mardi, janvier 03, 2012

The new year smells like Scandinavia: watching the beautiful movie " Elvira Madigan " by Bo Widerberg, based on a true love story between a tightrope funambulist & a deserteur from the Swedish army, who commited suicide together in 1889, in Denmark. This excerpt is the best scene of the movie, with the forgive me message floating on the river. And look at the beautiful angel face of Elvira at 4'00"! The lovers are starving at this moment of their desperate story (Elvira eats red flowers & clover at minute 2). A tragic story sometimes has tragic bounces amongst the actors: the actress who played Elvira suffered anorexia after the movie. If she was knitting a red sweater that she will never be able to wear in the film, she has become a professional cushion maker in the real life. To sew is not a curse. This couple reminds me of the tragic couple in " Badlands " by Terrence Malick.

An other piece of Scandinavia: the Munch exhibition at Centre Pompidou. I forgot that Munch's Kristiania or Knut Hamsun's one (Hunger) is the same city as Oslo. A very intelligent & sensitive exhibition. Have you ever seen an exhibition in which the second room is (almost) a copy of the first one? A XIXth century painter who becomes after the visit, a pioneer of photographic self portrait, using the technique that we use with our mobile phones? Look at this B/W picture: this is Edvard Munch photographing himself. And so many extraordinary paintings, of course, but the one which imprisons this immense artist.

Munch is also present with his huge sun painting in the Oslo recital room, in many pages of the brilliant Norvegian novel " To Music " by the pianist and composer Ketil Björnstad. I was not able to read a novel for years, but this one changed my life: novels make me hard again! I finnish (ha ha ha) with Scandinavia with " How Come " by Hans Appleqvist, musician & super genius that I discovered through John Henriksson. Thanks, John!