The development of film
starts almost immediately after the Brothers Lumiere
invent their "cinematograph
" in 1895.
In 1896 the first public movie screening in Sweden
takes place in Malmö
, and during the Stockholm
Fair in 1897 regular showings in "Lumières Kinematograf i Gamla Stockholm" have great success. In the following years a great number of film companies are formed and cinemas are built all over the country.
In 1909 Charles Magnusson
becomes the director of Svenska Biografteatern AB, the to-be most important film production company, and subsequently moves it from Kristianstad
to Stockholm. Three movie directors are hired: Georg af Klercker
, Mauritz Stiller
and Victor Sjöström
- these three would largely be responsible for the first flowering of Swedish film between around 1917 and 1924. Domestic film production gets into gears. In 1911, Sweden is the first country to introduce film censorship
Swedens first classic, Ingeborg Holm
by Victor Sjöström, is produced in 1913 - the best of Sweden's silent movie
s is said to be his Phantom Chariot
In 1915 the movie department of Hasselblad
s Fotografiska AB in Gothenburg
starts moviemaking as well. Georg af Klercker joins the efforts after he leaves Svenska Bio.
During wartime filmmaking in Europe
is difficult and the importance of American productions increases. American companies like Paramount
try to make first inroads into the Swedish market, but for the time being without success. In 1918 Hasselbladfilm and several other companies merge into Filmindustri AB Skandia and move the operations to Stockholm. The mergers continue in 1919 when the new company joins with Svenska Biografteatern AB to form Svensk Filmindustri AB
. In the same year attendances break all records with 8 million tickets sold, but in the aftermath the industry faces mounting difficulties.
In 1923 the first Swedish directors and actors travel to Hollywood
, the nascent center of the worlds movie industry, for example Victor Sjöström, Mauritz Stiller, Greta Garbo and Hjalmar Bergman
. Much qualified personal is poached by American and German studios, which hurts domestic productions.
At the end of the 1920's the first sound films are produced. The investment
s necessary to outfit the cinema
s with the new technology
lead to a consolidation
in the market. Silent movies are quickly ousted and Swedish produced Swedish language movies experience a major upturn.
But at the beginning of the 1930's the general economic depression
favors the production of cheap "beer films". In the changing political climate the use of films as a means of propaganda
During wartime conditions are once again difficult. Filmmakers have to be very conscious politically - mostly they avoid anything resembling a political statement
and turn to shallow entertainment
After the war, Frenzy
by Alf Sjöberg
(actually from 1944) gets much recognition
, for example winning the international prize at the first Cannes Film Festival
(1948) by Hampe Faustman
is very influential, and Hasse Ekman
is a very busy director
In 1951 state support for film production is introduced - after the producers had gone "on strike", not doing any more movies, because the entertainment tax on cinemas had been doubled in 1948 to be as high as 40 percent. However, as TV
conquers the homes during the 1950's, the number of cinemagoers per year drops from an all time high of 8 million in 1956 to just 4 million in 1963 (today it's not even 2 million). The film industry
falls into a crisis.
Although the first color film had been shown as early as 1935 (Becky Sharp), it is not until the 1950's that the new technology makes its breakthrough
wins many international awards with works like The Seventh Seal
(1957), So close to Life
(1958), The Virgin Spring
(1960), Through a Glass Darkly
(1961) and many more. He subsequently becomes the most well known and respected Swedish director.
In 1963 the Swedish Film Institute
under the direction of Harry Schein is founded to support the production of valuable Swedish movies. In the following years a new generation of Swedish filmmakers made themselves a name, including Bo Widerberg
, Jan Troell
, Lasse Hallström
and Bille August
In 1979 the Gothenburg Film Festival
is instituted and in 1990 the Stockholm Film Festival
takes place for the first time. Swedish movies (and Hollywood movies by Swedish directors) continue to reap success all over the world.
A recent Swedish film to win international recognition was Lucas Moodysson
's Fucking Åmål
(that's a city, not what you think!). Others are for example Jalla Jalla
or Småla Sussie
Kortfattad svensk filmhistoria - http://www.fsfl.home.se/backspegel/kronologi.html
a node your homeworkTM production