Here's a new group of photos taken by The Wrap in their interview
with the cast of HOPE at the Toronto International Film Festival
on September 8, 2019. Stellan's shirt is not his usual style and it's
great to see him break out from his norm.
September THE PAINTED BIRD
premiered at the Venice Film Festival and a month later it screened at
the London Film Festival. It will make its US debut on July 17, 2020
most likely in arthouse cinemas (if the pandemic crisis allows this). I
have posted a new image gallery
from the Venice event. The article below is from the February
2020 issue of Total Film magazine.
Naturally Stellan was aware
that some of the filmgoers have headed for the exits to which he
responds, "I have nothing against people who walk out because they can’t
see it. But the thing is, you should see a film like this. First of all
because it’s incredibly beautiful cinema - this film is not made for the
smaller screens. The other reason is, it’s based on a fantastic book and
the story is very dark…and it’s very important for us to be reminded of
who we are, because we are also all those people. We’re all capable of
doing those things."
Film critic Jack Blackwell writes,
"A film like 'The Painted Bird' does not want to be 'liked'. It
wants to shock, to disgust, to viscerally move, to make you reconsider
just how civilized mankind really is. Seeking such reactions is a gamble
but, for my money, 'The Painted Bird' succeeds, a repellent yet
compelling and sledgehammer powerful anti-war fable.... Marhoul’s
mastery is unquestionable on a technical level. His black and white
photography is stunning, especially the bright eyes peeking out in dark
rooms, and every war scene is pulled off with what looks like impossible
confidence and logistical skill. Absolutely not for everyone, and very
hard to outright recommend, but the film is a searing work of
art that can be just as rewarding as it is harrowing."
With such grimness and depravity
featured in this film, it's encouraging to see that there was still fun
in the making of it. You know how Stellan loves to have fun on movie
sets. And here he is being lifted in the air by his director Václav
More new photos:
1980, Stellan performed on stage at Stockholm's Royal Dramatic Theatre
in French playwright Molière's play
HUSTRUSKOLAN (The School of Wives) and three years later
re-enacted his role in the television version. Molière wrote this
five-act theatrical comedy (L’École des femmes) in 1662 and it is
considered by some critics to be one of his finest achievements.
The script's summary is thus: the elderly Arnolphe
has decided to marry a young woman, Agnes, whom he has fallen in love
with. She is too young and innocent to realize what plans he has for
her. But Agnes and Arnolphe's young friend, the dandy Horace (played by
Stellan), have fallen in love with each other. Their love is a threat to
Arnolphe's attempt at getting married.
Swedish stage production was directed by Alf Sjoberg who died in a
bicycle accident in April 1980 right before the premiere of the play on
May 9th. Three years later, Ingmar Bergman, as a tribute to Sjoberg's
last theatre production, transposed the play for television. A press
conference was held at SR/TV on April 22, 1983 after the cast had
rehearsed for ten days and were about to start a 12-day filming in a TV
studio. The enthusiastic reviews pointed out Bergman's unique ability to
cross-inseminate the theatre stage and television screen. In this TV
production, he filmed the play from the point of view of a viewer in a
theatre audience. In this way he retained Sjoberg's theatrical
conception. The film was shown on Swedish television on Christmas Day
1983 and can be viewed in its entirety with English subtitles at
this link. Described as a "wickedly funny farce", the play is
full of slapstick, absurdity and misunderstandings, although back in
1662, it caused a scandal because the patriarchal society did not like
the idea of being mocked about their treatment of women.
Stellan co-starred with
actor/director Allan Edwall (shown in the above photo) and was also
directed by him in the 1984 film "Åke och hans
Värld". Co-starring was son Alex making his film debut playing
Ake's friend Kalle Nubb. Here is a photo of Alex with Martin Lindström
and Gunnar Bergström being directed by Edwall.
summer Stellan's only daughter, 27-year-old Eija, married Zeke
Tastas at a festive wedding at the Old National Archives in Stockholm.
The pair have dated for several years and met through their mutual work
in the nightclub business. Forty-four-year-old Zeke is from Buenos Aires
and has also been involved in advertising. The wedding took place on
August 25, 2019 with both My and Stellan in attendance. The last photo
in the top row shows Eija with her brother Valter.
Anne Porter's NOON WINE was adapted
as a made-for-TV movie twice - once in 1966 by Sam Peckinpah starring
Jason Robards, Olivia De Havilland and Theodore Bikel, and then almost
twenty years later, it was presented on the PBS American Playhouse
Series on January 21, 1985. This was Stellan's first American
television experience. Michael Fields directed
with a cast that included Fred Ward and Lise Hilboldt.
and Ismail Merchant were the executive producers.
The story is
set in Texas in the late 1930s and centers on the Thompson
family and their struggle for survival on the land. The catalyst for a
huge change in their lives is a Swedish immigrant, Olaf (Stellan), an
enthusiastic and personable young man who is taken on as a farmhand,
but Olaf is not all that he seems. This
haunting TV drama received great reviews. I'm not sure if Stellan
actually played the harmonica. Good question to ask him sometime.
In a 2004 interview, Stellan
explained how he entered the American acting scene - "It was
quite a long process. I was very much unwilling in the beginning. It
began when I won 'best actor'
in Berlin for 'Den enfaldige
mördaren', which I still think is very good, and it led to being offered a part in a TV-film
'Noon Wine' for the non-commercial
channel PBS. Then I got an agent - you have to have one over there. And this agent started
to pester that I should come over and meet people. So she wanted me to send pictures of
myself and I didn't want that either, partly because I was a little snobbish and put
myself on airs, but it was also that I found they could just watch my films - I look
different in every film. She pestered me for five years. And nevertheless she found some
who worked for me - and then I sent pictures and went over there. I did these bizarre
rounds of handshaking with all casting directors. Then it just went on."
At 27 years old, Stellan was a student at the Royal Dramatic Theatre in
Stockholm. The photo below was taken on March 13, 1978, when these young
theatre actors received a scholarship from the famous Anders
Sandrew Foundation. From left to right, is Jan Waldekrantz, Linda Krüger,
Pontus Gustafsson, Stellan and Gunilla Olsson.
added a new article in the "Press" section from
Femina magazine. It's a February
interview with Stellan just before he attended the Berlin International
Film Festival. I like how he views receiving awards - "A
prize is not a measure of my quality, but it is a sign of appreciation."
There are several images with the article. I especially like the photo
below. It was taken during the recording of the Swedish TV drama,
"The Tragic History and Hamlet - Prince of Denmark".
I have no idea why Stellan and his co-star Dan Ekborg would be running
around in just towels, but at least they're not butt naked!
The television page for this
HAMLET production has now been posted.
"Hamlet" has always been my favorite Shakespeare play and I was
fortunate enough to see Richard Burton play the Danish prince in Boston
back in 1964. What a riveting performance!
Stellan also performed in a
Dramaten production of "Hamlet" in 1974 in the role of Fortinbras and
his son Gustaf played Hamlet in 2010 at Stockholms stadsteater.
been browsing through my inventory of old photos and am posting some new ones
for Stellan Online. The first one is a
wonderful publicity still from the 1998 film
GLASBLASARNS BARN (The Glassblower's
Children), a magical fairy tale based on the book by Maria Gripe. I love
all Scandinavian films with Pernilla August!
This portrait was taken at the PKO
Off Camera Festival in Krakow, Poland, in May 2015 when Stellan was
honored for his important contributions to independent filmmaking. For
more photos from this event, visit the
Here's a new addition to the
GOYA'S GHOST film page. Love it!
Swedish film page for ORMENS VAG PÅ HALLERBERGET
(The Serpent's Way) has been completed. This very somber tale
was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 1987 Cannes Film
Festival and in competition at the 15th Moscow International Film
Festival. At the 22nd Guldbagge Awards, Stina Ekblad won the award for
Best Actress. The story was a challenging adaptation
of a novel by Torgny Lindgren. When the author read the book on the
radio, a record-breaking amount of listeners tuned in. Shortly after
that, Bo Widerberg decided to make the film.
drama objectively examines the quiet courage of impoverished people
whose faith in God's word enables them to uncomplainingly endure the
gross injustice inherent in their culture.
Set in the 19th century in northern Sweden, the story
centers on Tea, a young woman who is forced to submit to the sexual
desires of her landlord. At that time it was considered a morally
acceptable means of paying the rent in accordance with their
interpretation of the Bible.
If a woman refused to sleep with her landlord, she
and her family would be evicted.
Eventually the landowner dies and soon his son Karl Orsa (played by
Stellan) comes to collect his rent. If you enjoy movies about women
struggling against poverty, social injustice and the harshness of life,
this one's for you!
Stellan had strong praise for
Widerberg, who passed away in 1997 - "He was a brilliant
director. He had this amazing ear for what was truth. He taught you not
to concentrate on being brilliant yourself, but to concentrate on the
other actors. More to react than act, and I still try to do that."