Carte Blanche Eloy Domínguez Serén

by Eloy Domínguez Serén / 05 11 2020

What an extraordinary opportunity to be able to unite, on the occasion of this Carte Blanche, two cultures that I feel so strongly attached to my heart: the Swedish and the Portuguese. I am very happy to share with the Porto/Post/Doc audience my three favourite Swedish films of all time, three magnificent films that I was fortunate enough to discover during my years in Stockholm and which left a deep impression on my emotional memory. "Detora Äventyret", "De Kallar Oss Mods" and "En Kärlekshistoria" are three masterpieces that surprised me, moved me and helped me to understand the idiosyncrasies of my new life, but they also enriched my learning of the Swedish language and stimulated my interest in the filmography of a country where Ingmar Bergman's cinema and some specific titles by Bo Widerberg, Jan Troell or Lukas Moodysson were little known at the time.

"En Kärlekshistoria" is possibly the most beautiful and tender film I know. I have seen this wonderful teen love story more than half a dozen times and it continues to impress and surprise me every time I return to it. Roy Andersson's masterpiece is a brilliant and biting portrait of the exaltations, torments, intoxications and mischief of first love. An innocent and existential, luminous and corrosive tragicomedy that captures with surprising elucidation the frictions, discrepancies and antagonisms between adolescence and the adult world. Thus, the film floats between the vibrant, unprejudiced, naive and luminous celebration of adolescents and the bitter pathos of adults who are dissatisfied, lost, confused, alienated, unable to communicate with each other and with the new generations. Generation incarnated by Pär and Annika, the young pair of protagonists, one of the sweetest and most charming pairs in Swedish cinema.

Very different are Kenta and Stoffe, the untamed protagonists of "De Kallar Oss Mods". The charisma of these two characters lies in their subversive and hedonistic rebelliousness, in their insurrectionary, agitating and provocative temperament. The incendiary film directed by Stefan Jarl and Jan Lindqvist (the first of a trilogy that would extend over four decades) also touches the adolescent world, but from a less affable perspective: broken families, alcoholism, juvenile delinquency, drugs, stays in reformatories, marginality...

Despite the radical differences in tone between Andersson's and Jarl-Lindqvist's films, both coincide in portraying the Swedish society of the time through the extraordinary effervescence of youthful identity, the indomitable and overwhelming energy of adolescence and rebellion as a vital attitude and gesture of self-assertion. But both also warn of the threat of disenchantment, disillusionment, frustration, asphyxia and the inevitable sinking that can lead to an excessively anodyne, dissatisfied or unstable adult life, permanently exposed to implicit or explicit violence.

And to top it off, I wanted to complete this personal journey through Swedish cinema with the film "Stora Äventyret" by Arne Sucksdorff, the most fascinating film of nature I have ever seen. Shot in a beautiful black and white, this imposing and lyrical representation of Scandinavian wildlife is affectionately narrated through the eyes of two little brothers who live on a farm and discover an unexplored universe when they rescue an otter trapped in a burrow.

Eloy Domínguez Serén

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