Hamnstad (Harbour City) – Ingmar Bergman, 1948
Early Bergman, probably for fans only, although if you watch it not knowing that it is Bergman, it is a pretty good film.
Kvinnors väntan (Secrets of Women) – Ingmar Bergman, 1952
Sisters-in-law telling each other stories about their marriage, while a young girl decides to escape with her love.
Smultronstället (Wild Strawberries) – Ingmar Bergman, 1957
Bergman to the bone, with his usual strong emotional impact, beautiful images and sensitive story telling. An old man is facing his regrets, disappointments and mistakes.
Det sjunde inseglet (The Seventh Seal) – Ingmar Bergman, 1957
Highly symbolic (maybe even a bit too highly for my taste) tale about a man playing chess with the devil and looking for the meaning of life in the Middle Ages.
Persona – Ingmar Bergman, 1966
My favorite Bergman, haunting, sad and powerful.
En passion (Passion of Anna) – Ingmar Bergman, 1969
The story of a doomed love affair on an island with troubled people and random acts of animal cruelty.
Riten (The Ritual) – Ingmar Bergman, 1969
Three actors are under investigation for pornography. They gradually reveal more than their interrogator asked for, and finally give an exclusive performance of their play, The Ritual.
Scener ur ett äktenskap (Scenes from a Marriage) – Ingmar Bergman, 1973
A troubled marriage and all the staged it goes through, including divorce. Incredible dialogues and chemistry between the main characters.
Offret (The Sacrifice) – Andrei Tarkovsky, 1986
It’s on my list of the most annoying films I can think of.
Lust och fägring stor (All Things Fair) – Bo Widerberg, 1995
Sometimes incredibly sexy, sometimes incredibly boring tale of a 15-16 year-old boy being sexually initiated by his “approaching 40 but still hot” teacher. Every boy’s dream, I guess…
När mörkret faller (When Darkness Falls) – Andres Nilsson, 1996
Engaging stories about different types of abuse and the victims who will not put up with it anymore.
Bara prata lite (Talk) – Lukas Moodysson, 1997
Excellent short about how far a man will go just to have someone to talk to.
Fucking Amal – Lukas Moodysson, 1998
Troubled teenage girls dealing in very different ways with their homosexuality in a depressing small town called Amal.
Tillsammans (Together) – Lukas Moodysson, 2000
Children growing up in a charming madhouse, trying to figure out who’s doing who.
Trolösa (Faithless) – Liv Ullman, 2000
If you think cheating hurts a hell of a lo more in reality than in fiction, watch this story.
Sånger från andra våningen (Songs from the second floor) – Roy Anderson, 2000.
Brilliant, funny, allegorical, apparently inspired by a Peruvian poem.
Lilja 4 Ever – Lukas Moodysson, 2002
The brutally realistic story of a young Russian girl left alone by her mother and too naive to realize when she’s being taken for a fool. The price she will have to pay for being a child would be too much for anyone. Powerful film about how young Eastern-European girls end up in the West.
Terrorister – en film om dom dömda (Terrorists: The Kids They Sentenced) – Stefan Jarl, Lukas Moodysson, 2003
Documentary about an anti-globalization protest in Gothenburg and the retributions that followed.
Ondskan (Evil) – Mikael Håfström, 2003
Boarding-school violence that only begets more violence.
Saraband – Ingmar Bergman, 2003
Complex family drama, possibly the follow-up to Scenes to a marriage (same actors, same character names, 30 years passed), Bergman’s last film.
Et hal i mitt hjarta (A Hole in My Heart) – Lukas Moodysson, 2004
Really disturbing, violent and pornographic film about people making porn films. After the screening I went to, Moodysson said he loved his characters very much. He was almost crucified by the angry audience.
Container – Lukas Moodysson, 2006
On the same occasion, Moodysson said his aim as a director is to make films more and more difficult to watch and finally to arrive at a point where nobody can watch his films anymore. Cynical aim, almost fulfilled with Container, a hypnotic and poetic experimental film without plot or purpose.
Farväl Falkenberg (Falkenberg Farewell) – Jesper Ganslandt, 2006
Nostalgic growing up story in the vain of Gus van Sant (i.e. sloooow) about friends who are about to leave their native town, one way or another.
Du levande (You, the Living) – Roy Andersson, 2007
Stunning sequences, boarding on the absurd about ordinary and less ordinary lives.
Låt den rätte komma in (Let the Right One in) – Tomas Alfredson, 2008
Sensitive and touching vampire horror with a truly amazing script and cinematography.
De ofrivilliga – Ruben Östlund, 2008
Series of short stories clearly inspired by Roy Andersson, but with a lot more plot and somewhat less poetry.