Thursday, October 22, 2009

Everlasting Moments

I don't go to many films, but I couldn't pass up this one.

Director: Jan Troell

Set in early 1900s Sweden, a young working class woman, Maria, wins a camera in a lottery in an era of social unrest, war, and poverty. The camera grants her the eyes to view the world, and empowers her to raise and nurture her family of six children and an alcoholic, womanizing and sometimes violent, although ultimately loving, husband.

Watch the Trailer

1 comment:

Mike said...

I saw the film last night at UNM's Southwest Film Center; it was worth seeing, and I'm glad I went.

The depiction of photo technology and technique seriously misrepresented the reality of the times in which the story was set. The Contessa plate camera was a product of the 1920's, so was about a decade too new to fit the initial story line. Worse, the representation of photographic technique was geared to the sensibilities of the point-and-shoot digital age. The photographer is shown handholding the camera to record live subjects in very dimly lit surroundings; that just wouldn't have worked with the slow emulsions available at the time. I suppose that won't matter to 99% of the audience for the film, but it seems odd to lavish such attention to costume and setting, and then do such a shoddy job around the central prop component.

I also have mixed feelings about the story. The film does a good job of portraying a woman suffering from guilt-driven, misplaced loyalties. In spite of that, along with grinding povery and troubled times, she succeeds as a studio portrait photographer, and even her miserable marriage to a drunken clod ends up fine. So, high marks in the feel good category. The mechanism for the accomplisment of later life happiness is small business success by both the main characters after some dalliance with anarchic syndicalism. The implied idea that Sweden got from the miserable state it was in around the turn of the Century to its current wide-based prosperity by that road seems rather far-fetched to me.