Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Sensations From Sweden


 I live for new and fresh film books, and this is definitely one of those.

Daniel Ekeroth's Swedish SensationsFilms -- A Clandestine History of Sex, Thrillers, and Kicker Cinema (published by Bazillion Points) is an enthusiasts' guide to Swedish cinema's underworld of ex- and sex-ploitation.

Although Ingmar Bergman, a man closely associated with Sweden's film industry in the West, gets a justified look-in here with his The Virgin Spring (Jungfrukallan), this book wisely takes the crooked, bumpy, sleazy road of Swedish cinema to highlight titles that warrant inclusion in a book with such a title.

With a terrific introductory interview with the sweet and tasty Christina Lindberg, a woman who personifies 'SensationsFilms', the book kicks off with Adalen, a  '69 gem by a fella who cast his own son in one of his sleaze epics. It then runs alphabetically through more than twenty-five years of films deserving of your time and attention. It wraps things up with Joe Sarno's Young Playthings of '72.

The book is not the Swedish equivalent of Leonard Maltin's movie guide. On the contrary, the passionate Mr. Ekeroth dishes up mountains of facts, figures, and flea-bitten stories about the stars, directors, and producers of these celluloid firecrackers.

Of special interest to non-Swedish punters is the author's list of twenty SensationsFilms to see before you die. Of the twenty mentioned, I've seen only a handful; I'm now determined to see them all. I'm most determined to see Ett Anstandigt Liv (A Decent Life) and Karleksvirvevn (The Love Swirl), affectionately described by Ekeroth as "the best and vilest of the Swedish porn films from an era when these things were done as dirty as possible for a reason".

 I'm proud to report that Swedish SensationsFilms did penetrate the cinemas of Melbourne in the 70's.
This is an ad mat from my own collection.

Personally, I was chuffed to see Torgny Wickman's  Inkraktarna (The Intruders), a big favorite of mine, praised and highlighted. Arne Mattson's Vaxdockan (The Wax Doll), a truly magical film that I've loved for many years, gets affectionate literary treatment, too. How could it not?! It's about a man's love for a mannequin. Now, in an era where owning your own lifelike doll is a reality, the film seems way ahead of its time.

The book is also loaded with great black and white stills (incl. one of Lindberg with Bo. A Vibenius), ad mats, and a helpful glossary on things you need to know about Sweden and Swedish counterculture.

Any fan of international cinema will eat this fucker up.


  1. There's way too little people familiar with the work of Arne Mattsson. This is a scandal especially as he's easily one of the best Swedish directors of all time. So obviously I did a little jig of joy when you mentioned The Waxdoll featuring the great late Per Oscarsson.

  2. Cine -- I love The Wax Doll. I agree that Mattson is one of the greats. His The People of Hemso is a favorite of mine, too.

  3. God bless their pointy little heads for name-checking multiple Mats Helge films right on the cover. I'll have to pick this up as I'm woefully lacking in knowledge of Swedish cinema.

  4. Thanks for the tip, Phantom! Will acquire ASAP!

  5. I have his other book, 'Swedish Death Metal', and I'm not surprised this book is awesome as well. Definitely gonna get this. \m/

  6. Diary -- I like SWEDISH DEATH METAL book, too. I'm not a big metal expert, but I love the philosophy behind the culture.

  7. Phantom, you find 'The Love Swirl' yet? I managed to, and I'd be more than happy to upload it to CG if you want. Just say the word.

  8. jervaise brooke hamsterApril 16, 2011 at 5:11 AM

    I want to bugger Tina Lindberg (in 1968 when the bird was 18, not as the bird is now obviously). By the way, i didn`t write the first syllable of the birds first name, (a) because i`m so murderously homo-phobic and (b) because i`m a pious-theist and an anti-theist. Hey Phantom, have you noticed how recently i`ve even started to veer away from using the words "she" and "her" ?, thats because the last 2 letters of the word "she" is the word "he" and the first 2 letters of the word "her" is also that hideous word "he", my murderous homo-phobia is now making it ever more difficult for me to communicate, curses on the English language and all its pathetic inadequacies.

  9. Milkman -- my apologies for the very late reply to your offer. I've not tracked down THE LOVE SWIRL. It sounds amazing.


    jervaise -- I've noticed. I'm dying to read your personal blog. I say go for it, ya Pommy Bastard.