The Startsladden programme – a yearly award that crowns the best Swedish short film – presents four of the shorts running for the prize in 2015, including the winner, John Skoog’s Redoubt.
It’s a polyphonic choir: we space from the bell jar of “Boys”, so filled with tensions and taboos to a point of fluctuating stillness, to the protagonist’s self denial in “Northern Great Mountain”, who hates her roots and attempts to escape them by mixing in with tourists; from the constant preparations for one’s defense against imaginary invaders in Redoubt to the actual invasion we see in Second Deputy Speaker a doc filmed during a Swedish parliamentary session. An ideal retrospective if you’d like to take the pulse of contemporary Swedish cinema in all its moods, debates and buzz.
Other filmmakers featured include Camilla Topuntoli, Magasinet Walden, Roy Andersson, Lukas Moodysson and Ingmar Bergman.
Filmmaking has always meant making memories, recollection by self-deception, giving oneself the illusion of having a hindsight: in John Skoog’s cinema, this pursuit is both manifesto and exorcism, gathering fragments and piecing them together in the attempt to form a faithful portrait of the landscapes of his rural youth. It’s a nostalgia for isolation and alienation, and so perhaps there isn’t a huge difference between fellow countryman Karl-Göran Persson, who works for years to fortify his home against the unlikely event of a Soviet invasion in Redoubt, and the Californian glimpses of Shadowland (featured on the special program “The Golden Night of the Short Bears” at the latest Berlinale), that were passed as exotic locations in old Hollywood movies. And yet, as the saying goes, Borta bra men hemma bäst: other places may be nice, but there’s nowhere like home.
X+1 International Festival of Short Films, Documentaries and Screenplays
24 July – 1 August 2015
Revine Lago – Italy
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