The 14th Stockholm International Film Festival kicked off November 13 with "Kill Bill Volume 1" and its world class female assassins. Festival organizer Git Scheynius greeted the completely packed Skandia theater to introduce a festival of 2000 films and 70 directors.
"Quentin Tarantino couldn't come", she said, "but he sends his greetings", adding that 30 pages of the Kill Bill script were written in Stockholm (as were parts of Pulp Fiction). Indeed, the first film to be censored in Sweden was the Swedish film Thriller where Christina Lindberg wore a patch like the one sported by Darryl Hannah.
The Festival closed November 25th with a screening of the "E! Audience Award winner," The Station Agent. Tipped as the favorite of the festival, the film lived up to its good reputation from beginning to end. Its not hard to understand why the film won the hearts of the Stockholm audience.
Michael Schorr's Schultze Gets the Blues rode away with the "Stockholm Bronze Horse" and Best First Feature Award, a film that had its world premiere at Cannes in May. The story of a man who has spent his whole life in a small town in Sachsen-Anhalt and travels to Louisiana to learn Zydeco.
An eclectic festival of features, documentaries, shorts and Swedish work, notable films dealt with teens, such as Gus Van Sant's Elephant and Catherine Hardwicke's "Thirteen".
Hana Makhmalbaf's Joy of Madness was a unique documentary on the making of sister Samira's film which won the jury prize at Cannes: "Five in the Afternoon", the first film to be made after topple of the Taliban and a story of women in Afghanistan. Samira claims the documentary is better than her own.
Perhaps this is true, because the difficulties in making her film may not seep through the cinematography and story line. Hana's realism does who nearly kidnapped when making the film.
David Lynch met with the public, revealed anecdotes from his films, and set rumors to rest.
Movie Magazine was present to probe the mind beneath the hairstyle that looks like he is eternally awaking from a long nap.
A surprise to the festival audience was his description of Transcendental Meditation, which he believes is based on sound scientific principles that can help to achieve world harmony. He claimed his next project will be a children's film.
Illusions of Lynch like iconography were indeed evident in Matthew Barney's "Cremaster Cycle, a series of five films about creation myths, and gender bending - shown non stop at one of the smaller cinema venues. It is true that the boyfriend of pop singer Björk is working out some birth trauma in the Cremaster suite , hopefully relieved by the recent delivery of his daughter, an event which prevented him from coming to Stockholm.
For Movie Magazine, this is Moira Sullivan, Stockholm Sweden
© 2004 - Moira Sullivan - Air Date: 12/17/03
Stockholm International Film Festival 2003