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The Swedish Challenge

29 september 2017 / Kosmorama

2017 marks the centennial of the start of what later has become known as the “Golden Age” of Swedish cinema. Most accounts of the Swedish "Golden Age" focus almost exclusively on the films of Victor Sjöström and Mauritz Stiller, leaving out other Swedish directors who made films in the same style and hence many wonderful films have slipped from view.

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Morænen (A.W. Sandberg, DK, 1924). Still: DFI Stills & Posters Archive.

KOSMORAMA #269: This issue of Kosmorama aims to broaden the conception of the Swedish “Golden Age” and to illuminate its impact on the neighboring film industries of Denmark, Norway and Finland.

Kosmorama #269 is published in collaboration with this years’ Pordenone Festival series, The Swedish Challenge, and guest edited by Casper Tybjerg.

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Norwegian Tableaux – "Synnöve Solbakken"

Bo Florin


In this article, Bo Florin discusses the Swedish 1919 film Synnöve Solbakken (A Norway Lass), directed by John Brunius from a short story by the Norwegian author and Nobel prize winner Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson.

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Of Unknown Origin - Identity, Nationality, and Ethnicity in "Gipsy Anne" (1920)

Gunnar Iversen


Gunnar Iversen analyses one of the most important feature films in Norwegian film history, Rasmus Breistein’s Fante-Anne (Gipsy Anne) in the context of Norwegian and Scandinavian early silent cinema, and questions of identity, nationality and ethnicity, as well as gender and class difference.

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The Woman’s Point of View: "Thora van Deken" (1920)

Casper Tybjerg


Casper Tybjerg writes on the Swedish film Thora van Deken from 1920, a little-known and rarely seen, but strikingly well-made and well-acted psychological drama about a hard and uncompromising woman who commits a crime for her daughter’s sake.

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A Swedish Renaissance: Art and Passion in Victor Sjöström’s "Vem dömer" (1922)

Vito Adriaensens


The 1922 Renaissance period piece Vem dömer (Love’s Crucible/Mortal Clay) has all the trappings of a Victor Sjöström masterpiece, and yet it has curiously been overlooked. In his article, Vito Adriaensens aims to change that, reclaiming the film for the crucial part of the Swedish “Golden Age” that it is.

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Following the Swedish Model:
The Transnational Nature of Finnish National Cinema in the Early 1920s

Jaakko Seppälä


Taking Teuvo Puro’s 19th century period film Anna-Liisa (1922) as a case, Jaakko Seppälä demonstrates why Swedish cinema of the ”Golden Age” became an important model for Finnish filmmakers in the early 1920s.

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Nordic Landscape Discourse in Scandinavian Silent Cinema: "Morænen", Nature, and National Character

Anne Bachmann


Anne Bachmann looks at different configurations of discourse about Nordic nature, national character, and the cinema in order to present a more precise idea of notions of cultural ownership in Scandinavian cinema culture of the 1920s.


Enjoy your read!

Kosmorama