have a fall
2017 theatrical release. It has already been sold to France (Pretty
Pictures), UK (Curzon), GAS (Ascot Elite), Australia/New Zealand
(Vendetta), Italy (Lucky Red) and Latin America (Cineplex). Producers
Jon Nohrstedt and Fredrik Wikström Nicastro announced, "We are very
pleased and proud to bring this amazing story based on true events about
two of the greatest icons and their rivalry to the big screen. It is an
extremely ambitious project and to have international talent such as
Shia LaBeouf, Stellan Skarsgård, together with Sverrir Gudnason in the
film is absolutely amazing."
about a year ago Stellan's portrait was hung at the Martin Schoeller
exhibition called "Up Close" in Stockholm. At that time I was able to
only post the first two photographs but now a clearer portrait has
become available. Excellent work, Mr. Schoeller!
son Valter, about to turn 21 later this month, is taking the next
step in his acting career by accepting an international role for his
next project. He tells the press that he's leaving this week but,
unfortunately, cannot say anything more about the upcoming film. He
says, "I think it might be fun to work in English. Then you also have
the chance to work with more people and you get even more options. It's
hard to just stick to Sweden. There are not so many projects." Valter is
currently in the new Swedish TV thriller series, "Svartsjön" (Black
Sea), which will premiere on October 20th on TV3 and Viaplay. He says,
"It is rare to see this kind of Swedish production. It makes me think
that this series can have impact. It comes with something new, and it
is, if I may say so myself, well-made."
I couldn't resist posting one of my
favorite pics of Valter taken during the filming of
ATT DÖDA ETT BARN, directed by older
brother Alex back in 2003.
a press conference for BORG/MCENROE was held in Gothenburg,
Sweden. In attendance were Stellan, Sverrir Gudnason, Shia LaBouef, Tuva
Novotny, director Janus Metz Pedersen and writer Ronnie Sandahl, who
says the film obviously will be about the great Wimbledon match in 1980
but its primary focus will be on the relationship between Björn Borg
and John McEnroe. He adds, "It's about two very young and lonely
men with the entire world's weight on their shoulders. The only one who
really understands what they are going through is their rival, and
that's what creates the tension between them. It's a very character
Stellan was questioned about his
comeback since his role as Borg's coach Lennart "Labbe" Bergelin is his
first Swedish role in almost ten years. He says, "There hasn't been
anything interesting before, but this script was really there and Janus
Metz's brain is good and he is very persuasive."
has been delayed on THE MAN WHO KILLED DON QUIXOTE due to
financing issues. Terry Gilliam has revealed that his passion project,
which he has been working on for almost two decades, has stalled but he
insists it will still go ahead. Speaking on BBC radio, he said: "I had
this producer, a Portuguese chap, who claimed he’d get all the money
together in time. And a few weeks ago, he proved that he didn’t have the
money. I am still marching forward and the film isn’t dead. I will be
dead before the film is." Besides Stellan, cast members include Adam
Driver, Michael Palin, Olga Kurylenko
and Willem Dafoe.
Alexander will soon travel to Berlin to shoot the WWII drama
"Aftermath", which also stars Keira Knightley. He says he can't wait to
use his new base to get back to his extended family in Stockholm. "I
have a four-year-old brother and a seven-year-old brother and a
two-year-old nephew", he says. "And I haven't seen them since Christmas.
And I miss them. Being away from them really sucks. I'm hoping to get an
apartment in Stockholm. I haven't had a place there for 12 years. It's
too long." His latest film "War on Everyone" screened at the
Deauville Film Festival on September 8th and will open in the UK on
October 7th. The film is a black comedy set in Albuquerque, NM that was
both directed and written by John Michael McDonagh. Besides Alex, it
stars Michael Peña and Theo James.
In a recent
article in Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet, ex-wife My Skarsgård
discusses her life path. As a trained physician with experience of her
own alcohol abuse, she has become one of the most influential voices in
the conversation about alcohol and sobriety. We salute My for her
courage and commitment.
THE WAVES becomes an opera! Reported by James C.
not hard to see why Lansdale, Pa.-born composer Missy Mazzoli was drawn
to adapt Lars Von Trier's 1996 film "Breaking the Waves" into an opera:
a strong, complex heroine, a wrenching moral drama — not to mention its
high profile cultural visibility. Indeed, there are moments in
Mazzolli's opera where you feel that this new work, that received its
world premiere last weekend at Opera Philadelphia, could have the same
break-out qualities of the film, which launched the major international
careers of its director and two stars.
The composer's second opera, "Breaking the Waves," is a powerful new
work. Its potent drama and compelling music are only enhanced by James
Darrah's compact but insightful staging at Kimmel Center's Perelman
Theater (with additional performances scheduled for Thursday and
Saturday nights). Mazzoli's adaptation is faithful to Von Trier's epic
passion play about a woman's twisted bargains with god and her paralyzed
husband. Most importantly, though, it effectively translates the
emotions and story from Danish Dogme 95-style cinema to the lyric stage.
Magnolia Home Entertainment has
announced that IN ORDER OF DISAPPEARANCE
will be released on DVD and Blu-ray on December 6, 2016. Those in
the US who didn't see it in theaters and don't want to wait until
December, can view it via Amazon streaming video at a rental of $6.99.
It's worth it!!!
As filming began on
BORG/MCENROE, the press met up with Stellan on location to
talk about his role as Borg's coach. He explains, "Playing a well-known
figure like Lennart Bergelin is a bit like doing Hamlet. Everyone has
their idea of how the role should be played. Björn,
his wife Mariana and Lennart lived in a very strange symbiosis where
they often shared a room together and the relationship between Björn
and Lennart was pretty complex. He was like a father figure who sees a
great genius and lives through him."
Stellan remembers the dramatic
television images from the Wimbledon final in 1980 at his in-laws'
summer home but has never taken up tennis. His only contact with the
sport was when he was forced to play two games of tennis in the role of
a Russian mafia banker in John le Carré thriller "Our kind of traitor"
which premiered last spring. He says, "I was completely useless.
Although I trained every day for three months, I could not hit the ball.
Therefore, I am incredibly impressed by Sverrir who learned to play so
fast - and got a brand new body. He was a bit flabby earlier."
While Norwegian film IN ORDER OF DISAPPEARANCE
opens in theaters across the country, wonderful reviews continue to pour
Tirdad Derakhshani of the Philadelphia Inquirer
perhaps sums up the film perfectly. Here are some of his comments:
Swift, fleet-of-foot, and efficient, with clean
lines and a sleek finish, the Norwegian black comedy In Order of
Disappearance glides through the world like a perfectly
engineered car or a gorgeous piece of modern furniture.
Set in the sparse, blindingly white snowfields of
the Scandinavian winter, Hans Petter Moland's violent, satirical
crime thriller is assembled with such formal rigor and visual poetry
that it throws into high relief the messy, sweaty, almost
repulsively human drama that unspools.
The film's knockout power is due in no small part to the
contributions of cinematographer Philip Øgaard and leading man
Stellan Skarsgård, who have worked with the writer-director on two
of his best-known features, A Somewhat
Gentle Man (2010) and Aberdeen
Though he's backed by a strong ensemble cast...
Skarsgård dominates the screen with his 6-foot, 4-inch frame, his
outsize rage and grief, and the gigantic snowplow truck he drives...
Like the Coen brothers' best flicks, In Order of Disappearance
gets its gruesomely comic momentum from a domino effect of
unintended consequences put into motion by the hero's actions...
Operatic, absurdist, and scathing, Moland's story rages on
with tremendous force and speed, never slowing down for extraneous
junk like backstories, explanations, or tiresome exposition.
In Order of Disappearance will no doubt invite comparisons to
similarly stylized, violent black comedies by Quentin Tarantino and
the Coens. Yet, like 2011's murder farce
Headhunters by Moland's Norwegian compatriot Morten Tyldum,
In Order of Disappearance has an utterly unique feel, a
certain Scandinavian crispness that's impossible to duplicate.
About two years it was announced
that the Volvo Car Group had hired Stellan for their advertising
campaign for their new Volvo XC90 continuing the company's efforts to
feature Swedish superstars in their commercials on television and the
Internet. Stellan was to show how easy the car is to maneuver. The
message was "Simplicity". We were told Stellan drives on a highway in
Dalarna and, in the end, he undresses and jumps into a lake for a swim.
For months I looked for that commercial and found nothing. Finally,
Expressen ran an article this week on that campaign. Our Swede was
indeed commissioned and the commercial was made and he was reportedly
paid a rather handsome sum, but no one saw it! Per Carleö,
marketing director at Volvo Car Sweden, is not forthcoming and simply
states, "There are many projects that may not see the light of day."
Expressen also contacted Stellan's agent,
Aleksandra Mandic, who indicated he could not comment
and any inquiries should be made to Volvo's global advertising
agency Grey. For what reasons the commercial was
never aired will remain a mystery but I think it would have been grand.
Even better than Matthew McConaughey's Lincoln ad where it falls
backward into a pool, but fully dressed!