My movie viewing habits go one of two ways: Either I am watching a whole bunch of movies that don't have a single thing in common or I binge on a favorite type of movie, waking up in the morning with foreign accents sloshing around in my brain like beer in a college student's guts. Australian cinema has been a drug of choice, but they, before the advent of the internet(s), were hard to come by. Even harder for a monolingual American to track down are films from Sweden and The Netherlands. Gud förbjude you actually want to see something not designed for export out of Scandinavia. If they in fact are exported out, they will never see the light of day here in the US, instead Hollywood buys the rights to remake the film or just rips it off. How may people in a US multiplex are going to know anyway? Hollywood has done a great job of building a wall to keep out those damn cinematic immigrants who are stealing our entertainment jobs! Sadly it's not just our milk that's homogenized. Ok, rant over. Here's a few of the Swedish films that I've been obsessing over, and so as not to bludgeon you like a viking raider with Nordic cinema, I've thrown in some others as well.
In spite of the fact that the plot is a pretty loose recounting of real events, the cast is nothing short of superb with Freeman being surprisingly good at portraying the freewheeling, gregarious Biggs and Florinda Bolkan even shows up as Stella (or in real life, Raimunda de Castro) the mother of Ronnie's Rio-born son Michael. Majewski, who co-wrote the scrip with Biggs, uses some great camera work without being overly-expressionistic to evoke a sense of paranoia and tension in some scenes, but gets a little carried away with long scenes of Rio's carnival nightlife in others. On the one hand, I would have loved to see more of Biggs’ history included (such as his collaboration with the Sex Pistols in the same year) and maybe even a more factual account, but on the other hand, what you have is a solidly entertaining, well made movie with a great cast. Also, you gotta love Biggs’ cameo, shamelessly mugging, during the beginning of the movie.