sat 22/01/2022

Sweden

Blu-ray: Ingmar Bergman Vol 2

In my teens, I was one of the budding cinephiles who ran the Film Club at my boarding school. Once a month, we’d rent an arthouse movie. The films would be projected on the Saturday night.Ingmar Bergman’s The Seventh Seal (1957) was a revelation. As...

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Force Majeure, Donmar Warehouse review - fissures in a marriage

It sounds like the title of a play by Rattigan. No such luck: “Force Majeure” – a legal term with which all too few will be familiar, in which circumstances beyond anyone’s control cancel a contract – is how Ruben Östlund’s 2014 film Turist is known...

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Albums of the Year 2021: Frida Hyvönen - Dream Of Independence

Frida Hyvönen’s UK profile isn’t as high as it is in her home country Sweden. Over here, what she gets up to is less apparent than the activities of some of her more heavily marketed fellow Swedes. Hence Dream Of Independence coming as a surprise,...

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Album: ABBA - Voyage

Immortality is reserved for monotheistic religions and Marvel superheroes, but in the material world, we also know Abba’s songs are ageless and will not die. After all, they have their Abbatars; we have our abattoirs.Their songs from the Seventies...

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theartsdesk at the Birgit Nilsson Days - the rich legacy of a farm girl turned diva

Feet firmly planted on fertile native soil, but always open to the world, lyric-dramatic soprano Birgit Nilsson soared into realms no-one from the rolling hills and coastline of Sweden’s Bjäre peninsula, where she grew up, could possibly have...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Dungen - Stadsvandringar

Dungen’s October 2005 appearance on Late Night With Conan O'Brien was incongruous. Here was a Swedish band on an independent label, singing in their native language, playing live on coast-to-coast mainstream US TV. The show’s host making a great...

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First Person: Director Maria Aberg on drawing fresh inspiration for the future

When theatres in the UK closed last March, I found myself in a vacuum. Having been a freelance theatre director for over 15 years, I was used to busy – juggling a hectic schedule of directing shows with the reality of being a mum to two toddlers....

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Siegfried, Göteborg Opera online review - a hero for our times

The team of Stephen Langridge (director), Alison Chitty (design) and Paul Pyant (lighting) produced a quietly radical Parsifal at the Royal Opera in 2013, finding both beauty and horror in unexpected corners. On the strength of its third instalment...

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Album: Frida Hyvönen - Dream Of Independence

Track two on Dream Of Independence, the new album from Sweden’s Frida Hyvönen, is titled “A Funeral in Banbridge”. An account of attending a funeral in, indeed, Banbridge, County Down, Northern Ireland, it’s bright, melodically jaunty, piano-...

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Classical musicians on life after Brexit - 2: violinist Victoria Sayles

In March 2020, all my work in Australia and Sweden, where I had won contracts for several months to come, was cancelled on the day I was due to fly. Both organisations who had engaged me promptly honoured their contracts with me financially...

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Album: Viagra Boys - Welfare Jazz

Their PR cannot put the band name in the header of promotional emails, as they’ll go straight to the spam bin, but Swedish punk outfit Viagra Boys have, nonetheless, become a name to contend with. It’s their wild live persona that’s put them on the...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Are We Lost Forever

The title of Swedish director David Färdmar’s feature debut gains a degree of helpful context from one of its opening lines, “But there’s no more we”. One partner, Hampus (Jonathan Andersson), is telling the other, Adrian (Björn Elgerd), that...

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