Cinema Lumiere - Sala Scorsese > 11:00


Gösta Werner


Wednesday 26/08/2020


Original version with subtitles


Film Notes

Gösta Werner could get a bit defensive when people mentioned the six fiction features he directed between 1948 (Loffe på luffen, Loffe the Tramp) and 1955 (Friarannonsen, The Marriage Advertisement), as they don’t command the same critical respect as his most celebrated shorts – even if some of them proved commercially successful enough to keep him in business for a few years. It’s curious, though, that his first and his last features were musical comedies – while the four in-between (Solkatten, Sparkle, 1948; Gatan; Två trappor över gården, Second Floor in the Yard, 1950; Möte med livet, Encounters With Life, 1952) are all social- realist melodramas with a keen interest in female characters, usually pestered by weak and irresponsible men. In this regard, Gatan is exemplary: Britt Persson (played by Maj-Britt Nilsson) wants to escape her suffocating home, so she tries life among the lowest echelon of workers as well as marriage, only to become a prostitute. The story is told in flashbacks, with Britt under anaesthesia remembering the episodes of her life that led her to the street where she had the accident which put her in the operating theatre. The eerie atmosphere and noir-like opening owe a lot to the on-location cinematography of frequent Werner collaborator, Sten Dahlgren (whose many other claims to fame include Per Lindberg’s 1941 film maudit Det sägs på stan, (The Talk of the Town, screened in Bologna in 2005). The parallels in tone and motives of Gatan to later shorts such as Att döda ett barn and Människors möte but especially Väntande vatten are striking; ditto Werner’s eye for a vanishing Stockholm that, again, connects Gatan almost intimately with the earlier Morgonväkt and the later Den förlorade melodien. A sixth reel of the film, containing an interracial relationship, was shot after the film’s initial release yet cut by the Swedish censors. Anyway, according to Werner himself it was intended for foreign distribution only.

Olaf Möller and Jon Wengström

Cast and Credits

F.: Sten Dahlgren. M.: Ragnar Engström. Scgf.: P.A. Lundgren. Mus.: Charles Wildman. Int.: Maj-Britt Nilsson (Britt Persson), Peter Lindgren (Bertil ‘Berra’ Wiring), Keve Hjelm (Rudolf ‘Rulle’ Malm), Naemi Briese (Vera ‘Gullan’ Karlsson), Stig Järrel (Sven Andreasson), Åke Fridell (Gustaf Persson), Marianne Löfgren (Elin Persson), Per Oscarsson (Åke Rodelius). Prod.: Inge Ivarson per AB Kungsfilm. 35mm. D.: 86’. Bn.