the lack of news in the cinema world these days, I continue to add more
material to Stellan Online. Today we return to 1985 when
FALSK SOM VATTEN (False as Water)
premiered. Directed by Hans Alfredson, it is a black story about the
blackest thing man has within him - jealousy. The title is a quote from
Shakespeare's "Othello", but in the film, not least in its finale, it
takes on a most literal meaning. The plot revolves around the publishing
world. John (played by Sverre Anker Ousdal), a co-owner of a book
publisher, has reached his forty-year crisis in marriage and is looking
for new happiness together with Clara (played by Malin Ek), one of the
publisher's young poets. But evil and cruel things begin to happen in
their lives. Stellan plays Clara's jealous ex-boyfriend Stig.
The Hichkockian thriller premiered
at midnight on a dark evening on November 8, 1985. Director Hans
Alfredson gave a short introductory speech to the premiere audience and
said, "Now I will scare you properly". The film was well received by the
critics and Alfredson went on to win the award for Best Director and
Malin Ek won Best Actress at the 21st Guldbagge Awards. It was screened
in the U.S. in 1986 at the San Francisco International Film Festival.
found another production photo from the 1985 Swedish TV production of
HAMLET. I wasn't able to identify the
actor Stellan is posing with. Love the hair!
Swedish fans, Valter can be seen this year in the drama series "A
Class Apart", an original production from the Nordic Entertainment
Group's Viaplay streaming service. The eight-part series explores a
hidden world of privilege, power and deadly secrets at an exclusive
boarding school. Valter told the press, "This series intrigued
me because it gave me the chance to play a character who is as different
from me as it gets, in terms of both personality and lifestyle. At the
same time, the show portrays an interesting world in a smart way. This
is more than a teenage drama; we're asking broader social questions."
No release date has been scheduled yet.
you're as old as I am, you most likely remember the 1971 beloved Swedish
period drama called "The Emigrants". The film, starring Max Von
Sydow and Liv Ullmann, received five Oscar nominations, including Best
Foreign Language Film. The story was based on Vilhelm Moberg's classic
novel about Swedish emigrants who journey to America seeking a better
life. A remake was filmed this past fall starring Stellan's son
Gustaf and Lisa Carlehed. My question is how in the world does one
fill the shoes of Von Sydow and Ullmann! Director Erik Poppe told the
press, "Jan Troell's 1971 adaptation is a masterpiece and I'm not trying
to recreate his film. I want to re-interpret the story in a new way,
through the eyes of Kristina." Though I usually despise remakes, I could
understand an English version for those who can't tolerate subtitles but
this film will again be in Swedish.
Initially, shooting was scheduled to take place in the Czech
Republic, but was relocated to Sweden due to the pandemic. Filming took
place from September to January and the premiere date in Sweden is
scheduled for Christmas Day. Gustaf posted the following production
have added a theatre page for ETT DRÖMSPEL
(A Dream Play), which was written in 1901 by the
Swedish playwright August Strindberg. Stellan was cast in Dramaten's
1986 production, which was directed by Ingmar Bergman. In the photo
below the play's ensemble listens to the famous director and it appears
that most of the group looks rather bored, including Stellan!
The year before Stellan was cast in a
Swedish TV mini-series titled STRINDBERG ETT LIV,
based on the book by Per Olov Enquist. He appeared in the third episode
called "Hjärnornas kamp" in which he played Vernet von Heidenstam, a
Swedish poet, novelist and laureate of the Nobel Prize in Literature in
1916. This episode was aired on March 4, 1985. How distinguished Stellan
looks in this photo!
are some photos of a very young Stellan taken in 1979 right outside the
front door of Stockholm's Royal Dramatic Theatre (Dramaten).
I've added individual theatre
Stiftelsen, En kall
miljon, Brott och brott
was 1987 and Malmo was hosting barn-och ungdomsfestivalen (BUFF), a
children and youth film festival for the fourth year in a row. Though
Stellan was born in Gothenburg, he was raised in both Helsingborg and
Malmo. He had recently made his first children's film "Jim & piraterna Blom".
to Boxoffice Pro France, DUNE will now
have an international theatrical release on September 15, 2021. In the
US, it was originally expected in cinemas on December 23rd last year.
Warner Bros. has announced the film will be released on October 1, 2021
in U.S. theaters in IMAX and 3D as well as a month-long release on the
HBO Max streaming service. In his dissatisfaction letter to Warner
Bros., director Denis Villeneuve wrote, "My team and I have devoted more
than three years of our lives to making it a unique experience to see on
the big screen. The image and sound of our film were meticulously
designed to be seen in movie theaters." [The following poster is not the
studio's official one]
Several other films will be
available for viewing on HBO Max for one month following their domestic
releases. This includes Alexander's film "Godzilla vs. Kong". Warner
Bros. told the press, "No one wants films back on the big screen more
than we do. We know new content is the lifeblood of theatrical
exhibition, but we have to balance this with the reality that most
theaters in the U.S. will likely operate at reduced capacity throughout
2021." It sounds like a death knell for the cinema experience, which has
already been hit hard by the pandemic. Most major releases were
pushed off the 2020 calendar with the hope that by 2021 theaters would
be open again. Warner Bros. is framing this as a short-term plan, given
that it's nearly impossible to predict the speed of the vaccine rollout
and if audiences will feel safe returning to theaters.
Stellan revealed he worked on the
film for two and a half weeks and didn't get a chance to work with much
of the cast, filming most of his scenes alone with only brief exchanges
with other characters. Though he had to spend seven hours a day in
make-up, he said, "Working with Denis Villeneuve was fantastic. Being on
his set is a great experience because everybody is nice, nobody is
shouting and nobody is scared." Stellan feels that Villeneuve's
films, including 'Arrival' and 'Blade Runner 2049', are "extremely
visual and sensual" which is something that has carried over to "Dune".
He adds, "The sets were incredible and the way he shot was beautiful.
And also the way he not only thinks but feels when he's watching. He's
working with all of his senses when he shoots... It's really wonderful.
He's such a great filmmaker, such a visual filmmaker."
The role of Baron Harkonnen was
played by Kenneth McMillan in the 1984 David Lynch film and by Ian
McNeice in the TV miniseries from 2000. Villeneuve told Vanity Fair that
he thought the Baron in the books was "flirting very often with
caricature" and that Skarsgård’s take would have "a bit more dimension".
The photo below was taken in 2019
on location at the Origo Film Studios in Budapest, Hungary. The woman
was not identified.
week the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced their
shortlist for Best International Feature Film. Films from 93 countries
had been submitted and now 15 of them will advance to the next round of
voting. Norway's HOPE is among these 15!
Director/writer Maria Sødahl
should be very proud as well as her cast. Currently, "Hope" is
not available via streaming in the U.S. but two of these 15 films are
available and I recommend both of them - Taiwan's "A Sun" and Denmark's
"Another Round", which swept the European Film awards winning Best Film,
Best Director, Best Screenwriter and Best Actor - Mads Mikkelsen.
Stellan and Mads became buddies when they were both cast in "King
Arthur" in 2004. Their comraderie off-screen is a delight to watch.
youtube link to an interview with them on Skavlan, a
Norwegian-Swedish TV talk show. There are closed captions in English.
ten years ago, Stellan was featured in Under Dusken, the official
student newspaper founded in 1914 in Trondheim, Norway.
When asked how he ended up in
America, he responds, "I
was tired of conservative theater productions, and decided to quit
acting. Then I got in touch with an agent. She thought I had to get
better at promoting myself, but I did not even want to send out a
Skarsgård smiles, and judging by his eyes, it seems that he is a
little proud of the rebellious attitudes he had as a young man. In
1990, however, he got his first role in a Hollywood production.
"I was supposed to be in a couple of scenes in the movie 'The Hunt
For Red October'. Never before had I been so well paid for so little
He says that the big money
that reigns in Hollywood often involves a hefty commercialization of
the product. After a long time in the industry, directors are also
something Stellan has a definite opinion about.
"Filmmakers are usually very weird people. Big kids still playing
with Lego bricks."
He believes that some filmmakers do not manage to free themselves
from their own fantasy world and thus forget to make people in front
of the camera come alive.
some artwork by German digital artist Julia Lange.
his review this week of HOPE, Jay Weissburg of Variety only had
praise. He writes, "Believe the accolades: Maria Sødahl’s
perceptive, heartfelt 'Hope' richly deserves
all the attention it’s gotten at festivals and award ceremonies since
premiering in Toronto in 2019... the rewards here are
great, not just for the multi-layered screenplay but the impeccable
performances by Andrea Bræin Hovig and Stellan Skarsgård...
Skarsgård is a wonder at conveying his bereft core with just minimal
body language and eye movements, as if his insides have been chipped
away... The camera is neither intrusive nor coldly
distant, allowing us to feel even more engaged, and it beautifully
captures the special softness of Scandinavian early winter light. Also
to be commended is Jørgen Stangebye Larsen’s production design, as well
as Sødahl’s gratifying use of Vivaldi’s richly expressive 'Vedrò con mio
This lovely indie film is
obviously a Nordic gem! I can't wait to see it. As I've mentioned
before, I dislike American remakes and the decision to turn this story
into a television drama series starring Nicole Kidman will not work for
me and perhaps for many others. Say goodbye to the "special softness of
Scandinavian early winter light" and Vivaldi's "Vedro con mio diletto".
Maybe they can get Liam Neeson to replace Stellan again (sighing)...
As previously reported, "Hope"
opened in theaters in Spain on January 22 and Stellan believes "it is a
film that deserves to be seen in theaters, not at home." Again, he
comments on the healthcare system portrayed in the film because the
story takes place around the Christmas holidays. He points out that
there is no intention of making a great reproach, rather a friendly
criticism - "We have wonderful healthcare that works very well, but we
also have many employment rights. For example, in July there are very
few doctors because they are all in their country homes or traveling.
And at Christmas, the same. If you become ill, bad luck."
to 1996 in a new photo from HARRY & SONJA when Stellan becomes a