Tag Archives: Monoglot Movie Club

Monoglot Movie Club: The Mexican Scand-off

Part of an occasional series in which Spank The Monkey travels to foreign countries, watches films in unfamiliar languages, and then complains about not understanding them. This episode: Norway, Finland and Sweden, June 2016.

Card clash
Travel passes from Oslo, Stockholm and Turku. A London-centric ‘card clash’ reference has been removed from this caption by editorial request.

Continue reading Monoglot Movie Club: The Mexican Scand-off

Monoglot Movie Club: Stockholm Syndrome

Part of an occasional series in which Spank The Monkey travels to foreign countries, watches films in unfamiliar languages, and then complains about not understanding them

sergel 2

“I’m a man on the move,” says Sir Les Patterson at the start of his book The Traveller’s Tool: “I wouldn’t have had two shits in the same toilet.” I can’t say that I get about as much as the Australian Cultural Attache, but from the path I’ve taken in previous Monoglot Movie Club articles – the Netherlands, Brazil, UAE, Japan, Norway, Belgium, Sweden, Finland – you might have got the impression that I get to visit a country once and once only, before they chase me out of town and bar me from ever entering it again.

Happily, that’s not the case. To prove it, I went back to Sweden last month, in a return visit that had much warmer weather than my previous one in January (see illustration above). Back then, there was a sudden upsurge in interest in Swedish cinema, thanks to the Guldbagge film awards being announced: lots of local movies in theatres, many of them selling out. In the summer months, the Swedes appear to be watching all the same summer blockbusters as the rest of the world, but I still managed to catch a couple of bits of local product for your entertainment and my bewilderment. Continue reading Monoglot Movie Club: Stockholm Syndrome

Monoglot Movie Club: The Guldbagge Variations

Part of an occasional series in which Spank The Monkey travels to foreign countries, watches films in unfamiliar languages, and then complains about not understanding them

A Guldbagge Award, yesterday
A Guldbagge Award, yesterday

Sweden! Land of Bergman, Garbo and Abba The Movie. There are some countries where I struggle to find local films in the cinemas, but not here. Stockholm in January 2013 was packed full of ‘em: from the family-friendly fun of Sune i Grekland, to a theatrical outing for a Wallander that’ll probably be on BBC Four by 2014. All I needed was a way to filter out the good stuff from the bad.

By chance, I found that way on my first night in the country, as I turned on the telly to discover live coverage of the Guldbaggen, Sweden’s own film awards. (That golden bug thingy at the top of the page is the actual award itself.) Perfect! All I needed to do was grab the list of winners, pick the most interesting-looking ones, and get myself down to a cinema to see them. Unfortunately, everyone else in Stockholm appeared to be doing the same thing in the week after the Guldbaggen, with screenings of Swedish movies selling out all over the place. As a result, I couldn’t always see my first choice of film.
Continue reading Monoglot Movie Club: The Guldbagge Variations