Peter Weiss

Scen., M.: Peter Weiss. F.: Gustaf Mandal. Mus.: Lennart Fors. Int.: Staffan Lamm (il giovane uomo), Gunilla Palmstierna (la giovane donna), Birger Åsander (uomo col cappello), Lars Edström (uomo che ride), Tor-Ivan Odulf (uomo arrabbiato). Prod.: Peter Weiss, Gustaf Mandal, Helge Bylund, Édouard Laurot, Svenska AB Nordisk Tonefilm – DCP. D.: 82’. Bn

T. it.: Italian title. T. int.: International title. T. alt.: Alternative title. Sog.: Story. Scen.: Screenplay. F.: Cinematography. M.: Editing. Scgf.: Set Design. Mus.: Music. Int.: Cast. Prod.: Production Company. L.: Length. D.: Running Time. f/s: Frames per second. Bn.: Black e White. Col.: Color. Da: Print source

Film Notes

The film was digitally restored by the Swedish Film Institute in 2014. The source element for digitisation was a 35mm duplicate negative, and the optical soundtrack of a 35mm print was the source of the sound transfer. An original release print was used as the reference for the grading. Hägringen is director Peter Weiss’s only feature-length film, and elements from his earlier experimental and non-fiction shorts come together in this remarkable city film about a young man’s 24-hour encounter with Stockholm.
The beautiful opening sequence, in which the protagonist enters into the city via deserted highways and bridges, passing through an industrial landscape in the early morning mist, evokes a Stockholm rarely depicted on the screen, and introduces an unusual kind of city symphony. To a large extent, the film avoids the clichés of the city awakening – with shops and market stalls opening, and overcrowded rush-hour public transportation – and instead focuses on the man’s attempts not only to enter the life of the city but society in general, whose codes and meanings elude him. On his quest to find a place for himself, and his literally attempt to be a pillar of society, he finds himself in the midst of a huge construction site, and the film thus also becomes a document – stunningly shot by cinematographer Gustaf Mandal – of the remodelling of the city centre, a process that ravaged Stockholm in the late 50s and early 60s. Hägringen was a long-planned project for Weiss. He had published a draft of the film in the trade paper Biografbladet” in 1947, five years before he ventured into filmmaking with his first experimental shorts. Weiss and his collaborators produced the film themselves, together with studio Svenska AB Nordisk Tonefilm, and Weiss revealed in interviews that the financing of the raw stock for the shooting was secured thanks to a contribution from the magazine “Film Culture”. The film was shot in late 1958 and early 1959, and was released in November 1959, playing for just ten days in a small Stockholm theatre. The protagonist of the film is played by Staffan Lamm, later to become a filmmaker in his own right, who documented the proceedings of the Russell Tribunal on the Vietnam War, which was held in Stockholm in 1967.

Jon Wengström

Copy From

Courtesy of Svea Film