Have two Swedish amateurs made the last real Bond film?

The James Bond series is one of the most popular film franchises in the world, but even the diehards would struggle to match two passionate Swedes in their love for the fictional agent.

Have two Swedish amateurs made the last real Bond film?
Ever wondered what a Swedish version of James Bond would be like? Photo: Jerry Gladh/Lukas Pålsson

Mats-Ola Pålsson and Lars Gahlin are so enthusiastic about 007 they decided to make a new feature-length Bond film of their own, despite having no budget and no experience. The result? About as brilliant as you would expect.

“We always liked Bond and grew up with Connery and Moore, but we thought the recent films were missing that special Bond feeling,” producer and director Gahlin told The Local.

“So as a joke I said: someone should make the last ‘real’ Bond film.”

It’s one thing to say you’re going to make a movie, and another thing entirely to do it, but the next day Gahlin and Pålsson followed up on their idea by sitting down with a piece of paper and starting to write a story.

A year later they had a script, and despite never having worked with films before, they decided to get 'Black Light' made. 

“Could someone make a feature-length film with people who had never been in front of a camera before and with zero kronor in the budget, we asked? We started to speak to people we knew were into films, and then a friend loaned us camera equipment and we put a team together.”

From the start it was decided that the film would be made available for free when it was finished, so the two amateur directors relied on any contributors to the project doing so without expecting remuneration.

Fortunately, Sweden has hordes of Bond enthusiasts who wanted nothing more than to play a part in creating a unique new chapter in the spy’s story. Bond himself is played by Anders Cöster, a 57-year-old teacher from Landskrona in southern Sweden.

“It’s a pure enthusiast’s film. The team grew from just us two to several hundred people. People from all over the country got in touch and wanted to take part,” Gahlin said.

“Businesses loaned out locations, people with cars and boats got in touch and wanted to help. Making people who had never been in front of a camera before into actors was one of the biggest challenges, but the majority outdid themselves and and the result is much better than we expected.”

A familiar looking car scene for Bond enthusiasts. Photo: Mats-Ola Pålsson/Lars Gahlin

Like a true Bond movie, the film takes in several locations, featuring glamorous destinations like New York, London, and… Markaryd, southern Sweden.

“It starts out in New York, then goes to London and Denmark before ending in Sweden in our little community,” Gahlin revealed.

“When Bond checks into the Markaryd hotel he’s checked in by Sandra, who owns it in real life. When he needs to hire a boat, he does it from the local kiosk owner Pedda, who plays himself. It’s a little bit of art imitating life, or something like that.”

And just as any self-respecting director would, Gahlin and Pålsson make cameos in the film. Not to mention several other appearances, out of pure necessity.

“We directed, produced and were occasional edit assistants. We even acted occasionally when we needed someone. We played waiters, stunt-men for Bond, staff at MI6, and even ourselves,” the Swede said.

“There’s a scene where Bond walks into a bar and orders a vodka martini. He sits down at the bar, and me and Mats-Ola are sitting there too, drinking a beer.”

After four years of hard labour, Black Light is finally in the post-production and editing stage. While a premiere date still hasn’t been set, the producers say they hope to have the film ready by December. The perfect Christmas present for old school Bond enthusiasts.

Find out more about Black Light on the film's Facebook page here


Norway to send 200,000 AstraZeneca doses to Sweden and Iceland

Norway, which has suspended the use of AstraZeneca's Covid vaccine until further notice, will send 216,000 doses to Sweden and Iceland at their request, the Norwegian health ministry said Thursday.

Norway to send 200,000 AstraZeneca doses to Sweden and Iceland
Empty vials of the AstraZeneca vaccine. (Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS / AFP)

“I’m happy that the vaccines we have in stock can be put to use even if the AstraZeneca vaccine has been paused in Norway,” Health Minister Bent Høie said in a statement.

The 216,000 doses, which are currently stored in Norwegian fridges, have to be used before their expiry dates in June and July.

Sweden will receive 200,000 shots and Iceland 16,000 under the expectation they will return the favour at some point. 

“If we do resume the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine, we will get the doses back as soon as we ask,” Høie said.

Like neighbouring Denmark, Norway suspended the use of the AstraZeneca jab on March 11 in order to examine rare but potentially severe side effects, including blood clots.

Among the 134,000 AstraZeneca shots administered in Norway before the suspension, five cases of severe thrombosis, including three fatal ones, had been registered among relatively young people in otherwise good health. One other person died of a brain haemorrhage.

On April 15, Norway’s government ignored a recommendation from the Institute of Public Health to drop the AstraZeneca jab for good, saying it wanted more time to decide.

READ MORE: Norway delays final decision on withdrawal of AstraZeneca vaccine 

The government has therefore set up a committee of Norwegian and international experts tasked with studying all of the risks linked to the AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, which is also suspected of causing blood clots.

Both are both based on adenovirus vector technology. Denmark is the only European country to have dropped the AstraZeneca
vaccine from its vaccination campaign, and said on Tuesday it would “lend” 55,000 doses to the neighbouring German state of Schleswig-Holstein.