Swedish cinema Guldbagge Awards: Dark comedy-drama 'You the Living' tops + veteran Ingmar Bergman star Bibi Andersson returns
Roy Andersson's You the Living / Du levande, a black comedy-drama about a disparate group of people attempting to deal with the vicissitudes of life, was the big winner at the Swedish Film Institute's Guldbagge Awards, the Oscars of Swedish cinema. You the Living topped three categories: Best Film, Best Director, and Best Screenplay (also Roy Andersson).
Sweden's entry for the 2008 Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award, late last year You the Living earned Andersson a Best Director nomination at the European Film Awards. He lost to Cristian Mungiu for the Romanian abortion drama 4 Months 3 Weeks and 2 Days, which, coincidentally, was shortlisted for this year's Guldbagge Awards in the Best Foreign Film category. It lost to Shane Meadows' socially conscious British drama This Is England.
More Swedish cinema winners
More 2008 Swedish cinema winners: with six nods, the most nominated film at this year's Guldbagge Awards was Johan Kling's Darling. Despite having been selected as the Swedish Film Critics' Association's Best Film, Darling topped only two Guldbagge categories: Best Actor for Swedish cinema and TV veteran Michael Segerström and Best Cinematography for Geir Hartly Andreassen.
A Stockholm-set dark comedy of manners about a young woman (Best Actress nominee Michelle Meadows) who develops a friendship with a 60-year-old man (Segerström), Darling had its production funding suspended by the Swedish Film Institute and had to be financed independently.
The Guldbagge Awards' Best Actress winner was Sofia Ledarp for Åke Sandgren's To Love Someone / Den man älskar, in which she plays a woman obsessed with her abusive, alcoholic ex-husband (Jonas Karlsson).
Best Supporting Actress Bibi Andersson
Former Ingmar Bergman star and Swedish cinema icon Bibi Andersson (The Devil's Eye, All These Women, Persona) was this year's Best Supporting Actress winner for her portrayal of the evil Abbess Rikissa in Peter Flinth's period epic Arn: The Knight Templar / Arn: Tempelriddaren, the most expensive Swedish film to date – approximately $30 million (including the budget for the upcoming sequel, Arn: The Kingdom at the End of the Road / Arn: Riket vid vägens slut).
This marked Andersson's fourth Guldebagge Award nomination and win, following:
- As Best Actress for Bergman's Persona (1966).
- As Best Supporting Actress for Måns Herngren and Hannes Holm's Shit Happens / Det blir aldrig som man tänkt sig (2000).
- As Best Supporting Actress for Elina: As If I Wasn't There / Elina - Som om jag inte fanns (2002).
Arn: The Knight Templar also won special “Best Achievement” awards for stunt coordinator Kimmo Rajala and costume designer Kicki Ilander.
Gösta Ekman Lifetime Achievement honor
Lastly, veteran Gösta Ekman was given the Guldbagge Awards' Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to Swedish cinema. Steadily working in movies since the early 1960s, Ekman's big-screen credits include:
- Jonas Cornell's Like Night and Day / Som natt och dag (1969), in which he gets dumped by lover Agneta Ekmanner.
- Ingmar Bergman's Face to Face / Ansikte mot ansikte (1976), supporting Liv Ullmann and Erland Josephson.
- Tage Danielsson's The Adventures of Picasso /Picassos äventyr (1978), as the adventurous title character.
- Daniel Alfredson's The Man on the Balcony / Mannen på balkongen (1993), as a police detective hunting down a serial killer.
- The aforementioned Shit Happens (2000), playing opposite Bibi Andersson.
Of note, a new Guldbagge Awards jury system has been introduced in 2008. Whereas in the past a few dozen Swedish cinema industry representatives selected the winners, this year a group of seven will decide who takes home the “Golden Scarab” (or “Golden Beetle”) statuettes.
The list of this year's Swedish cinema winners and nominees can be found below.
Swedish Cinema's Guldbagge Award winners & nominations
Darling, prod.: Fredrik Heinig.
* You the Living / Du levande, prod.: Pernilla Sandström.
Leo, prod.: Anna Anthony.
BEST FOREIGN FILM
4 Months 3 Weeks and 2 Days / 4 luni, 3 saptamâni si 2 zile, dir.: Cristian Mungiu.
* This Is England, dir.: Shane Meadows.
The Edge of Heaven / Auf der anderen Seite, dir.: Fatih Akin.
* Roy Andersson, You the Living.
Josef Fares, Leo.
Johan Kling, Darling.
Julia Högberg, The New Man / Den nya människan.
* Sofia Ledarp, To Love Someone / Den man älskar.
Michelle Meadows, Darling.
Jonas Karlsson, To Love Someone.
* Michael Segerström, Darling.
Leonard Terfelt, Leo.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
* Bibi Andersson, Arn The Knight Templar / Arn: Tempelriddaren.
Maria Lundqvist, The New Man.
Gunilla Nyroos, Nina Frisk.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
* Hassan Brijany, A Red Eye / Ett öga rött.
Dan Ekborg, Mind the Gap / Se upp för dårarna.
Nicolaj Schröder, Hate Gothenburg.
* Roy Andersson, You the Living.
Johan Kling, Darling.
Kjell Sundstedt, The New Man.
GEORGE EASTMAN AWARD for BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Gustav Danielsson, You the Living.
* Geir Hartly Andreassen, Darling.
Eric Kress, Arn The Knight Templar.
Aching Heart / Det svider i hjärtat, dir.: Oscar Hedin.
* The Nun / Nunnan, dir.: Maud Nycander.
Paradise / Paradiset, dir.: Jerzy Sladkowski.
* What You Do / Hur man gör, Gunilla Heilborn, Kim Hiorthøy & Mårten Nilsson.
Juni / June, Fijona Jonuzi.
Lucky Blue, Håkon Liu.
BEST ACHIEVEMENT WINNERS
- Stunt coordinator Kimmo Rajala, Arn: the Knight Templar.
- Costume designer Kicki Ilander, Arn: the Knight Templar.
- Casting crew Pär Brundin, Frida Hallberg & Charlotta Miller, That Special Summer / Kid Svensk.
Lifetime Achievement Award: Gösta Ekman.
Gullspira Award for extraordinary contributions in films for children: Ulf Stark.
Audience Award: Arn: the Knight Templar.
More awards season news: Senseless violence & spiritual awakening
From Swedish cinema to award winners in the United States and Asia.
In other awards season news, the Iowa Film Critics Association has chosen Joel and Ethan Coen's violent thriller No Country for Old Men as the Best Film of 2007, while Ognjen Svilicics' Croatian drama Armin was the International Federation of Film Critics' selection at the 2008 Palm Springs Film Festival, which ran Jan. 3–14. The story of a small-town Bosnian father-and-son duo auditioning for a Balkan War-themed movie in Zagreb, Armin was Croatia's entry for the 2008 Best Foreign Language Film Oscar.
There's more: the feature film winners of the American Cinema Editors' (ACE) Eddie Awards were a couple of thrillers: The Bourne Ultimatum (Christopher Rouse) and Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (Chris Lebenzon). Michael Moore's Sicko (Geoffrey Richman, Chris Seward & Dan Swietlik) was the Best Edited Documentary.
And finally, Bhavna Talwar's Religion / Dharm was the Best Film at the 2007 Asian Festival of 1st Films, held late last year (Nov. 27–Dec. 4) in Singapore. Dharm chronicles the spiritual evolution of a devout Hindu priest (Pankaj Kapur) who believes that, as a Brahmin, he belongs to the highest of castes – that is, until he develops paternal feelings for a Muslim boy as ethnoreligious clashes threaten to tear his community apart.
The various groups'/festivals' winners can be found below.
Iowa Film Critics winners
Best Film: No Country for Old Men.
Best Actress: Julie Christie, Away from Her.
Best Actor: Philip Seymour Hoffman, The Savages, Before the Devil Knows Youre Dead & Charlie Wilson's War.
Best Supporting Actress: Amy Ryan, Gone Baby Gone.
Best Supporting Actor: Javier Bardem, No Country for Old Men.
Best Director: Joel and Ethan Coen, No Country for Old Men.
Best Animated Film: Ratatouille, dir.: Brad Bird.
Best Film Yet to Open in Iowa: There Will Be Blood, dir.: Paul Thomas Anderson.
Palm Springs Film Festival winners (partial list)
FIPRESCI (International Federation of Film Critics) Award - Best Foreign Language Film: Armin (Croatia).
FIPRESCI Award - Best Actress: Anamaria Marinca & Laura Vasiliu, 4 Months 3 Weeks and 2 Days (Romania), dir.: Cristian Mungiu.
FIPRESCI Award - Best Actor: Song Gang-ho, Secret Sunshine (South Korea), dir.: Lee Chang-dong.
Audience Award - Narrative Feature: Then She Found Me (USA).
Audience Award - Best Documentary Feature: Autism: The Musical (USA), dir.: Tricia Regan.
New Visions Award: Hounds / Jagdhunde (Germany), dir.: Ann-Kristin Reyels.
Special Jury Mention: The Waltz / Valzer (Italy), dir.: Salvatore Maira.
Special Mention for Cinematography: Frederico Barbarosa, Two Embraces / Dos Abrazos (Mexico).
Frederick Loewe Award for Film Composing: James Newton Howard.
Red Star Award: Ben X (Belgium), dir.: Nic Balthazar.
Director of the Year Award: Sean Penn, Into the Wild (USA).
Breakthrough Performance Award: Marion Cotillard, La Vie en Rose / La Môme (France).
Ensemble Performance Award: Hairspray (USA).
Rising Star Award: Emile Hirsch & Nikki Blonsky.
American Cinema Editors (ACE) Eddie Awards: Winners & nominations (partial list)
BEST EDITED FEATURE FILM (DRAMATIC)
* The Bourne Ultimatum, Christopher Rouse.
Into the Wild, Jay Cassidy.
Michael Clayton, John Gilroy.
No Country for Old Men, Roderick Jaynes.
There Will Be Blood, Dylan Tichenor.
BEST EDITED FEATURE FILM (COMEDY OR MUSICAL)
Hairspray, Michael Tronick.
Juno, Dana E. Glauberman.
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, Craig Wood & Stephen Rivkin.
Ratatouille, Darren Holmes.
* Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Chris Lebenzon.
BEST EDITED DOCUMENTARY
Darfur Now, Edgar Burcksen & Leonard Feinstein.
The Pixar Story, Leslie Iwerks & Stephen Myers.
* Sicko, Geoffrey Richman, Chris Seward & Dan Swietlik.
BEST EDITED MINISERIES OR MOTION PICTURE FOR NON-COMMERCIAL TELEVISION
Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, Michael Ornstein & Michael Brown.
Life Support, Mary Jo Markey.
* PU-239, Tatiana S. Riegel & Leo Trombetta.
Asian Festival of 1st Films Awards
Best Film: Religion / Dharm (India), Bhavna Talwar.
Best Director: Kabir Khan, Kabul Express (India).
Best Actor: Batzul Khayankhyarvaa, Khadak (Germany / Belgium / The Netherlands / Mongolia).
Best Actress (tie): Tsetsge Byambaa, Khadak, & Mamatha Bhukya, Vanaja (India / USA).
Best Screenplay: Keeping Watch (Taiwan), Fen Fen Cheng.
Best Documentary: The Boy Who Died of Fear (Israel), dir.: Idit Avrahami.
Best Documentary Director: Maya Newell, Richard (Australia).
Best Producer: Jo Dyer & Lesley Dyer, Lucky Miles (Australia).
Best Cinematographer: Family on the Sky Lake (China), Hu Linping.
Foreign Correspondents Association Purple Orchid Award for Best Film: Kabul Express.
2008 Oscar poster: Bright lights & golden statuette
From Swedish cinema's Academy Awards to the … Academy Awards: A design originally conceived by film poster illustrator Drew Struzan and executed by his son, Christian, has been chosen as the official poster of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' 2008 Academy Awards.
As per the Academy's press release, Drew Struzan has been creating advertising posters for more than 30 years, including the one-sheets for all six of George Lucas' Star Wars films, in addition to the “key art” for Steven Spielberg's upcoming Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
Christian Struzan and his creative team at XL Laboratories, Inc., designed and produced the poster for the Academy. XL Laboratories has also created poster art for a number of films, among them Andy Tennant's Sweet Home Alabama, Steven Brill's Mr. Deeds, Guillermo del Toro's Hellboy, Alexander Payne's Sideways, and Cameron Crowe's Elizabethtown.
Metro Manila Film Festival: Controversies & Filipino identity
The 2007–2008 Metro Manila Film Festival, which comes to a close on Jan. 5, has – inevitably – had its share of controversy.
Last year, actress Celia Rodriguez accused the festival, which focuses solely on Philippine cinema, of placing commercialism above art. This year, the issues have been the excessive number of sequels and a couple of lines in Jose Javier Reyes' comedy Sakal, Sakali, Saklolo, which have been deemed ethnically insensitive.
Toplining Judy Ann Santos, Ryan Angocillo, Derek Ramsay, Gina Pareño, and Gloria Diaz, this sequel to Reyes' successful Kasal, Kasali, Kasalo has Diaz's character reprimanding the nanny of her four-year-old grandchild, “Why are you bringing up my grandchild as a Bisaya?” The child's mother (Santos) then admonishes the nanny, “You should speak to the child in Tagalog, otherwise it's not Filipino.”
These bits of dialogue – the overall context is unclear – have offended some in The Philippines, a country with a sizable minority of non-Tagalog speakers. Bisaya (a.k.a. Cebuano), for instance, is the native language of about 15 million Filipinos.
Whether in spite of or as a result of the controversy, Sakal, Sakali, Saklolo has been the festival's biggest commercial hit, with P68.3 million (approx. US$1.65 million) up to Dec. 30. Next in line are Tony Y. Reyes' comedy fantasy Enteng Kabisote 4: Okay ka fairy ko… The Beginning of the Legend with P66.6 million (US$1.61 million) and Paul Daza, Topel Lee, Michael Tuviera's omnibus horror comedy Shake, Rattle & Roll 9 with P41.6 million (US$1 million).
The 2007–2008 Metro Manila Film Festival kicked off on Christmas Day 2007.
'Transformers'-like 'Resiklo' tops Metro Manila Film Festival Awards
Jan. 6 update: Below is a partial list of the 2007–2008 Metro Manila Film Festival winners, announced on Jan. 5 at the SMX Exhibition Center of the SM Mall of Asia in Pasay City. (Box office figures up to Dec. 30.)
Directed by Jose Javier Reyes' nephew Mark A. Reyes and starring actor-politician Ramon 'Bong' Revilla Jr., the Transformers-like sci-fi actioner Resiklo was surprisingly – considering its weak box office performance (P15.6 million, or US$378,000) – Metro Manila's big winner: a total of seven awards, including Best Film and Best Supporting Actor (Roi Vinzons).
Best Director honors, however, went to newcomer Cesar Apolinario for Banal, the story of two SWAT cops on different sides of the integrity line. Apolinario – with co-writer Mae Cruz – also topped the Best Story category.
Controversial hit comedy totally shut out
Notably, Jose Javier Reyes' Sakal, Sakali, Saklolo – despite its standing as Metro Manila's biggest commercial hit – was totally shut out. Reyes, for his part, took home the Best Screenplay award for another movie, Katas ng Saudi, which he also directed. The comedy-drama – and commercial flop (P2.8 million, or US$68,000) – revolves around the difficulties faced by Filipino workers returning from overseas.
Katas ng Saudi also earned Philippine Senator Jinggoy Estrada, recently acquitted of plunder charges, the Best Actor trophy. Estrada is the son of former president Joseph Estrada, who last September was convicted of stealing millions from the Philippine government.
Lastly, Maricel Soriano was named Best Actress for her portrayal of a woman who develops a close bond with her adopted daughter (Marian Rivera) in Joel Lamangan's Bahay kubo: A pinoy mano po!, another modest box office performer (P12.6 million, or US$305,000) that also earned Eugene Domingo and Von de Guzman awards in the Best Supporting Actress and Best Musical Score categories, respectively.
Swedish cinema's Guldbagge Awards website.
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences website.
Metro Manila Film Festival box office information via the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
Oscar poster image: © A.M.P.A.S.
Helen Hunt and Matthew Broderick Then She Found Me image: ThinkFilm.
Image of Swedish cinema icon Bibi Andersson in Arn: The Knight Templar: Svensk Filmindustri.
Ramon 'Bong' Revilla Jr. Resiklo image: Imus Productions.
“Swedish Cinema Icon Bibi Andersson Returns + Actress-Director Helen Hunt Audience Award Winner” last updated in March 2019.