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A Serious Game / Den allvarsamma leken

Classic literature about consuming passion and destructive adultery has been adapted countless times for the silver screen. And, Swedish author Hjalmar Söderberg’s turn-of-the-century novel, A Serious Game (Den allvarsamma leken), is no exception. Swedish actress-turned-director Pernilla August’s second feature and third big screen makeover of the eponymous novel unspooled in the “Berlinale Special” section of this year’s Berlin International Film Festival.

Both Söderberg’s novel and theatre play Gertrud (1907) draw from the author’s own extramarital affair with a certain Maria von . . .

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Emma Vestrheim is the editor-in-chief of Cinema Scandinavia. Originally from Australia, she is now based in Bergen, Norway, and attends major Nordic film festivals to conduct interviews and review new films.