Sunday, June 18, 2017

Monica Z / Waltz for Monica

Director: Per Fly
Country: Sweden
Year: 2013
Duration: 1.51
Languages: sv, en
Category: Per Fly
    Midnight Sun Film Festival, Sodankylä.
    DCP with English subtitles viewed at The School, 18 June 2017 

Harri-Ilmari Moilanen (MSFF): "For Sweden, jazz singer Monica Zetterlund is an iconic figure beyond measure. The biopic Monica Z (2013) is starred by Edda Magnusson who not only looks a lot like Monica Zetterlund herself but also plays the part of the protagonist exceedingly well. The result is a portrait that likely, for the most part, does justice to the idol. In the film, the character of Zetterlund is an equal combination of determination, sensibility and vulnerability. By default, director Per Fly values multifaceted methods of acting."

"Setting the focus of the events to a five year period between the 1950’s and 1960’s is a smart and practical solution: it offers enough dramatics both in the music and in Zetterlund’s personal life. “The Singer’s Road of Ordeal” would be an apt subheading for the movie."

"It includes events such as Z joining the orchestra of Arne Domnerus, breaking through with the song Sakta vi gå genom stan, the catastrophic Eurovision song contest of 1963 as well as the famous recording session with pianist Bill Evans."

"Furthermore, the broken personal life of Zetterlund is also illustrated; the problematic relationship with her father, various romantic relationships, her motherhood as well as her drinking problem."

"Bassist Sture Åkerberg (Sverrir Gudnason) is portrayed as the great love of Zetterlund and perhaps this was really the case. However, in the context of the aforementioned troubles, a romantic ending is too gentle a way to finish a film that otherwise works so well within the framework of its genre." (HIM) MSFF

AA: I saw for the first time Monica Z, the acclaimed Monica Zetterlund biopic with a fantastic performance by Edda Magnason in the leading role. A popular and critical success, it was the most prized Swedish film of the year. In this jazz musical biopic the quality of the music performances is high. Most amazingly Edda Magnason's interpretations of Monica Zetterlund's hits are worthy of the legendary originals. The production is good-looking, and the 1960s period feeling is convincing.

Monica Z is a well made mainstream entertainment film and a feelgood film. As a musical biopic it follows established conventions. There is a rise and fall scenario, but the film ends on an upbeat note as the matured Zetterlund enters a new stage in her life and career.

Memorable aspects:
    Monica Zetterlund's first New York engagement in the early 1960s is interrupted since it is not possible for a male black jazz band to have a white female singer.
    Zetterlund sings "Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans?" privately to Ella Fitzgerald. Ella's comment: "When Billie sang it she meant it". Soon Zetterlund decides to switch to the Swedish language in her songs. She realizes that she does not know what it means to miss New Orleans. Instead she knows what it is to walk slowly in Stockholm ("Sakta vi gå genom stan").
    The most important relationship is between father and daughter. Monica's father is a frustrated artist who never believes that Monica will become anything. First in the conclusion, after Monica has sung with Bill Evans, father accepts her as an artist. Fine and well, but there is a bit of an one-note approach in this current of the narrative.
    This basic theme has an affinity with what is known in the Nordic countries as "the Law of Jante". It stems from the novel A Fugitive Crosses His Tracks (1933) by the Danish-Norwegian writer Aksel Sandemose. There are ten rules in the law, all to the tune of "do not think that you are anything special".
    Funny caricatures of famous artists such as Vilgot Sjöman, Beppe Wolgers, Hans Alfredson and Tage Danielsson.
    Losing in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1963.
    The marriage inferno with an insult contest between Monica and Vilgot.
    Finally Monica stands up to father. "I must try new things all the time. You didn't even dare to try".

The digital projection was good-looking.



Genre     musik - biografisk film - drama
Regissör     Per Fly
Producent     Lena Rehnberg
Manus     Peter Birro
Skådespelare     Edda Magnason
Kjell Bergqvist
Sverrir Gudnason
Originalmusik     Peter Nordahl
Fotograf     Eric Kress
Produktionsbolag     Stellanova Film
Distribution     Svensk Filmindustri
    10 augusti 2013 (Way Out West)
    13 september 2013 (Way Out West)
Speltid     111 minuter
Land     Sverige, Danmark
Språk     svenska, engelska
Budget     40 miljoner SEK
Intäkter     51 miljoner SEK


    Edda Magnason - Monica Zetterlund
    Sverrir Gudnason - Sture Åkerberg
    Nadja Christiansson - Eva-Lena
    Kjell Bergqvist - Monicas far Bengt
    Cecilia Ljung - Monicas mor Margareta
    David Hellenius - skivbolagsdirektören
    Vera Vitali - Marika Nilsson
    Johannes Wanselow - Beppe Wolgers
    Oskar Thunberg - Vilgot Sjöman
    Jörgen Thorsson - Tage Danielsson
    Fredrik Lindborg - Arne Domnérus
    Hedda Stiernstedt - Lina
    Randal D. Ingram - Bill Evans
    Rob Morgan - Miles Davis
    Amelia Fowler - Ella Fitzgerald
    Clinton Ingram - Tommy Flanagan
    Hanna Ullerstam - Kerstin Wolgers
    Harry Friedländer - Hasse Alfredson
    Andréa Ager-Hanssen - Lena Nyman
    Henrik Ståhl - Povel Ramel


Titel:    It Could Happen to You
Av    James Van Heusen  
    Johnny Burke  
Framförs av    Edda Magnason  

Titel:    Take Five  
Kompositör    Paul Desmond    (1960)
    Dave Brubeck  

Titel:    I Can't Give You Anything But Love (Baby)  
Kompositör    Jimmy McHugh    (1928)
Textförfattare    Dorothy Fields    (1928)
Framförs av    Edda Magnason  

Titel:    Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans?  
Kompositör    Louis Alter    (1946)
Textförfattare    Eddie De Lange    (1946)
Framförs av    Edda Magnason  

Titel:    Hit the Road Jack  
Av    Percy Mayfield  
Framförs av    Edda Magnason  
    Vera Vitali  

Titel:    Ta av dig skorna  
Kompositör    Povel Ramel  
Textförfattare    Beppe Wolgers  
    Povel Ramel  

Titel:    Sakta vi gå genom stan  
Kompositör    Fred E. Ahlert  
    Roy Turk  
Textförfattare    Beppe Wolgers    (svensk text)
Framförs av    Edda Magnason  

Titel:    En gång i Stockholm  
Kompositör    Bobbie Ericson    (1963)
Textförfattare    Beppe Wolgers    (1963)
Framförs av    Edda Magnason  

Titel:    My World Is Empty without You  
Av    Lamont Dozier  
    Brian Holland  
    Eddie Holland  
Framförs av    The Supremes  

Titel:    Monicas vals  
Kompositör    Bill Evans  
Textförfattare    Gene Lees    (original)
    Beppe Wolgers    (svensk text)
Framförs av    Edda Magnason  

Titel:    Gröna små äpplen  
Kompositör    Bobby Russell  
Textförfattare    Beppe Wolgers    (svensk text)
Framförs av    Edda Magnason  

Titel:    Bedårande sommarvals  
Kompositör    Toots Thielemans  
Textförfattare    Hans Alfredson  
    Tage Danielsson  
Framförs av    Edda Magnason  

Titel:    Vad en liten gumma kan gno  
Kompositör    Harry Woods  
Textförfattare    Hans Alfredson  
    Tage Danielsson  
Framförs av    Edda Magnason  

Titel:    Trubbel  
Kompositör    Olle Adolphson  
Textförfattare    Olle Adolphson  
Framförs av    Edda Magnason  

Titel:    Der Ritt der Walküren  
Kompositör    Richard Wagner    (1870)

Titel:    Ein Sommernachtstraum. Hochzeitmarsch  
Kompositör    Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy    (1842)

Titel:    Filosofisk dixieland  
Kompositör    Ulf Peder Olrog  
Textförfattare    Ulf Peder Olrog  
Framförs av    Alice Babs  

Titel:    Miss Mc Baren  
Av    Tommy Tausis  
    Anders Töpel  
    Göran Lagerberg  
    Danne Larsson  
    Tommy Blom  
Framförs av    Tages

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