Hasse Ekman : a question of authorship in a national context
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This thesis takes a historical approach to its subject and focuses on Swedish cinema of the 1940s and 1950s. The thesis argues that Swedish cinema experienced a renaissance in the 1940s, lasting approximately from 1940 to 1953. It further suggests that one of the most important filmmakers in this renaissance was Hasse Ekman. By focussing upon Ekman and this renaissance, a much-needed contextualisation of Ingmar Bergman will be achieved. Ingmar Bergman is one of the most well-known and well-researched filmmakers of all time, but there are still gaps in the material surrounding him, and one such gap concerns his cinematic origins. Bergman was a part of the 1940s renaissance, during which Bergman worked with, and was influenced by, other filmmakers and in particular Ekman. The thesis is divided into three parts. The first part introduces the relevant literature and discusses ideas of authorship and national cinema. It also provides a historic overview of Swedish society and cinema during the 1940s and 1950s, providing the context needed to better understand the films of Ekman, and Bergman too. This part also looks at the 1930s to illustrate what came before this renaissance, and how the films of the 1940s differed from what had gone before. The second part is a chronological overview of Ekman's career from the late-1930s to his move to Spain in 1964. The last part is a discussion of Ekman's relation to Swedish society and his view of the world, based on close textual readings of his films. The aim of the thesis is to present, for the first time, a coherent and extensive overview of Ekman's career and body of work, while also situating it in the specific context in which it emerged, thereby shedding new light on an important, though neglected, episode in cinema history.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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