Movies at Stockholm’s 24th International Film Festival

November 21, 2013


So after being to about 10-12 films during the Stockholm International Film Festival last year and year before I decided to only pick a couple, which became two couples. All of different origin of course. That’s the thing about the festival. I have to make sure I see films wouldn’t otherwise.

Three of them were absolutely fantastic and I saw them all on Sunday. Can’t remember I saw anything that good last year. But it could be that less is more. The new thing is to focus at one thing at a time and stop with the multi-tasking… so not too many films. Right.

So the first one. Rio 2096 – A Story of Love and Fury. The message was pretty clear as it was repeated a few times. ‘Living without knowing the past is like walking in the dark’. That I will remember for the rest of my life or a long time at least. Obviously, being half-Brazilian it had an impact on me. Even though I’m very familiar with the history it’s always painful, sad and emotional to see the suffering, struggle, injustice my people have been through. Very interesting was the take they had on the future. It doesn’t matter how many times you try to fly away the fight will never end. And it was animated.

Supposed to be really good in 3D but that was not an option at the festival and doubt it will hit the mainstream.

The second one. The Lunchbox. I do have a weakness for Indian films. It doesn’t matter how sad the story is there will always be some humour. So I saw the coolest lunchbox and I definitely want one. Everything, most things are available online these days so hoping to find one or should ask one of my colleagues. The film was sweet with that little suspense to know what was written in those notes between two stranger. A not so happy housewife and a widower about to retire. The lunchboxes got mixed up of course. So the husband was receiving the lunchbox from a restaurant and didn’t even notice that it wasn’t his wife’s delicious cooking. Sad!

Third and last. Painful. Terribly painful. How could this happen. Cried my eyes out. 12 Years a Slave – go and see it, get a copy, download, just see it. And not because the actors are fantastic, they are but because the story needs to be made aware of. Such things should not have happened. Painful, because it’s still happening.

The day before. On Saturday I saw a Romanian film. Mostly because I like the language. I think I understand it but I don’t. But I can distinguish a few words here and there. Sounds similar to Italian so somewhat similar to Portuguese. Child’s Pose. Tragedy. A dysfunctional relationship between mother and son. Just didn’t think this film was as good as the other Romanian films I’ve seen.

Svenska Ögonblick at Friends Arena

October 29, 2012

It was a spectacular show. Yes, colourful and spectacular. Full-on with no breaks because it was being broadcast live on television. And that’s what it was made for. Television.

Being there in the arena was nice and of course it felt really special. Actually honourable. It was the inauguration of the new national arena in Sweden. The biggest arena in Sweden. The Friends Arena with a capacity of up to 67 500 spectators depending on the event. And I was there for the first event ever being held.

Swedish Moments is what Svenska Ögonblick means. Everything Swedish. But they failed to inform the audience in the arena about that. Man next to me asked who Icona Pop were and if they were Swedish. I only knew, because I recognised the song from listening to the radio, which I wouldn’t if it wasn’t for the job I have at the moment spending hours driving around the country. Still, I wasn’t a hundred percent sure if Icona Pop were Swedish but said they should be due to the occasion.

So seeing pretty much all of Sweden in the last four weeks, it was great timing for me to see the show. But it would have been nice to have gotten a presentation of each act. Or if there had been a program handed out. Or if the performers themselves could have said a few words.

And the seats were quite uncomfortable but the view was great. Seems like it’s the kind of arena where it doesn’t matter where you sit you will have a good view.

It was a good show and I’ll probably remember it for the rest of my life. Roxette performed songs from when I was a little kid going to school dances. Slow dancing to the last song It Must Have Been Love and the sing along song The Look.

Ooh… and I saw our beautiful crown princess Victoria!

Kanye West and Jay-Z – Watch The Throne in Stockholm

June 30, 2012

First thing, it was outstanding. Perfect. Yes, pretty close to perfect.

Fourth time I see Kanye and I said it probably would be the last. Now I doubt it.

It was about a month ago. If I hadn’t been there to experience it in person, I would have regretted it for the rest of my life, maybe. At least for a while.

So, it all started in 2008 when I went to my first Kanye concert in Bournemouth. His mother had just died and it was very emotional. It’s always very emotional with Kanye but that time it was special and he brought something extra, which wasn’t there the second or third time I saw him. A bit of humility, maybe.

Obviously, my little crush started with Through the Wire and it got deeper with Jesus Walks. College Drop-out was just great. I was listening to it back-to-back for a long time. It still is on my iPod. Late Registration was good. But I didn’t and I haven’t listened to it as much.

Fact is, there isn’t one bad Kanye album. They’re all good and some are great. Graduation was great. First concert and where I learned to like Stronger because it was so much better live. I wasn’t very fond of it before. Good Life, my favourite because it always makes me happy and wanting to jump. And when he performed Hey Mama… it had to be hard.

808 & Heartbreak was different as we all know, I guess. With the Auto-Tune. It got great with time and I listened to it a lot. Concert number two was at Wireless in Hyde Park. Actually, being outside, in the sunset, summer breeze, it was a great setting for that music.

Then Power, Monster and Runaway came from My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, which I never learned to remember so I just copied it from Wikipedia. I haven’t actually listened to it that much but the video to Runaway was beautiful. The long version. 32 minutes something. And the dancers wore the same costumes at the concert at Way Out West in Gothenburg.

Prince, who performed the night before, stole the show so Kanye kind of ended up in the shadow. I thought he was trying too hard, there were the controversies, his arrogance but I realised later that the performance wasn’t that bad. Just not as good as Prince.

My little crush, or big crush wasn’t as deep anymore. I was getting more annoyed. Watching the Throne was already in the making and I didn’t bother much. There was some hype about that Otis song. Didn’t care much.

It took me a long time to actually listen to the album after it was released. It was only when I heard rumours of the tour coming to Sweden that I thought, oh well let me listen to it then. February, March sometime.

And when I did, one late night, I thought, I listen to a few songs and the rest at another time. No, I just kept on listening until the end. Like reading a book cover to cover, not being able to put it down. Another great one. Amazing. Arrogant. Powerful. Very powerful with great beats and rhymes.

With those lyrics, the pressure was on. They had an obligation to deliver. My expectations before the concert were really high, and I was prepared to get disappointed. Prepared for it being the last time I see Kanye. Not so sure anymore.

Suddenly, after about a 45-minute-wait, me expecting a supporting act, the lights turned off and they started playing the beat to Niggas in Paris, which changed to H.A.M and the show was on. There was no supporting act. But they didn’t really need one. I had hoped for something British though.

Kanye and Jigga came standing on one platform each on each side of the arena. The platforms slowly started raising higher and higher. Them standing on their own throne, sort of.

They performed almost all the tracks on the album and many others too of their own stuff, taking turns performing by themselves. I liked that. It was better to have two rappers to look at than just one.

Jay-Z kept it old school. It was more about the rapping while with Kanye it was more about giving a good show. I liked the variety.

It’s quite obvious that I’m not much of a Jay-Z fan. Never understood the point of him having a farewell tour or show, or why anyone has it. Just to to do a come-back a few years later. Anyway, he’s done some good stuff throughout the years, I’ve enjoyed the singles, listened to a few of the albums and it was awesome to see him do Izzo (H.O.V.A.), Big Pimpin, 99 problems, Dirt Off Your Shoulder and some other ones.

And it was nice to see Kanye do all of his singles, pretty much all of them. He could have skipped a few but if he hadn’t done Good Life I would’ve been a little disappointed, so good for him. I’m crushing again.

I can’t really say that Kanye or Jay-Z was better than the other. Wouldn’t have liked to see any of them on their own at that moment. They’ll made a good duo.

All in all, it started off with the perfect songs H.A.M, Who Gon Stop Me and Otis. And it ended with the perfect song. Niggas in ‘Stockholm’. How many times did they repeat it? I lost count after three. They could have repeated it ten more times and I’d still go crazy each time, and so would the crowd. They definitely were in their zone.

There was so much energy from both, they went H.A.M for over two hours. Absolutely unforgettable. They even said it “You will remember this moment for the rest of your life,” and I will. I want to say that I think it was the best concert ever, I think it might be…


May 21, 2012


It was nostalgia. Recognising the songs. Knowing that I’ve heard them but not really knowing them. It took me back to the time when I was a little child in the kitchen listening to what mother was playing on the LP player.

It was cool to see Ali Campbell and his UB40 live. Even though it was outside, and it was raining. The warm reggae music kept us warm.

Obviously, I recognised the big hits and could sing along to I Can’t Help Falling In Love, I Got You Babe and their version of Purple Rain. But the one I was really waiting for was Red Red Wine.

The song mother recorded on a tape back to back, on both sides. Those were the times 90 minutes of Red Red Wine. Surprisingly, or not, I do like the song. And a glass of red now and then.

D’Angelo, is he back?

February 13, 2012

D’Angelo is coming to Europe I heard. Oh that’s nice but I saw him in 2000 and he was great. It won’t be the same thing. He’s older, probably won’t have the same energy. I didn’t want to ruin the memories. So I didn’t get any tickets.

Then I heard of the extra concert and oh well, why not. He started the tour in Stockholm and closed it in Stockholm at the Filadelfia church. A funny venue but it was all right.

So there I was Friday night. The supporting act, Swedish soul singer Aleks sang a few tracks. Not bad at all but there was something missing. Back-up singers. Then there was a long wait. So long I started wondering if D’Angelo would really show up. More than an hour later and after lots of cheering, soundcheck. Playa Playa and he was there. Feels Like Makin’ Love. And then Devil’s Pie and Chicken Grease. Definitely, he still got the energy. The six-pack may be gone but he’s still hot. To die for.

Yes, I’ve seen the pictures of him not looking so good, so hopefully he won’t get back to that. I really hope he’s back now because the world need some good music. It was nice hearing some of the new songs and I’m looking forward to the album.

But hearing his old songs was like reliving one of the best concerts I’ve ever been to in 2000. And when he lighted the cigarette, everybody knew, Brown Sugar. And playing one single note to the beautiful Untitled (How Does It Feel), which the whole audience was waiting for. After that one note he stopped, took a breath and continued playing the piano to the part just before he’s supposed to start singing and he stops again. Teasing. He stands up, leans against the piano, puts his face in his hands. Emotions. Yes, he did go back and finished the song.

He might have been a little late but it was absolutely worth it. So worth it. I’m happy I saw him again and if I get the chance I’ll do it again. Because after listening to Brown Sugar and Voodoo, the only two albums released, the tracks sound so much better live.

Movie Monday

November 4, 2011

A few Mondays ago I saw two movies. At cinema. Previews for the Swedish market. They can be a bit late sometimes with films so I don’t know if they’ve been out for ages in other parts of the world.

First, The Ides of March with Ryan Gosling and George Clooney. From the cover and the Swedish title “Maktens Män” something like Men of Power kind of gave it away, men in politics. And it was.

Men abusing their powers, being owned by power, doing everything to be in a power position. Politics. Nothing less. Nothing more.

It was interesting. And it didn’t get too boring as films like this can. Also, now I know again how campaigning can be like.

Second, was Attack the Block. British sci-fi. Sci-fi means bad. Mostly bad. Almost always. And when it involves weird creepy creatures… I had nightmares after watching Gremlins.

On the good side, Attack the Block was very funny following a group of teens in South London mugging and fighting the creatures. And joking around so I didn’t have to keep sinking down in my chair. I was close to the floor a few times.

Of the two, I liked the second one best. They’re sort of complete contrasts. Different genres. Different worlds. Different people. Different ways of life. Shouldn’t even be comparing. But there was one thing. They all want to be in power.

The Ides of March - movie - George Clooney and Ryan Gosling Attack the Block - movie - group of teens - by Joe Cornish

My summer of music, and what a summer it was

September 13, 2011

Prince - Purple Rain - Way Out West 2011

Janelle Monae - crowd sitting down at Way Out West 2011 The Hives - crowd sitting down at Way Out West 2011

The Streets - Mike Skinner floating on the crowd

Kanye West performing Runaway - Way Out West 2011

Music is always better when it’s live and 2011 has been a big year for me. Earlier this year I saw Sade, Adele and Blackstreet. And this summer, which is now over or is it still late summer, has been filled with music. Music makes my world go round.

It started with Busy Signal in July. Two days at the festival Way Out West in mid August. A night of hip hop in late August.


Waiting for Prince (I have seen Prince) to come on stage. An unbelievable moment to see a legend like him, even though I’m not a big fan. And when he played Purple Rain and the air was filled with purple confetti.

Wiz Khalifa’s energy and cuteness. And that he got the crowd dancing to a house track at the end leaving the stage without hardly anyone noticing because we were all dancing.

First Janelle Monae and then The Hives, both in black and white, getting the crowd to sit down.

Feeling like I was 15 again jumping to Swedish hiphopper Petter’s 90s hits. Så Klart, Vinden Har Vänt, Mikrofonkåt.

The Streets being on their last tour. Brits are among the funnest people. And why I love that country so much. Mike Skinner was great, fun, crazy, joking and telling off some guys in the crowd that were fighting.


Busy Signal should have come back out for an extra. Santigold excusing herself for having a cold. T-Pain.

Kanye West. My direct reaction was disappointment. He performed his hits, he talked a little bit and that was it. It was the third time I saw him so expectations were higher than they should be. But then it feels like he promises a lot and considering he was headlining…

In reflection he was all right. It was good but he should have come out for an extra number. Can’t be easy to perform the night after Prince. Runaway was his best of the night, very emotional. Til next time!

Prince - Way Out West 2011Petter  - Yes! Open Air - All Star Stockholm Festival, Stockholm 2011

Janelle Monae - Way Out West 2011 The Hives - Way Out West 2011

Wiz Khalifa - Way Out West 2011T-Pain - Yes! Open Air - All Star Stockholm Festival, Stockholm 2011

MF Doom - Way Out West 2011Timbuktu  - Yes! Open Air - All Star Stockholm Festival, Stockholm 2011

Robyn - Way Out West 2011Tallest Man On Earth - Way Out West 2011

The Streets  - Yes! Open Air - All Star Stockholm Festival, Stockholm 2011Santigold - Way Out West 2011

Kanye West - Way Out West 2011Veronica Maggio and Petter  - Yes! Open Air - All Star Stockholm Festival, Stockholm 2011

Busy Signal - KB, Malmö 2011

The Greatest Movie Ever Sold

September 4, 2011

Morgan Spurlock - He's not selling out. He's buying in.

So clever! Morgan Spurlock makes a film about marketing, product placement and advertising completely financed by marketing, product placement and advertising. A documentary showing Morgan pursuing 1,5 million dollars to fund his documentary in an interesting and humoristic way.

And how long does it take until he’s being ruled by his sponsors, having to obey all their demands, until he’s completely selling out? He’s not selling out. He’s buying in.

First time I’ve been to a drive-in cinema. Great experience. Comfy seats. No noise from fellow spectators and you can talk as much as you want.

It was organised by Stockholm International Film Festival and sponsored by MINI Cooper where they took the chance to showcase the new model coming out, and everyone who came in a MINI were let in for free. Just for me to drool over.

blue Mini Cooper

I wanted a MINI before and I’m determined that I will have a MINI eventually. I want to try POM. I need to test Mane ‘n Tail. And I now know what JetBlue, Ban, Sheetz and Hyatt are.

And my birth-city is suddenly so much more appealing. No billboards. No posters. São Paulo, a metropolis with no visual pollution.

There have been talks about making a sequel to see if the film have had any effects on the businesses shown in the film. Morgan Spurlock has to stop talking about it and start making it.

Midnight In Paris

August 30, 2011

Owen Wilson and Marion Cotillard at a party

Exactly what I needed. A short light-hearted fun film full of clichés. I’m serious. It was very entertaining.

As always, films are better when I haven’t seen a trailer, read any reviews or heard anything about it. From the poster with Owen Wilson it had to be a comedy. Directed by Woody Allen. He’s a bit crazy, that’s the impression that I have, and normally it shows in the films.

And Midnight In Paris was a bit crazy. A very realistic story but then it wasn’t. The way I like it.

I loved the film from the beginning recognising the different Parisian sites. I love that city. The long intro set me in the right mood showing Paris from morning until night.

Every night Owen Wilson’s character Gil would travel to the 20s and the time of the Charleston. Loved the dresses. He would hang out with Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Picasso and Dalí and live the life he was dreaming of.

I was very happy to go to the cinema today because last time I went was about three months ago when I saw Pirates of Caribbean, the fourth in the sequel. Of course, if Johnny Depp is in it, it’s good. But there hasn’t been anything on that I’ve wanted to see throughout all summer.

Today, I had preview tickets that were free but I think everyone should see Midnight In Paris because it’s such a feel good film. And Paris is a wonderful and beautiful city. Especially in the rain.

Men Who Hate Women

July 1, 2011

Men Who Hate Women - Män Som Hatar Kvinnor - The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - Stieg Larsson…or The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, which is the English title of the Swedish novel and film Män Som Hatar Kvinnor. Apparently the direct translation, Men Who Hate Women, was too harsh, too offensive. Really?

I don’t care much for Swedish films but since I got a free subscription from Love Film, I had the film sent to me. And I’m happy I watched the film and didn’t read the novel. I would’ve been too disgusted.

It’s the best Swedish film I’ve watched so I understand why Hollywood is doing their adaptation. But then there’s not much original ideas coming out of Hollywood so they can’t go very wrong by nicking a success story.

It’s the best Swedish film I have ever seen. Then it’s been years since I watched one. Had a marathon about eight years ago, just before I moved to the UK. So thinking I should have another one now…