• Sweden edition
 
Swede of the Week
Mikael Marcimain: 'I've never made a Palme film'

Mikael Marcimain: 'I've never made a Palme film'

Published: 03 Jan 2013 17:41 GMT+01:00
Updated: 03 Jan 2013 17:41 GMT+01:00

Marcimain has called the film a "classic political paranoia thriller" inspired by events related to a scandal that rattled Sweden's political establishment in the late 1970s.

Then-Justice Minister Lennart Geijer stood accused of buying sex from an under-aged prostitute in an episode dubbed the Geijer Affair (Geijeraffären).

And while Marcimain had made no secret that the film was inspired by real-life events, he has struggled to understand why his latest work has prompted such an angry reaction from relatives of Olof Palme, the Swedish prime minister in power at the time and who defended Geijer against the allegations.

“We have made a feature film, a work of fiction. A thriller. This is not a documentary. It is a work of art," he told the TT news agency in October upon hearing that Palme's son planned on reporting the film for slander.

Despite the controversy, the Swedish Film Institute gave Marcimain something to cheer about on Thursday, showering it with 11 nominations for the annual Guldbagge film awards, nearly twice the number of nominations of the second most-nominated film.

Among the nominations were nods in several heavyweight categories, including best picture, best screenplay, best actress, best cinematography, and best director.

Call Girl, Marcimain's first feature-length film, has already received festival accolades, picking up the International Critics' Award at the Toronto International Film Festival in September, as well as the audience choice award at the Stockholm Film Festival in November.

In December, it was recognized for its production design at a festival in Turin because, according to the jury, it "actually made us believe it was a film from the 1970s".

And a best picture or director award at the Guldbagge ceremony later this month would mark a major milestone for the 42-year-old filmmaker, who was previously recognized in 2008 with a culture prize from daily Dagens Nyheter (DN) for his work on several popular television mini-series.

"He has established himself as a director with a firm grasp on the medium: courageous, creative, subtle, intelligent, sensitive, and visually driven," the jury wrote in handing Marcimain the award.

"He's the best Swedish filmmaker who still hasn't made a single feature film."

Marcimain studied at the Stockholm film school before starting his career as a director's assistant at Sveriges Television (SVT).

He was one of several directors who worked on the mini-series Skeppsholmen in 2002, before gaining notoriety for a mini-series on Sweden's "Laser Man" in 2005 and an award-winning mini-series portraying the lives of four young people from Gothenburg in the early 1970s.

"It was a magic journey that will be hard to beat," he told DN in 2008 of Upp till kamp (How Soon Is Now?), explaining that he had to fight with SVT to ensure the series consisted of 90-minute, rather than 60-minute episodes.

Speaking with the Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) newspaper in December, Marcimain compared Call Girl to Hollywood political thrillers like All the President's Men and Three Days of the Condor, but admitted he took a bit more artistic licence in his own film.

"We've tightened and borrowed quite a bit, and sure we've been disrespectful. But it's a fictional film. That's something that's crystal clear for me," he said.

Commenting further on the accusations of slander from Mårten Palme, who in December reported Call Girl to the Chancellor of Justice (Justitieskanslern) for slander, Marcimain explained he had no intention of singling out the former prime minster in the film.

"We took inspiration and references from that period in Sweden to shape the film's characters, of which the prime minister is one," he told SvD.

"And he acts according to the script. Powerful men are symbols and they chose to hide a sensitive matter. At the cost of these young girls."

Marcimain said the media are mostly to blame for characterizing his move as a "Palme film".

"I've never made a 'Palme film'," he explained.

"The film is so clearly about the girls' journey."

Even before the nominations were announced on Thursday, Marcimain made it clear he had "no regrets" about the film.

"It looks just as we wanted it to, true to the artistic vision," he told SvD.

"I'm very proud."

Take a look at our past Swedes of the Week.

David Landes

Follow David Landes on Twitter

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Elite schools stripped of 'special' privileges

Elite schools stripped of 'special' privileges

Sweden's three elite boarding schools can no longer charge tuition fees, the government announced on Thursday, in a string of changes following a two-year review. READ  

Bildt lays out four steps to Gaza peace
Photos: TT

Bildt lays out four steps to Gaza peace

Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt stated that there are four steps to achieving peace in Gaza, and that it begins with removing the blockade - which has "played into Hamas' hands". READ  

Malmström snags EU commissioner post again

Malmström snags EU commissioner post again

Cecilia Malmström has been nominated to be the European Commissioner for another five years, Sweden's prime minister announced on Thursday. READ  

Stockholm Pride 2014
In Pictures: Stockholm's Historic Pride Party
Conchita Wurst belts out a ballad. Photo: Rebecca Jacobs

In Pictures: Stockholm's Historic Pride Party

With Stockholm's Pride Week in full swing, The Local's Rebecca Jacobs heads on down to the traditional Historic Party to take in the colours, Conchita, and the community. READ  

Two to hospital after Stockholm fire

Two to hospital after Stockholm fire

Two people were taken to hospital in the early hours of Thursday morning after a fire began in their central Stockholm apartment. READ  

Salmonella prompts Coop hamburger recall
Photo: Jim Cole/TT

Salmonella prompts Coop hamburger recall

Swedish supermarket chain Coop has recalled its in-store brand of fresh hamburger meat after a routine check revealed traces of salmonella in the meat. READ  

What's On in Sweden
Photo: Roger Vikström/TT

What's On in Sweden

It's Pride Week in Stockholm. Find out more about the celebrations (including the biggest Pride Parade in Scandinavia) as well as plenty of other activities in Sweden's three biggest cities. READ  

Sweden resumes aid to 'anti-gay Uganda'
Hillevi Engström and protesters against Uganda's anti-gay laws. Photos: Maja Suslin/Ben Curtis/TT

Sweden resumes aid to 'anti-gay Uganda'

Sweden has resumed sending development aid funds to Uganda, after suspending payouts back in March due to "anti-gay legislation". READ  

The Local List
Top ten coffee spots in central Stockholm
Fanny feels at home at the Blå Lotus. Photo: Isabela Vrba

Top ten coffee spots in central Stockholm

If you're wondering where to grab your next cappucino, then wonder no more. The Local talked to the locals in Stockholm and found out the best spots in town for the ultimate fika experience. READ  

Swedish neo-Nazis join fight in Ukraine
The Azov task force. Photo: Sergei Chuzavkov/TT

Swedish neo-Nazis join fight in Ukraine

Four Swedes are fighting with the Ukrainian task force Azov - a squad which flies a flag with Nazi symbols and, according to one Swedish soldier, fights for "a white Ukraine". READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
People-watching
Gallery
People-watching - Stockholm Pride
Photo: Henrik Trygg/Imagebank Sweden
Society
Sweden worst in EU at getting foreigners jobs
Lifestyle
Stockholm Pride kicks off
Analysis
The top six ways the US and Sweden differ
National
Swedish youth suicides hit 25-year high
Blog updates

31 July

Calling a speedo a speedo (Blogweiser) »

"There are a lot of speedos on Europe’s beaches. Some European males are evidently more comfortable sporting small, stretchy suits on public beaches than I would be. I accept it may be nice to have swimwear that’s not long and cumbersome. A speedo is maybe also good for tanning. But strolling around town in a..." READ »

 

27 July

Approaching Stockholm (Around Sweden in a kayak) »

"I woke up in the comfort of my own little cabin on Eva and Rolf’s boat, it was 7:30am and I was feeling a bit groggy after a couple of beers with all the lovely locals the night before. The previous day had really taken its toll on my body and I was very stiff and..." READ »

 
 
 
National
Politician reported for selling 'negro ball'
National
Police turn blind eye to Swedish 'slave trade'
Gallery
Stockholm Pride: Allsång på Skansen with Conchita Wurst
Skatteverket
Sponsored Article
Introducing... ID cards and permits in Stockholm
Gallery
People-watching, June 26th - 28th. Get inside Stockholm's hottest nightclubs
Gallery
Top ten Swedish taboos
Society
Seven-year-old Swede cycles to Berlin
Politics
'Gaza conflict needs help, not empty rhetoric'
Society
Swedes voted 'most beautiful' in the Nordics
Business & Money
Sweden demands EU clarity on Bitcoin tax
National
Swedish organic sales enjoy 'amazing' growth
Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT
Society
What's On in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching July 23
National
Swedish cops elect not to shoot 'angry elks'
Business & Money
New alcohol retail rules threaten micro-breweries
Gallery
People-watching Båstad
Business & Money
Sweden falls to third in global innovation index
Society
Swedish ornithologists keep webcam watch
Photo: Andreas Nordström/Image Bank Sweden
Gallery
Top ten Swedish beach hot spots
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Your finances in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Housing in Stockholm
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

751
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se