June was a busy month for films and TV series. We saw the return of both Danish juggernaut Borgen, followed by popular Swedish series Love and Anarchy. The end of the month saw two new series arrive to Walter Presents (which we haven’t even managed to see yet) with Rig 45 and Seizure.

Over on digital we saw the release of Ninja Thyberg’s film Pleasure, I am Zlatan, and a sudden release for Norwegian sci-fi comedy Blasted, which is available now on Netflix so be sure to check out our interview with its star Axel Bøyum.

In other news, we released a travel feature on Copenhagen which will be the start of many as we begin to spread our wings a little further at Nordic Watchlist – look out for future interviews with some great Nordic brands and accommodations to visit amongst other things.

FILM

Pleasure
Ninja Thyberg | Swedish | DOD

Ninja Thyberg’s Pleasure has finally got a UK release and is now available via streamer MUBI. The controversial film has been making waves ever since its premier at the Goteborg Film Festival in 2021.

This is by no means for everyone but it is a very transparent take on the porn industry in LA, as we follow Bella Cherry, played to perfection in her debut by Sofia Kappel, try and break into the industry.

There are moments that are hard to watch, moments of humour and tenderness too – further to that is stunning work by Ninja behind the camera and her style of filming.

Read more in our interview with the director.

I am Zlatan
Jens Sjögren | Sweden | DOD & Blu Ray/DVD

Jens Sjögren manages to pull off a casting masterpiece with his two leads in the hugely entertaining I am Zlatan, a biopic following the early years of the famous Swedish footballer.

Trust us when we say that you don’t need to be into football to totally enjoy this, the performances from both the elder and younger versions of the footballing star are an absolute joy to watch. Mix that in with some really creative shots, a thumping soundtrack, and a real feel good vibe and this is a perfect hit for the summer!

Read more about the film in our recent interview with the director.

TV Series

Love & Anarchy Season 2
Swedish | Netflix

Love and Anarchy finally returned to our screens which seemed to have a little more love and a little less anarchy featured in it. That still didn’t stop us from enjoying the series and the fantastic cast that it has involved in it, this season in particular has some great moments with Ronny (Bjorn Kjellman) and Friedrich (Reine Brynolfsson).

It is a very different feel to the previous season that went along the story of Sofie and Max’s games but here we find Sofie struggling with her mental health whilst the publishing house is faced with a range of amusing moments. Perhaps weaker than it’s previous season but it is still worth a watch!

Max (Bjorn Mosten) spends a bit more timing flirting with Caroline (Carla Sehn) but is she as cute as she makes out?

BOOK

Kalmann by Joachim B Schmidt

Now I’ve been quite strict thus far in only awarding book of the month to authors born in the Nordic region. This month however, and with very good reason, I’ve had to ever so slightly relax that criteria. 

Joachim Schmidt is an author I’d not come across before and whilst he is Swiss by birth, he has lived in Iceland since 2007. His book, Kalmann, which is this month’s winner is also entirely set in Iceland in the remote village of Rauferhöfn. I think it’s safe to say it fits the bill. 

Described by Radio Ö as:

‘an Icelandic Fargo. Crude, droll, bloody, very funny and with a multitude of surprising twists’

Kalmann is far from your traditional Nordic Noir. But what’s it about?

Kalmann Ódinsson, who’s perspective the book is written from, is the 33-year-old self-appointed Sherriff of Rauferhöfn. He however, only has the mental ability of a six year old. Early on in the book Kalmann finds himself out hunting an Arctic Fox he has, rather adorably, coined, ‘Schwarzkopf’.

When doing so he stumbles on a large pool of blood, but despite following the trail for a short while, finds no sign of a body. Simultaneously we learn that local hotel owner Róbert McKenzie has disappeared, seemingly without a trace. As events begin to unfold Schmidt takes us on a journey deep into Kalmann’s past; we learn of his heart-warming relationship with his grandfather, of his bouts of loneliness and of the difficulties he faces on a day-to-day basis. He really is a fantastic character and one you can’t help but root for.

Kalmann was the deserving winner of the Crime Cologne Award in 2021 and it wouldn’t surprise me if the awards don’t stop there. A really refreshing take on the genre and a must read.

NEW NORDIC NEWS

Josefine Lindegaard

Josefine Lindegaard has picked up a role in the upcoming Zack Snyder film ‘Rebel Moon‘ which is coming to Netflix in 2023. The film has some big names same as Charlie Hunnum, Sofia Boutella, Jena Malone, Anthony Hopkins, and Iceland’s super star Ingvar Sigurdsson.

Sandra Guldberg Kampp

Danish actress Sandra Guldberg Kampp has landed a role in the second season of sci-fi series Foundation which is showing on Apple TV! We are absolutely delighted for the talented actress and hope this is the beginning of more roles for her in the future. You can still catch Wildland on MUBI and Sky Cinema/Now TV if you haven’t seen it yet.

New Netflix film Loving Adults gets a release date

Netflix has released an update on the Danish film ‘Loving Adults‘ and we will be expecting its worldwide release on the 26th August. The film stars the excellent Dar Salim and Sonja Richter as Christian and Leonora – a couple who seem to have it all. That is until Leonora suspects Christian of having an affair with a younger woman and will stop at no cost to keep her man.

The film is based on the novel Kærlighed for Voksne by Anna Ekberg and is directed by Barbara Rothenborg for SF Studios. We can’t wait!

Beautiful Beings wins three awards!

One of our favourite films of the year is picking up some praise on the film festival circuit as Beautiful Beings picked up three awards from three different festivals in June (those festivals being in Mexico, Slovenia, and Italy). Long may this continue and we hope that the film gets picked up by an International distributor soon because as it truly is a phenomenal piece of work.

The cast of Beautiful Beings are still reaping the awards for there performances!

Discover a Nordic Summer of love with Norway’s
Royalteen on Netflix

No that is not a typo but a new series coming to Netflix in August – fans of Young Royals will be delighted to hear of a new romantic film that sees a girl fall in love with the partying prince and future king of Norway.

Naturally there are plenty of obstacles along the way for the pair to try and overcome, namely the fact that she writes the gossip columns that he regular features in. Will love prevail? You can find out in August!

Kalle (Mathias Storhøi, Left) and Lena (Ines Høysæter Asserson, right) go for a spin (Photo Credit: Håvard Byrkjeland / Netflix)

Read our interviews with documentary directors
Marie Lidén and Sanne This

June also saw us release interviews from two directors whose work we caught at Copenhagen Documentary Festival and now have had further premieres with Marie Lidén’s Electric Malady showing at Sheffield Docfest last weekend and Sanne This’ An Eternity of You and Me coming to the South Korean festival EIDF

What is coming up in July?

With the Summer really kicking in things do tend to slow down on the Nordic front – here is what we have discovered will be out next month!

  • July kicks off with the excellent Tigers film which comes to cinemas on the 1st July
  • Rumour has it that the BBC is releasing Trom on the 9th of July – this hasn’t been officially confirmed though.
  • 11th July sees the brilliant Canon Arm & the Arcade Quest documentary film get released on various Digital Platforms.
  • 22nd July will see the release of Bergman Island on MUBI – which stars the excellent Anders Danielsen Lie and features, well, Bergman Island!

For more info on previous other releases see our article about Nordic films and TV shows coming summer 2022.

Quote of the Month

He was such a cocky bastard – I loved that”

Jens Sjögren talked about the challenge with casting his roles for I am Zlatan – Read the full interview HERE

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Feature by Alex Minnis and Marc Harries