Or Maria Larssons eviga ögonblick, as they say in Sweden. Daughter ‘found’ this film when wasting time on the internet as usual, and we’ve been waiting for a couple of months for it to turn up in Britain. It’s on at Cornerhouse right now, so three members of the witch household traipsed through a dug-up Manchester on this unexpectedly sunny Saturday afternoon.
This story about a female photographer in Sweden a hundred years ago makes a good film. I think it’s based on somebody real, and it certainly had real events incorporated into the plot, like the bomb on the boat. Maria has a drunken and violent husband, who has no understanding for her fascination with her camera, and certainly doesn’t appreciate how good she is with it. That understanding comes from the Danish owner of the photographer’s shop.
Maria herself is Finnish, and the film was made with funding from all the Nordic countries, which is probably why there are actors from all participating areas, including some dialogue in Finnish. The story takes place in Malmö and its surroundings, and most of the Swedish characters speak ‘Skånska’, which is the Malmö accent.
The drunken husband is played by Mikael Persbrandt, who is in practically every Swedish film these days. The minor roles are filled by major actors, and the charming photographer – with an adorably morose looking dog – has more recently been seen in James Bond. Not that I noticed Jesper Christensen there, or in Flame and Citron, but I assume he counts as Denmark’s star contribution.
It’s a Jan Troell film, and it shows. I do wish it could have got rid of the sepia effect, though. It just looked so dull at all times. The sun shone in those days too, even though photos are black and white, or sepia. And today’s translator note is that the horse was not ‘full of mischief’, but ‘reliable’.