snapshot: Getingdans (2011)

vt A Sting of Maud
Sweden / 29 minutes / color / SVT, Rolands Hörna, Svenskafilminstitutet, Svensk Novellfilm, Mellan Dir: David Färdmar Pr: Frida Hallberg, David Färdmar Scr: Lisa Linnertorp Story: Maude Danser (1971) by Knut Faldbakken Cine: Erik Persson Cast: Lisa Linnertorp, Reine Brynolfsson, Sven S. Holm (i.e., Sven Strömersten-Holm), Siw Malmkvist, Karin Bergquist, Kenneth Milldoff, Adam Lundgren.

Prim spinster Maud Lind (Linnertorp) lives in the posh boarding house run by her adoptive aunt Fru Frank (Malmkvist), seeming to be always the well behaved wallflower. But that demure exterior hides (of course) unrequited passions.

Lisa Linnertorp as Maud.

She knows what she wants—a priapic incarnation of Michelangelo’s David would do her just fine, and in fact occasionally we see her vision of one such, Amor (Lundgren). But in the meantime she’ll accept what she can get, which are largely fantasized relationships with the middle-aged gents who populate her “aunt’s” boarding house.

Her attempt to seduce Herr August Eldmann (Brynolfsson) unfortunately ends in his cardiac arrest, although at least that gets her only immediate rival on the premises, the lusty housemaid Leander (Bergquist), arrested on suspicion of his murder. So next Maud moves on to the traveling rep who takes over the dead Eldmann’s room, Herr Axel König (Holm). And this time she gets a response . . .

Fru Frank has a somewhat inflammatory taste in paintings.

This short movie brought director David Färdmar the Audience Award for “Best Novella Film” at the Göteborg Film Festival 2011, and it’s not hard to see why. Although the tale itself could be dismissed as inconsequential, despite the melodrama of some of its events, Getingdans is quite beautifully made, with a lovely attention to detail on the part of Färdmar and cinematographer Erik Persson. The performances are up to those same exacting standards, especially from Holm and the quite exceptional Linnertorp; the latter—whom I recognized from (as a little googling determined) a 2013 episode, “Sorgfågeln,” of the brilliant Swedish Wallander TV series—also scripted.

“It’s not difficult to decipher the signs of a woman filled with lust,” Axel König tells Maud at one point—a conclusion that may well be correct but is not a line I’d try if I were you, young hopeful. For König it has dreadful consequences . . .

The director has posted a high-definition copy of Getingdans on YouTube.

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