Show Me Cinema

Show Me Cinema

by David Alkhed

Show Me Cinema #29: Joe Hill

“You will eat, bye and bye, In that glorious land above the sky; Work and pray, live on hay, You’ll get pie in the sky when you die” From the mid-1800s to the early 1900s, over a million Swedes emigrated to America in pursuit of a better and more promising life. The reasons were numerous…

Show Me Cinema #28: Scenes from a Marriage

Alas, the creative bankruptcy of contemporary American cinema has reached the small-screen as well. In the last couple of years we’ve seen old tv shows revived, Twin Peaks, The X-Files and MacGyver have all returned to varying results in vastly different formats to our small screens. The idiot box, which for many years has been…

Show Me Cinema #27: ABBA: the Movie

I don’t really think ABBA needs much of an introduction. Even if you’re not a big fan or not overly familiar with them, their fingerprints are all over pop culture and music today it’s almost impossible to miss them. Ever since breaking out internationally in 1974 when they won Eurovision Song Contest with their song…

Show Me Cinema #26: The Evil

If you’re Swedish, you have more than likely heard of Jan Guillou. Even if you don’t know jack about him his name pops up so much in everyday life and debates and discussions it’s hard to miss him. For non-Swedes though I imagine they’re not as familiar with Mr. Guillou as us Swedes are, so…

Show Me Cinema #25: The Wings & Michael

Still from Michael (1924) Even if Pride Month is almost over, it seems like a good idea to discuss a movie for the occasion, a little bit of striking whilst the iron is hot. So then the question becomes, what movie should I discuss? I’ve already covered Lukas Moodysson’s Fucking Åmål and Levan Akin’s And…

Show Me Cinema #24: Summer Interlude

The filmography of Ingmar Bergman could very easily be divided into several different phases and periods in which he operated. Most people are primarily familiar with his work from the mid-1950s onwards, fair as it consists of most of the films he’s today known for. His early work is often dismissed or forgotten, sometimes by…

Show Me Cinema #23: Raven’s End

Since starting the website and this very column, the two film directors I’ve covered the most have probably been Ingmar Bergman and Bo Widerberg. Whilst most people know about Bergman and his life many people (and when I say people I mean people who don’t live in Sweden but here too probably) may not know…

Show Me Cinema #22: Call Girl

Back in 2012, the movie Call Girl was released in Sweden to much attention and interest. That’s because the movie was inspired by what’s known here in Sweden as Bordellhärvan or Geijeraffären, the Geijer Affair roughly translated into English. It occured in the mid-to-late 1970s in Stockholm where our Minister of Justice at the time,…

Show Me Cinema #21: Searching for Sugar Man

“Sugar man, won’t you hurryCause I’m tired of these scenesFor a blue coin won’t you bring backAll those colors to my dreams”Sugar Man, Rodriguez (1970) If I say the name Rodriguez, you will probably go “what? I beg your pardon? Who?” And it’s not that surprising frankly. The only reason why I had even heard…

Show Me Cinema #20: The Seventh Seal

So my plans were to follow up The Phantom Carriage with something more contemporary and exciting, like 2012’s Call Girl or Eat Sleep Die, or perhaps Ruben Östlund’s Palme d’Or-winner The Square. But then we lost yet another giant figure of Swedish theatre and film that I felt compelled to write something in her memory.…

Show Me Cinema #19: The Phantom Carriage

One of the things about silent cinema is that it is in many ways an international language of visual images. And even though you still have the issue of intertitles dispersed throughout the film (unless you’re Buster Keaton or F.W. Murnau), the silent medium was an almost ideal place for singularly visual storytelling. And when…

Show Me Cinema #18: The Sacrifice

“This film is dedicated to my son Andriosha – with hope and confidence. Andrei Tarkovskij” Those are the words that end Andrei Tarkovsky’s The Sacrifice. Although a film dealing primarily with an impending apocalypse, which is generally associated with fear and death, Tarkovsky finds reasons for hope and for celebrating life and love. It becomes…

Show Me Cinema #17: The Man from Majorca

Dedicated to Sven Wollter (1934-2020) My very first column for the site was for Bo Widerberg’s 1976 cop thriller Man on the Roof. Besides from being a masterpiece of the genre and Swedish cinema in general, it was also one of the most commercially successful films made by the film company SF (Svensk Filmindustri i.e.…

Show Me Cinema #16: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)

It feels weird to review an American movie for a column series that is meant to be reserved for Swedish cinema, but this is a rare occasion. Besides a few unofficial remakes of a number of Bergman’s films I can’t think of any other direct Hollywood remakes of any Swedish films. And to make it…

Show Me Cinema #15: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2009)

If you’re Swedish you definitely know who Lisbeth Salander is and if you haven’t read them you have definitely heard of the Millenium Trilogy. Written by journalist-author Stieg Larsson and published posthumously, the trilogy of books have sold over 80 million copies worldwide and made Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist household names. The books became…

Show Me Cinema #14: Hour of the Wolf

“The hour between night and dawn … when most people die, sleep is deepest, nightmares are most real. It is the hour when the sleepless are haunted by their worst anguish, when ghosts and demons are most powerful. The hour of the wolf is also the hour when most babies are born.” Considering the time…

Show Me Cinema #13: The Girls

As established in my review for her directorial debut Loving Couples from back in April, Mai Zetterling was not afraid to shake things up or upset the establishment and desired to make films that directly dealt with feminism, sexuality and the patriarchy. But this came with a price. Despite the controversy and supposed international success…

Show Me Cinema #12: A Swedish Love Story

In my column for Bo Widerberg’s Ådalen 31, I mentioned that that film’s assistant director was none other than a young Roy Andersson. And I think it’s fair to say that Andersson is without a doubt one of the most internationally acclaimed Swedish directors today, and perhaps of all time which may not say much…

Show Me Cinema #11: Under the Sun

One of the biggest names in terms of the Swedish film industry is the British Colin Nutley (he moved here and settled in the 1980s). He and his wife-acting collaborator Helena Bergström (who’s played the lead in every one of his films/tv shows since 1990’s BlackJack) struck gold with their film House of Angels (Änglagård),…

Show Me Cinema #10: Let the Right One In

There is a definitive, albeit not too surprising, shortage of really good Swedish horror films. In fact the only ones I can think of that have received some kind of recognition, both abroad and domestically, are Viktor Sjöström’s The Phantom Carriage (Körkarlen) and Ingmar Bergman’s Hour of the Wolf (Vargtimmen). Other than that, the majority…

Show Me Cinema #9: Ådalen 31

For a while, I was thinking of ditching a column on Bo Widerberg’s classic Ådalen 31 simply because I struggled to finish the column. I sometimes struggle with a point of view in my reviews and also how I present my criticisms and how to direct those said criticisms. This also explains why there haven’t…

Show Me Cinema #8: Loving Couples

The 1960s were a time of change, not just politically and socially but also cinematically. Younger filmmakers had grown tired of the big and extravagant films that were produced in Hollywood. This was true not just for American filmmakers, but everywhere else around the world as well. Filmmakers in France, Japan, Britain, Italy and Spain…

Show Me Cinema #7: Elvira Madigan

The very first film I covered in this series of columns/reviews of Swedish cinema was Bo Widerberg’s classic Man on the Roof from 1976. I loved the film and became eager to cover yet another one of his films, but I didn’t want to to it too soon. I wanted to try out a variety…

SHOW ME CINEMA #6: THE ANTIFASCISTS

For the last few years, we have seen the rise of right-wing extremism in the world. We have been taught that what happened in Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy during World War II must never be allowed to happen again. Yet, we see or hear about Nazis marching on the streets on a nearly daily…

Show Me Cinema #5: Show Me Love

I mentioned in my review of Bo Widerberg’s The Man on the Roof how Sweden has a virtual overabundance of detective-related fiction, stretching from cinema to literature and television. You know what? Scratch that, we have an overabundance of detective fiction. Likewise you could say the same in regards to coming-of-age or teen fiction. It’s…

SHOW ME CINEMA #4: THE VIRGIN SPRING

TW: Discussions of rape and violence.   It was not my intention to review yet another Ingmar Bergman film directly after covering Smiles of a Summer Night in my previous column. I wanted to move into new territory, new director, new actors etc. But I was sucked back into Bergman for a very sad reason…

Show Me Cinema #3: Smiles of a Summer Night (1955)

Once I decided that I would cover mainly Swedish cinema for A Fistful of Film, one of the first thoughts that entered my head was “when are you gonna cover Bergman and where do you start?” Without a doubt the most internationally renowned and influential Swedish filmmaker who’s ever lived, it might’ve seemed obvious to…

Show Me Cinema #2: And Then We Danced (2019)

Right from the beginning of And Then We Danced, we sense that Georgia is a country steeped in tradition. The film begins with black-and-white documentary footage of Georgian dancers performing concerts all over the world are intercut with the first few opening credits, then it cuts to our main characters practicing their own dancing routines.…

Show Me Cinema #1: The Man on the Roof (1976)

Anyone who is Swedish will know that we have no shortage of crime or detective fiction. Film, television and literature has been dominated by the genre for at least 50 years and it’s still going strong. Many of them are almost interchangeable with one another and aren’t terribly interesting. But few of them are as…


My name is David Alkhed. This is what you need to know about me; I’m 19 (almost 20) and I’m an aspiring filmmaker from Sweden and hardcore cinephile. I like to read about cinema history and watch all kinds of films, old and new, foreign or domestic, big-budget or low-budget, good or bad, anything I can get my hands on. My favorite movie is Sergio Leone’s Once Upon a Time in America. My favorite filmmakers include Stanley Kubrick, Martin Scorsese, Leone, Michael Mann, George Miller, Andrei Tarkovsky, Dario Argento, Park Chan-wook and many more.

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