I was twelve when I saw the first movie that strongly impressed me. At that time, we lived in Prague and my mother took me to the Italian Institute to see Italian films. I still remember the characters of Mario Monicelli’s film “La Grande Guerra”. Read more
Two anti-war heroes who invented all kind of pretexts for not going to the front, but at the end choose execution to save their companions. Sergio Leone epical western films also impressed me a lot.
Little did I know then that ten years later these two directors would be my teachers at the film school in Rome.
When I was fifteen we moved to Brussels. I started to see classical films suggested by my teacher Madeleine Bourdouxhe. She was a Belgian author who taught history and literature to students needing some extra help after school. She was over seventy, continuously smoking menthol cigarettes, and lived in a flat packed with books. Besides history and literature, we analyzed film. In the evenings I went to see the films we had talked so much about, at the “Musée du Cinema”.
I studied two years at the art school La cambre in Brussels. I followed courses in film animation, drawing and painting. The courses challenged all forms of visual media. After two years I was admitted to the film school in Rome and I took off to Italy. See my first film
My first film: a super 8 short made in Brussels with my brothers and friends June 1978.
At twenty I landed in Rome and was admitted to the film school “Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia”. The school is close to Cinecittà film studios, and I would often sneak in and see directors like Federico Fellini, Ettore Scola and Sergio Leone at work. Read more
I studied film direction three years at the film school in Rome. The teachers who made most impression on me were Sergio Leone, Carlo Di Palma and Glauco Pellegrini.
The first two years I collaborated in a collective film under the direction of my teacher Glauco Pellegrini.
Our film ”Wind and love: progetto Manzù”, became a two hours film about the Italian artist Giacomo Manzù. The film mixes together the most diverse cinematographic genres, from the documentary to fiction and even ballet. The film was presented at the 1982 Venice International Film Festival
I found a copy of the film on youtube. You can watch the film here
Rome was a great place to be as a student, a “dolce vita” life with ambitious friends, always in discussion about our future masterpieces. Read more
Still, there is a saying called “the Rome sickness”: young artists get so overwhelmed by the amount of art and history in the city that they become creatively paralyzed.
After six years in Rome, I had to make a choice. Stay in Italy or move to Sweden.
My father had died ten years earlier, and I barely spoke any Swedish. I however remembered that it was he who had bought me my first super eight cameras and it was also his interest in art that had shaped me.
I did not know much about Sweden, but I had heard of a Film Workshop on an island in the middle of Stockholm where you could freely make films.
One morning twenty-six years old, I arrived at the Central Station in Stockholm with five thousand crowns in my pocket and determined to start a new life.
With friends from Rome, we embarked in Paris and made a documentary abour african dance. The film follows four African dance teachers: Eineida and Nilton Castro, Elsa Wolliaston and Ahmed-Titjani Cissé. The film was shot in 16mm and is distributed by the Cultural center "Centre Pompidou" in Paris.
In the last summer together, four friends agree that they’ll always be in touch, however already feeling that they are gliding apart. Read more
They are actually testing the thin line between love and friendship. Rosemary makes love with Omar in the apartment she shares with her boyfriend Mathias. Mathias discovers them when he comes in very early in the morning, kissing Isabelle. They are now rivals but do not want to let go of each other.
Omar is on his way to Turkey for military service but acts like he is off for vacations. Rosemary feels betrayed. Isabelle and Mathias want to make a morbid exhibition about death. But they need a corpse, where to find one? Isabelle works for home help service and knows that an old man that had suddenly died in his apartment. She seduces Mathias to the idea to go there and together take macabre pictures of the dead man.
Later Mathias meets old friends. They decide to steal a sailing boat, hide a young Rumanian refugee from the police and offer him a refreshing summer vacation in the Swedish archipelago. But as usual in this story, nothing turns out as planned and new complications arise.
Production: Indie Productions, dimarzo productions, Filmverkstan, Filminstitutet - 1994
A drama with surrealistic touches about two women struggling for freedom and a stranded film team shooting a film.
Lorena’s last hope to get her father’s attention is staging a fake kidnapping in the woods with the help of her boyfriend. When the police get involved and start a massive search, Lorena decides it’s time to find her father for a confrontation. She hurries in the middle of the night on a country road when suddenly a car stops and a man tries to rape her. In self-defense, she kills him with her pocketknife. Then she actual disappears and her boyfriend is forced to go alone to the police and explain about her real disappearance.
A team, shooting its film in the woods, is in crisis. The team’s strongest members have different versions of what really happened with Lorenas disappearance and want to change the script.
Meanwhile, there is another woman; she is struggling alone against the wishes of her family. She has secretly applied to an art school in Paris and has been accepted. But nobody takes her artistic aspirations seriously and her decision to follow her dreams falls like a bomb. Her parents exert emotional pressure and her boyfriend gets violent. Suddenly, she gets help from Lorena formerly disappeared in the woods, and now mysteriously back.
Production: Scenario Film, Sandino Hus, dimarzo productions, Filminstitutet - 2000
At the heart of the story is the pensioner Magda, a skeptical woman with strong views about everything and in daily conflict with her neighbors. Read more
Her life is turned upside down the day she finds 23-year-old Dana in the basement. Dana is an emigrant fleeing from the police and her family. Against everyone’s expectation, Magda takes her under her wings. But it turns out to be trickier than Magda could have imagined. Old friends suddenly become enemies and enemies become friends. Soon she is doing things she would never have dreamed of doing a few weeks ago. While Magda is forced to reassess her life, Dana’s dark past is catching up.
An engaging comedy with strong characters, difficult relationships and unexpected culture clashes.
Production: Projektbyrån Orkano, Triangelfilm, dimarzo productions, Filminstitutet - 2006
I started my second feature film project after a meeting with a group of young people in a suburb of Stockholm. I suggested that we make a film on our own terms and write the script collectively together in an open forum. The rumor quickly spread and we became a group of more than thirty people. In this often chaotic environment, I had a personal technique to sort and get the main thread out of all our ideas.
It took us two years to create the film “A falling dream”.
I had become a quite proficient fundraiser with a budget that allowed us to buy all kind of books about cinema and go to see the classics. It was great to see the teenagers discover the film masters and to be inspired by them and strive for an artistic vision for our film.
After the success of “A falling dream” we wanted to continue to work together, so we contacted group of pensioners in another suburb and soon became a big group again.
It was truly a sight to see two different generations, the young between 20-25 years and the seniors between 70-85 years; all passionately arguing and compromising, equally devoted to creating a great script to the film “The Bitch Downstairs”.
This time we decided this to write a more conventional script and have a professional cast.
After almost two years of scriptwriting, we had professional actors joining the group. We also found a distributor that believed in the project, but it took us three more years before we had our film showing in the cinemas all over Sweden.
The documentary was filmed and edited by the group memmbers summer 2000.
My creativity took a significant boost at the Swedish Film Institute experimental workshop: Filmverkstan. The place was bursting with filmmakers of all kind. I deliberately worked with simple VHS cameras, a medium that permitted me to smoothly pass from thoughts to action. Read more
The staff was wonderful and helping us out, especially Mihail Livada. In the fifties, he had been a co-founder of the Swedish Experiment studios.
Together with Livada we formed a group that met every Saturday to help each other out. Livada enthusiastically encouraged us to experiment and leave behind conventional film thinking.
J.S. Bach First Suite for Violoncello Solo by Matthieu Fontana
A woman eating an ice cream in the park brings to mind Mona Lisa, the painting of Leonardo da Vinci. 3 min, Filmverkstan 1987
Between the years 1986 -1994 I directed twenty shorts and a feature film at the film workshop Filmverkstan.I experimented a lot with camera movements, image composition, and irrational story structures. Therefore most of my video productions from that time have no conventional stories
I have deliberately left out all the names of the people involved in my films, the reason is respect for privacy and to keep out search engines connecting them to my films.
A summer night in a Nordic archipelago when the sun never goes down, we witness a woman torn by two men. The triangle drama is mute, a tribute to the early silent movies 3 min
With the “labyrinth” as a model, we follow characters entangled in visual landscapes. The editing deliberately leaves gaps in the story to give the viewer the possibility to create his own interpretations. 11 min
The “Appia Antica” is an ancient road built by the Romans thousands of years ago. Among the ruins we meet a stranded couple that has run out of gasoline, two men arguing about a sandwich and a man who talks about time.
12 min. The film is in Italian.
A “sound collector” confesses being in crisis after meeting a rival with a completely different approach to sounds. Original music by Fredrik Sievert. 11 min
We follow two people, a woman in her apartment and a musician with his band. They don’t know each other, but later in the evening, they’ll share a common experience. 20 min
The camera moves like a fish in the aquarium, observing a woman troubled by images of her father. On a regular basis, the screen turns black and we are alone with original music by Fredrik Sievert. 8 min
Love and hate between two enigmatic characters. Kidnapping and murder seems to evolve around a complex relationship. The film runs backwards, starting by the end and progressing scene by scene to the beginning.
Experimental film with my friends shot 1988 in Stockholm. A man reads a poem from about a concentration camp, accompanied by a piano improvisation. 4 min
An experimental film filmed in Stockholm 1988. The atmosphere is dense and dark. 4 min
When I came to Filmverkstan 1986, I left behind that period all that I had learned in Rome. Instead of making movies in 16 mm, I started playing with light VHS camera and went farther and farther away from conventional filmmaking.
Musik: Goldberg variations av Glenn Gould
My first film at Filmverkstan 1986. The camera turns sensually around the sculpture group "Le Paradis fantastique" at Skeppsholmen by Jean Tinguely and Niki de Saint Phalle.
Music by Mihail Livada
Influenced by Gustav Jung’s studies on alchemy, the camera examines an old oak tree that gives intriguing alchemical associations.
We met in the weekends and made improvisations with direkt editing in the camera, here are some examples.
During the years 2007-2013 I have written two screenplays for two feature films I intended to direct. Unfortunately I did not find the necessary financial resources to produce the films and in the end, I gave up and I decided to take a new direction. I swore to myself to only start new projects where I would be completely independent from the start. When I discovered Belnder I found my new direction!
A Swedish family travels to Italy with the ashes of their son’s babysitter, recently deceased. When they arrive at the destination, no relatives of the girl are waiting for them. They have come to a monastery inhabited by five old nuns and three young prostitutes hiding from their past.
The family stays in a cottage in the convent’s garden. The mother has to help her young son to overcome the guilt he bears for the girl’s death.
The Swedish woman who is an office manager gets confused. She loses prestige in her meeting with the women in the convent, but in return discovers new areas of the world and of herself. For the boy, the monastery is a dangerous and magical place where anything can happen and has an own agenda that he is determined to complete.
Two-thirds of the movie was to be shot in Apulia in southern Italy. There is a historical link between Apulia and Scandinavia. Few know that the Vikings also arrived in southern Italy. A hundred Vikings came from Normandy in search for adventures. Their courage and spirit of adventure had no boundaries. They ruled for five generations and the last of them: Frederick II was crowned November 22, 1220, as Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. Twenty-eight years old, he was Europe’s most powerful man, and during his reign, culture flourished. He created the first universities in medieval medicine and the law and was in a constant feud with The Pope.
A process-server rings the door to three different homes with a notice of seizure. In the first home, the librarian accepts it and she gets evicted. In the second home, the newly retired couple contests the claim. In the third case, a car salesman tears up the debt collector’s mandate. Complications arise.
The librarian who accepted the eviction wanders in the city and seems to have lost the perception of reality. The retired couple that contested realizes that the past has caught up with them and someone wants to hurt them. The salesman who tore debt collectors’ mandate must tell the truth to his partner, that he has been doing a reckless business and that in eight hours they will be evicted.
Ex Malo Bonum means in Latin “from evil arises good.” The characters in the movie are forced to enter unknown territories. Time slows down to slow motion and gravity pull them slowly down towards the abyss – but they discover new sides of themselves and finally fly off the ground. I struggled hard to find financing for my films but this time I did not succeed.