Newest Reviews
Raya and the Last Dragon
Letter from Paris
Behind the Mask
Matrix, The
Fried Barry
Once Upon a River
We Still Say Grace
Enfant Terrible
Playboy of the Western World, The
Bike Thief, The
Virtuoso, The
Here are the Young Men
Beast Beast
Labyrinth of Cinema
Justice Society: World War II
Artist's Wife, The
Truman & Tennessee: An Intimate Conversation
Pusher III
Palm Springs
Devil Commands, The
Oak Room, The
Pusher II
Forget Everything and Run
Secrets & Lies
Red Moon Tide
Man with Nine Lives, The
Pot Carriers, The
Black Bear
Don't Cry, Pretty Girls!
Me You Madness
Reckoning, The
Newest Articles
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
Network Double Bills: Some Girls Do and Deadlier Than the Male
Absolutely Bananas: Link on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
  Swedish Love Story, A I Don't Wanna Grow Up
Year: 1970
Director: Roy Andersson
Stars: Ann-Sofie Kylin, Rolf Sohlman, Anita Lindblom, Bertil Norstrom, Lennart Tellfelt, Margreth Weivers, Arne Andersson, Maud Backeus, Verner Edberg, Elsie Holm, Tommy Nilsson, Gunnar Ossiander, Gunvor Tannerus, Lennart Tollen, Bjorn Andresen, Birger Carlsson
Genre: Comedy, Drama, RomanceBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: The time is the long, hot summer of 1969 and the place is Sweden, where young Par (Rolf Sohlman) has a job for the season in a garage, assisting the mechanics. Today, after watching the resident joker practice his kung fu moves for the benefit of his workmates Par heads off to meet his grandfather (Gunnar Ossiander) who has been admitted to a sanatarium out in the country. His parents are keen to cheer up the old man, so take him on an organised picnic where in the queue for food the boy has been sent to wait in, he notices a young girl of his own age who he is immediately attracted to. Is the feeling mutual?

Why, yes it is, but this portrait of young love - the protagonists are thirteen and fifteen years old - was contrasted in its innocence and lyricism with a far bleaker illustration of what the two youngsters have in store when they grow up a few short years from now. This was the first film from acclaimed Swedish director Roy Andersson to gain fairly wide recognition, with many of his countrymen considering it a minor classic of their nation's cinema, though that would depend on how far you related to his cynical look at the perceived purity of these teenagers' relationship eventually curdling when the realities of the adult world became impossible to ignore.

For this reason, A Swedish Love Story, or En karlekshistoria as it was originally known, was not as twinkly and sweetnatured as some seemed to remember it, unless they were concentrating on the young love and ignoring the horrors of what happens to the grown-ups. We get an inkling that all is not well when Par's grandfather breaks down and complains mournfully that this is no world for the lonely, and the image of a tearstained face is one Andersson returned to throughout, not only on the kids but on the adults as well. Not that Par and Annika (Ann-Sofie Kylin), playing the girlfriend, sees the path of their romance run smooth, as he has to endure the humiliation of getting beaten up in front of her.

The relationship recovers, but not until a degree of heartache even if we should be cheered they were able to put it behind them, yet that Andersson dejection which characterised his later, more famous works was not entirely absent - it wasn't absent at all. While Par and Annika make excuses to see one another, their parents and older relatives are wallowing in misery, with her father John (Bertil Norstrom) in particular telling all who will listen he is a bastard, as if that excuses his bad-tempered behaviour which has alienated his wife. Annika's aunt Eva (Anita Lindblom) too is having trouble making it through her life unscathed, as she admits uselessly to her niece how lonely she is, aware the girl can do nothing to help her even if she did offer a shoulder to cry on.

Andersson's later efforts were characterised by a surrealism and dark humour of the absurd, but there's little of the former here as he was more influenced by the New Wave cinema spreading across Europe at this stage; actually it had already spread and neared a conclusion by the point A Swedish Love Story was released, leaving it rather after the fact as that movement too grew into different forms and experimentalism was sidelined. That was not to say there were no moments of humour in this whatsoever, it simply helped to share the downbeat sensibility of the director to truly relate to it, assuming you were not caught up swooning with the romance. Actually, by the last act Par and Annika are noticeably absent, off in their own world, as the adults reach a crisis point that leads to a comical anticlimax, leaving us in no doubt that the central couple have nothing to look forward to but turning pathetically ridiculous. For a movie recalled for its sweetness, Andersson's best efforts proved unsettling should a straightforward love story be what you wanted. Music by Bjorn Isfalt.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


This review has been viewed 2510 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf


Last Updated: