Sweden wins an Oscar – we’ve been waiting long for this
I don’t usually identify myself as a patriot, but I hope you can forgive me for putting my Swedish glasses on as I’m throwing down a few thoughts about the Oscars. After all it’s not every day a Swedish film wins an Oscar. Last time it happened was in 1984 (Fanny & Alexander).
Deep down I know that to the rest of the world, the “Best Documentary” category is more or less a shrug, something buried deeply into the strange territory of more or less incomprehensible classes and short films no one has seen.
Many of you probably cared a lot more about Argo winning the best picture but not the best directing or Life of Pi winning the best directing but not the best movie. Or maybe you didn’t give a crap about this, but enjoyed the speeches by Quentin Tarantino and Daniel Day-Lewis, the best of the night if you ask me.
But to me this was the night when Malik Bendjelloul won an Oscar for Searching for Sugar Man. My heart jumped as I heard it – not just because he’s Swedish, but because I genuinely loved the film.
Sadly enough I missed the live announcement. My strategy to sleep before the show failed me as I overslept the alarm and missed out the first 1,5 hours of the show. The speech was already posted on the web though and I couldn’t help smiling as I watched it. When you heard his accent there was no doubt about his Swedish origins. And as soon has he had said his thanks in an awkward, unprepared way, his Scandinavian timidity took over. He was supposed to remain on stage, enjoying his time in the spotlight as it was the producer’s turn to say something. But instead he turned his back to the camera and fled the stage as soon as possible. The studio guards tried to stop him, but in vain.
Of average height and with dark hair, Bendjelloul doesn’t fit into the stereotype of Swedes lookwise. But this was more than compensated later on in the show as Per Hallberg and Paul NJ Ottosson shared the Oscar for best sound editing. Blimey! Those blond giants looked as if they’d just fallen down to Earth from Asgard. Believe it or not, but it’s not the way ordinary people look where I live. Still: I’m very proud of them- I have a vague idea of what a sound editor does and how it differs from sound mixing, but so what? They’re Swedish!
Sweden got three Oscar statues tonight and while I only slept a few hours, I feel energized.
May this be a source of inspiration for all Swedish film workers in the years to come! I hope we won’t have to wait 29 years for the next one.