Tabu : Filmaren Vilgot Sjöman

Detta är en avhandling från Filmhäftet, Lund

Sammanfattning: This thesis is a thematic and historical analysis of of Sjöman’s œuvre and its significance for Swedish film culture, focussing on his most important films during the 1960s and 1970s. Sjöman started as a novelist in the late 1940s, and has since then accomplished an œuvre consisting of some 60 works, mostly novels, plays, essays, and films.Sjöman is best known as a film director. In 1962, Sjöman’s first film, Älskarinnan (The Mistress), opened to great acclaim. Sjöman was greeted as the instigator of a new wave of Swedish cinema, comparable to the French Nouvelle vague and post-war Italian cinema. Other Swedish author-directors followed Sjöman’s lead.Through the debate on censorship inspired by the official banning of Sjöman’s film 491, Sjöman became known as a serious, but utterly controversial film-maker, treating sexual matters in a provocative and explicit manner. His international fame rests mainly on the diptych film, Jag är nyfiken – gul (I Am Curious – Yellow), and Jag är nyfiken – blå (I Am Curious – blue), from 1967 and 1968 respectively. Sjöman here launched a kind of cinéma vérité-aesthetic, combined with a self-reflexive cinematic discourse verging on self-parody.At the end of the 1960s and in the 1970s, Sjöman struggled to find his proper place in the politicised cultural climate. The title of this thesis is derived from a film released in 1977, Tabu (Taboo). The film was scandalous, its allegory of leftist political activism deemed unacceptable. After Tabu, Sjöman never really recovered as a director. His films tended to be unattractive for the general audience, and, as opposed to his earlier work, they have had no real impact on the discourses of Swedish contemporary cinema and culture in general.

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