At 70, Sweden’s Hello Baby is celebrated by the SFI
by Jorn Rossing Jensen
- The Swedish Film Institute celebrates artist and writer-actress-director Marie-Louise Ekman by showing her latest film
Swedish artist and writer-actress-director Marie-Louise Ekman, aka De Geer Bergenstråhle, who turns 70 on Wednesday 5 November – and has been called “one of the most exciting and creative directors in Swedish film history” by the Swedish Film Institute (SFI) – will tomorrow be celebrated by the SFI with the screening of The Dramatic Asylum, her new four-and-a-half-hour film shot at Stockholm’s Royal Dramatic Theatre, which she has run since 2008.
On Saturday 1 November at Stockholm’s Film House, the institute unspooled Hello Baby, the 1976 film by Swedish director Johan Bergenstråhle, her then husband, which she scripted with herself in the lead. Tomorrow’s commemoration will be introduced by the SFI’s managing director, Anna Serner, and Jannike Åhlund, head of operations at Fårø’s Bergman Centre and project manager of the forthcoming website NordicWomenFilm.
A professor of Art and former rector at Stockholm’s Royal University College of Fine Arts, Ekman wrote and directed nine films between 1979 and 2005; in 1991, she was awarded a Guldbagge, Sweden’s national film prize, for her Creative Achievements. Her latest work, produced by Patrick Benjaminsson for Dramaten with a musical score by Benny Andersson (ABBA), has been shown on the theatre’s website.
“I thought I had come to an ordinary workplace, but it turned out to be my own alien tunnels – on my way through them, I found a jungle, a zoo and a hospital: a job history in different parts,” was her own introduction to the film that she shot herself. She is played by Marie Göranzon, Ingela Olsson, Stina Ekblad, Melinda Kinnaman and Ellen Jelinek in a cast that also includes Johan Rabaeus, Örjan Ramberg, Elin Klinga, Jan Malmsjö, Andreas T Olsson, Gunilla Nyroos, Hans Klinga and Danilo Bejarano.