Monday, December 29, 2008

Nothing New Under the Sun

I have a film recommendation for you. It is Under Solen (Under the Sun), a Swedish film with English subtitles. This movie was an accidental discovery for me -- and a total treasure. I rented it from the local Figgy's, but I am now going to have to buy it so I can watch it over and over.
Let me preface by saying Under Solen appealed to two biases of my own that you may not share.
    One, I am actively learning to speak Swedish, am currently very fascinated by Swedish culture, and have a soft spot for anything at all that reminds me of my dear Swedish Pappaw.

    Two, I love history and am thoroughly visual, so I am easily dazzled by lush period pieces
    Watching subtitled films is an excellent way to boost your efforts to learn a language. So I was delighted to discover a whole shelf of Swedish films at the McKinleyville Figuereido's (giant treasure house extraordinaire; you should really check that place out).
    Under Solen begins with the biblical quote,
    "What has been will be again,
    what has been done will be done again,
    there is nothing new under the sun"

    (Ecclesiastes 1:9-14).
    In other words, there is nothing new or extraordinary about this story. It's just a love story.

    Anyone who's been paying attention to my blog will realize I am very cynical about romance at the moment, so it means something when I say this was a wonderful love story. A sensitive, delicious, tugs-at-your-heartstrings love story.
    The plot: It's 1956 in the lovely Swedish countryside. An illiterate farmer, Olof, lives a lonely life on his farm until one day, he advertises in the newspaper for a housekeeper -- but specifies that she should be young and send a photo. To his surprise, a city woman, Ellen, gorgeous as a pin-up girl, shows up, takes over and does a fantastic job managing everything. But the farmer's best friend is suspicious of her and determined to uncover her deep, dark secrets.
    I want the land, the house, Ellen's clothes, hair and style. Just make me a two-dimensional figure and insert me in the movie so I can live there with Ellen and Olof.
    What it looks like on the shelf in Sweden.
    What it looks like on the shelf in America

    Made in 2004. Directed by Colin Nutley. Starring his wife Helena Bergstrom and Rolf Lassgard.

    5 comments:

    Kristen said...

    Dear Indie,

    Well, now you will have a tender movie to turn WAAAY UP LOUD and drown out your neighbor's dog, as you fall asleep into a Swedish melody of love. . . . :)

    Don't tell anyone this, but love *stories* tend to move me more deeply than a living love ever has. Give me a good Chick Flick, some chocolate, and curl all up in my bed, and I am a happy girl :D I guess that proverbial "biological clock" has not began to tick much in me yet? (TMI?!). . . . Anyway, it IS always good to know the things that make you happy :)

    In Joy,
    Kristen

    Indie said...

    Kristin, I have already learned that lesson, too. Movies are more satisfying anyway and if they get annoying or loud, you can just switch them off. This movie would go quite well with chocolate. If you watch it, let me know what you think, ok?

    Kristen said...

    Actually, since you recommended this movie, I can't quite get it out of my mind. So, after I read your post from tonight, I am going to head on over to Net-Flix and see if they have it. . . . I'll let you know what I think of it, after I get it and watch it :)

    Indie said...

    Goodie! Let me know what you think! If you can't find it, they do have it in Mack Town if you're anywhere handy.

    Kristen said...

    Hi again Indie,

    I wanted to let you know 2 things: One, I did in fact find the movie at NetFlix and it is on its way here (nothing like engaging in the *mass* industry of the masses!). And second, I found your email to me in My Yahoo and I have replied using my regular email account (the one I personally use). So, if you haven't received it yet, be sure to check your Spam Filter. . . . And thank you for contacting me--it was a real delight to find this morning :)

    In Joy,
    Kristen