Stockholm International Film Festival 2022

You really need to see Mad God.

I’ve seen fourteen films this festival season: one at the genre gathering Stockholm International Fantastic Film Festival (formerly Monsters of Film) and thirteen at Stockholm International. Unless noted otherwise, all the movies are from this year and haven’t seen theatrical release yet.

Four get my particular recommendation:

  • Mad God (2021). Dark dirty rusty industrial dieselpunk hell dump with a lot of heritage from Bosch, Piranesi, Giger, Moebius, Gilliam, Jeunet & Caro. Puppet animation with some live acting, no dialogue. Mind-blowing. My jaw was on the floor. WTF factor off the scale.
  • Medusa Deluxe. Secrets, rivalries and a scalped dead man at an annual regional hairdressing competition in England.
  • Brian and Charles. Heartwarming naïvist comedy about a lonely inventor in rural Wales who builds and befriends an intelligent robot.
  • I Love My Dad. Estranged absent dad impersonates a pretty girl online in order to talk to his depressive son who has blocked him.

Eight were OK:

  • Boy From Heaven. Rural student gets involved in clandestine political machinations around the election of a new Sunni Pope equivalent. The cast is exclusively male, the dialogue deals exclusively with Islam and Egyptian politics, and it is entirely in Arabic.
  • Broker. Director Koreeda returns to the theme of elective family relationships among criminals dealt with in 2018’s Shoplifters in this road movie about orphanhood, baby selling and childlessness.
  • Living. Lavish costume tear jerker about a post-WW2 senior civil servant who is jolted out of his sleepy complacent bureaucratic rut when learning that he’s dying of cancer.
  • The Kings of the World. Five homeless street urchins leave Medellin to try to make good on the oldest boy’s inherited land claim in a distant scenic rural area controlled by the paramilitaries. They meet with a little kindness, a lot of severe hardship and an unsurprising end.
  • Funny Pages. Young aspiring cartoonist living in squalor among comics-fan misfits and the violently insane. Awkward, occasionally funny, disturbing.
  • Nightsiren. Multi-generational witch hysteria and witch activity in remote Slovak mountain village.
  • A Man. After a Japanese man dies in a workplace accident it is revealed that he has been living under someone else’s identity. Apparently it’s a case of identity exchange, not theft. What was he ashamed of?
  • Emily (2022). A wildly fictionalised Emily Brontë smokes, does opium, gets a tattoo and shags the curate. Grade: OK.

And two were duds:

  • Wetiko. Young urban Maya man is lured out to a druggy New Age religious retreat in the jungle. Everyone is very stoned. Everything is very trippy. Nothing very interesting happens for most of the movie. (Horror fans may note that wetiko is the Algonquin form of the word wendigo.)
  • Rodéo. Penniless misfit woman joins motorbike thief and racing gang.

Here are my capsule reviews from the 2021 film festival season in Stockholm.

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Author: Martin R

Dr. Martin Rundkvist is a Swedish archaeologist, journal editor, skeptic, atheist, lefty liberal, bookworm, boardgamer, geocacher and father of two.

3 thoughts on “Stockholm International Film Festival 2022”

  1. In RL Emily was very ‘mannish’, described as such and it is evident in the scant photographic record. At least a possible lesbian – not that it mattered because (aside from all of the other reasons it doesn’t matter) all of them had scant opportunities to meet prospective partners – they were impoverished and lived in the middle of nowhere. The wild stuff described in the film sounds like the things her brother Branwell got up to.

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  2. Sadly I do not have the patience to view many films. The last time at a proper cinema was 3-4 years ago, to watch an Alien double feature. Before that, I watched From Dusk Till Dawn and Bram Stokers Dracula… over a 30-year period.
    .
    But I watch reviews. For instance, one of the very few cowboy-themed films worth watching is the animated Rango. Definitely not like
    the bland Disney/Pixar films.
    Another cult classic worthy of your attention is Dark City.

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