Special Report: Stockholm International Film Festival 2005, Part 1

By Moira Sullivan
Movie Magazine International
It started out sorta violent. Even David Cronenberg thought so when clips of his films reeled on before the FACE 2FACE with the acclaimed Canadian director and the audience. Yuck! The Fly, CRASH, Existenz, and all the gory corporeal scenes with guts and blood.

Are you OK after all that, quipped Cronenberg?

It was indeed this gentlemen’s festival who cut the 'ribbon' to inaugurate the opening - a strip of celluloid - at the Stockholm Film Festival kick off November 17. "Are you sure you want to give me those scissors--that's kind of dangerous", he joked with fest director Git Scheynius, and introduced the opening film: A History of Violence. This is surely another sock it to you Cronenberg accomplishment who looks forward to the time when a sequence of film will be called 'Cronenbergian'.” He admitted that the subject matter of his films was "too weird for Hollywood" but that maybe with his latest film that opened the festival that might change. At any rate, the Stockholm audience at the opening giggled at some of the great dialogue executed by among others William Hurt and Ed Harris, magnificent in their roles, actually probably some of their best work. Not to mention a suspiciously excessive use of the American term of endearment "baby" by the besieged nuclear family.

The aesthetics of hard-boiled violence in feature films, more 'noir' than feelgood, is the signature of this festival and some of the previous Bronze Horse winners easily fit the theme--such as Quentin Tarantino who claims Pulp Fiction was written in part in Stockholm and who won two Best Film Awards for that film and Reservoir Dogs and Gaspar Noé's Irréversible. David Lynch, Roman Polanski, Roger Corman and noir queens Lauren Bacall and Gena Rowlands have all received Lifetime Achievement Awards at past festivals.

Storm by Måns Mårlind and Björn Stein is the only Swedish film in the international competition that seems to fit the formula, which won the audience award. As the festival organizers put it:” we are not used to these kinds of films in Sweden, dark science fiction, meticulously choreographed fight scenes and impressive CGI effects is something they do elsewhere, not here in the land of Bergman and Widerberg." So let’s have a party! But beware of the Stockholm Film Festival. A Tarantino inspired title this year at the festival included Kill Gil Vol 1 by Gil Rossellini. When he attended the Stockholm festival a few years back he was struck by a mysterious illness, the subject of his documentary made with assistance from half sister Isabella Rossellini that debuted at Venice.

Terry Gilliam received the Stockhom Film Festival "Visionary Film Award" in a special ceremony during the festival: Thereby another notable trademark of the Stockholm Film Festival, rewarding the work of independents and mavericks in the film industry. Gilliam remarked on winning the Visionary Award --a "Bronze Horse" that weighs close to four kilograms, "maybe little Greek men are hiding in here like the Trojan horse and will come out and attack me in my sleep".

Next week, more of the highlights of the festival that just ended.

For Movie Magazine this is Moira Sullivan Stockholm SWEDEN
More Information:
Stockholm International Film Festival 2005, Part 1