APRIL 2018 NEWS

THE MICHAEL NYQVIST ARCHIVES

 
April 30, 2018

Another theater page has been created but there was not one photo or poster I could add. The play was Antigone, staged at the Dramaten in 2003 with a premiere date of February 22. In this new article just posted, Michael recalled that evening remembering the pain. As he bowed for the applause, he snapped up a comment from a lady in the first row who commented,  "He was not so good." I'm sure that was not true but you can imagine how it affected the doubtful Michael, doubtful of his glorious talent.

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Around the time of Michael's death last year, I came across this anonymous blogger who certainly spoke for so many of us. He/she wrote:

Michael Nyqvist made a number of Swedish movies that traded on his ability to portray fierce yet vulnerable male characters, and with a great deal of sincerity and intelligence. But it was his role as the journalist Mikael Blomkvist in the Millennium Trilogy that brought him to the attention of international audiences, and in particular, Hollywood’s casting agents. Two years later and he was making his English language debut in the sadly less than enthralling Abduction (2011). From there he combined working in Hollywood with working in Sweden, and maintained an integrity in his work that guaranteed good performances, even if the material he was working with wasn’t quite up to the standard required. Regarded unfairly perhaps as a "serious" actor, Nyqvist was always able to find the light and shade in most of the characters he played, and he was always a magnetic presence when on screen. In short, he was one of that select band of actors who always improved a movie they appeared in, and you could count on him to deliver a thoughtful, considered performance whatever the genre.

 
April 27, 2018

Michael had several collaborations with director/writer Ulf Malmos. Though he had a leading role in "My So-Called Father" and "We Can be Heroes", he is remarkably absent in any promotional photos for "Bröllopsfotografen" (The Wedding Photographer). Certainly 2009 was a busy year for Michael with the "Millennium Trilogy" so you can assume it was more of a cameo role. In fact, in the listing of the cast, he doesn't even have a name. It simply says, "stage actor". Nonetheless, I have added this film page to the MNA today. He and daughter Ellen did attend the movie premiere in Stockholm on October 13, 2009. I assume the guy is Ellen's boyfriend at the time.

Ulf and Michael were asked by Moviezine to use their best skills to predict the Oscar winners for the 2011 films. They both agreed on "The Artist" for Best Film and indeed it won. For Best Actor, Ulf chose George Clooney as the Academy's choice though he personally was fond of Jean Dujardin. Michael chose Mexican actor Demián Bichir (who?) but was also leaning toward Gary Oldman. They agree on Max Von Sydow (no surprise) for Best Supporting Actor, Meryl Streep for Best Actress and Bérénice Bejo for Best Supporting Actress.

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Here's a photo from Stockholm's cafe Bröd och Salt dated February 17, 2015. Guess somebody has a sweet tooth. Sure looks yummy.

 
April 24, 2018

Here are two new photos taken at the Regent Hotel in Berlin on February 4, 2016 when Michael was doing promotion for "Colonia". Very debonair!

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Another television page. In 2000, Michael was cast in the SVT romantic drama called "Judith". It was a three-part TV series starring Rebecka Hemse, Peter Andersson and Marika Lagercrantz. Because a young Alexander Skarsgård stars in one of the episodes, his fans have posted a Youtube clip of his scenes. I haven't come across any photos of Michael's scenes - a bit disappointing.

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What was Michael's opinion of film remakes in the states? In 2010, he replied, "Total junk. When I see American remakes, I always wonder what is missing. What is gone. They never become muddy and dirty. They're so clean, that's it. The best American films are those from directors who dare to show their roots. Scorsese with his Italian. Coen Brothers. Woody Allen. Their work is not clean. It has to do with their roots."

 
April 21, 2018

I don't have the year that Michael lent his name to Artisans of Attire with the following ad. Known to wear a various selection of bracelets, he was a good choice for the Duxe Mfg. Co. I believe these beauties are handmade by Julia Edlh.

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It's interesting that Hollywood wanted to cash in on the success of  Stieg Larsson's "Millennium Trilogy", but their only American version turned out to be "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo". Sony Pictures ultimately decided to skip to the fourth book, "The Girl in the Spider's Web", written by David Lagercrantz. The international cast includes actors from the UK, Holland, Denmark, Sweden, Luxembourg, Norway and the US. The film is set for a November 9, 2018 release.

Swedish actor Sverrir Gudnason takes on the lead role. You may recall that he starred with Michael in "A Serious Game". At the time of Michael's death, Sverrir said, "I think it's incredibly sad... He was a very open actor and an incredibly nice person... How he lived was reflected in his acting as well. He was incredibly curious."

Certainly, Sverrir doesn't have the Nyqvist charisma but it'll be interesting to see how he fills the shoes of Mikael Blomkvist. The photo below is from a 2009 "Millennium" interview and if you click on it, you can view the interview in English at the Italian web site, Coming Soon.

I've posted a 2009 interview in which Michael discusses his first book and his role in the "Millennium" series. He says, "My idea with Mikael Blomkvist was to show a man who's a good listener, empathetic, wise and analytical. I also hope in this era that intelligence should be sexy."  Yes!

 
April 18, 2018

I attempted to do a translation of an article in a 2013 issue of A6:an magazine, but I had great difficulty so I'll just give an overview. Those who understand Swedish can read the entire article below.

Michael does this interview at a cafe in Stockholm with a great view of the water. He looks relaxed and in good humor. He orders rose wine. Earlier in 2013 he had his second book published. Commenting on his books, he says, "I think you should be personal but not private." Even though his book is very much about his life, Michael feels much more embarrassed when he looks out at a theater audience. He says, "The worst thing you can do is fail 800 people. Then you are unpleasantly blamed. When you write a book, it's more school spirit." He admits he never reads his book and film reviews lest they make him feel less confident but he says it is, however, important to doubt.

He mentions that "life is relatively short". How true! In just three years he was battling lung cancer. Living next door to Swedish poet Tomas Gösta Tranströmer, who won the 2011 Nobel Prize in Literature, he felt inspired to write his books as well as try some poetry.

Rather than spend time in his home in Roslagen where it's very quiet, Michael has spent the summer in New York filming when it was quite hot. He says, "We filmed when it was warmest. The whole city was like a sweaty layer. I felt agony between hopelessness and air conditioning."

He admits that he does not always enjoy the public, people staring outside the door. But when a couple of girls stop and wonder if their father can take a picture, then he certainly answers yes and laughs at the camera. He says, "At least they did not think I was Persbrandt. It happens often."

After seeing these pictures, I realized they were part of a photo shoot so I've posted the others as well.

 
April 12, 2018

Last night I watched "Bang, Bang, Orangutang" on Amazon Video and was appalled at what a waste of money it was. Such a horrid little film! Putting Michael's name on the DVD cover/poster could be construed as false advertising. He makes a 90-second appearance at the very beginning in a scene that has no relationship to the rest of the film. Michael plays a fired employee who's mad with rage at his boss. He's a total nutcase with a handful of lines, which you'll probably never hear against a booming God-awful soundtrack. Read my lips - stay away from this one!

Michael had worked with Simon Staho the year before in "Dag och natt" once again with the director's favorite - Mikael Persbrandt. I could relate to Persbrandt's somber character in that film but here he acts like a complete idiot. And in both films Persbrandt spends 90% of the time in his car. If he's out of the car, the scenes are shot on the road or in a parking lot. Obviously, Michael's production designer wife would have nothing to do on this assignment because there are no interior scenes.  I'm going to end the discussion here because the movie is so annoying. For the record, Peter Asmussen also co-wrote Lars von Trier’s pioneering 1996 Dogma piece "Breaking the Waves" which I love, love, love.

 
April 10, 2018

Exactly one year ago The Michael Nyqvist Archives was launched. Today this web site has 130 pages and over 4,000 images. It will continue to expand in his honor.

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Adding to the press section is a Dutch interview with Michael in Amsterdam in the summer of 2012. It's not the first time that he has mentioned Italian actor Marcello Mastroianni, but this time, he points out that in the 1987 film "Occi Ciornie" ("Dark Eyes"), Mastroianni's performance was pure perfection! Michael is sure that he has not reached that level.

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New pages! In 1990 Michael did a 43-minute television film called "Pass" in which he plays a photographer in a romantic drama. Sixteen years later, director/writer Mikael Södersten decided to take clips from his original film and create a six-minute short called "White Man's Blues". You can view the trailer at this link to see a very young Michael, but you might want to mute the sound because the music is horrendous.

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This is a new photo taken a couple years ago when Michael attended the premiere of "Colonia" in Vienna, Austria. Great photo!

 
April 8, 2018

Lucky Nyqvist fans in Davis, CA area have the chance to see "Så som i himmelen" ("As It is in Heaven") on the big screen this month. It will be shown at the International House Davis on Friday, April 20th, as part of their international film series. The film received an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Language Film.

Back in 2008, Holland's Film by the Sea Festival, held in Vlissingen, was celebrating its tenth anniversary and the festival audience was asked to choose their favorite film from all those that had been screened since the festival began. "As It is in Heaven" was the convincing favorite. Michael was present to accept the Anniversary Audience Award and was also the recipient of the Grand Actors Award, which is presented to filmmakers or actors who have made special contributions to the film industry. Ben Kingsley, Stanley Tucci, Morgan Freeman and Claudia Cardinale have also received this award. Michael was both surprised and moved by the admiration that befell on him and the film.

The Dutch festival's main focus is on literary adaptations. In 2006, another Nyqvist film - "Äideistä parhain" ("Mother of Mine") received the Film & Literature Award. Being honored with the prize reminded director Klaus Härö of a promise he made as a young film student in Helsinki - the promise that he would never adapt a book into a film. I, for one, am glad he didn't keep that promise. This film also became Finland's submission for Best Foreign Language Film at the 78th Academy Awards.

This fall the festival has selected one of Michael's more recent films - "Du forsvinder" ("You Disappear"). It will be screened in their Film and Literature Competition on September 15th. The film will also be shown at the Cleveland International Film Festival on April 9 and 10. It was Denmark's entry for Best Foreign Language Film for this year's Academy Awards.

 
April 6, 2018

There's a new YouTube clip of Michael that was posted yesterday. It's from Swedish comedian David Hellenius' TV show called "Hellenius hörna" when Michael was a guest on October 21, 2011. Having just completed action films "Mission Impossible" and "Abduction", Michael had returned to Sweden after extensive international travel. After Michael spends time chatting with the host, they do a humorous action scene together with Michael pulling a gun on Hellenius and then chasing him out the door and finally down the road in a helicopter. Hilarious! Check it out at this link.

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Last week Gerry Butler posted a photo of himself and Michael taken a couple years ago when they took a helicopter ride to the set when filming "Hunter Killer" (due in theaters on October 26, 2018).


 

April 5, 2018

Being a fashion plate, it comes as no surprise that Michael was seen in some ads from Mouli, a Swedish brand of men's clothing. Here are some of the ads and photo shoots from 2009 to 2016. The last photo shows Michael at a Mouli event with son Arthur and friends, probably around 2009.

 

 

 

 
April 3, 2018

Last week I finally received my DVD of "Du forsvinder" (You Disappear) with English subtitles. I would have preferred writing some positive remarks here about the screen adaptation of the bestselling Christian Jungersen novel but alas, it was a challenge to view this film as any sort of entertainment or even as educational. Mostly there was a heap of psychobabble going on and the courtroom testimony scenes were better suited for discussion fodder for medical and psychiatric students. Basically, the film's thrust is a philosophical exploration of identity, individuality, moral responsibility and whether there is such a thing as free will.

It is interesting to note that Peter Schønau Fog actually gave this director's statement - "It is probably fair to say that You Disappear is a demanding movie. It demands of its audience that they let go of conventional ideas of what a movie should be and instead view it with no preconceived notions – welcoming You Disappear as a life experience." Sorry, but it doesn't work.

Frederik Halling (Nikolaj Lie Kaas) is a private school principal who discovers he has a brain tumor and is further charged with embezzling 12 million kronor from his school. His lawyer Bernard Bergman (played by Michael) argues that his client's behavior was caused by this orbitofrontal tumor.  The film switches between the courtroom and family scenes in which we learn how Frederik's behavior has affected his wife Mia (Trine Dyrholm) and his son Niklas. Due to the non-linear narration, the audience becomes tangled in a maze of confusion in understanding the course of events and, therefore, isn't given an accurate portrait of their marriage and family life. To make matters even more complicated, Mia and Bernard, whose wife has also suffered a brain injury in a car accident, begin their own torrid affair even though each claim to have a stronghold on fidelity. For Nyqvist fans, you will love the sexual energy in these adulterous scenes so perhaps it might be worth buying the DVD!

Much attention and praise has been given to the lead actress Trine Dyrholm but I was mesmerized by the excellent performance by Meike Bahnsen, who plays Laerke, Bernard's wife. Ms. Bahnsen expertly captures both the childlike innocence and wild behavior of a brain-injured person while Michael reveals the tenderness and frustration of caring for his beloved.

 
April 1, 2018 - Easter Blessings


 
 

 

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