US actress Lauren Bacall was politically engaged and open minded – “during her week-long stay in Stockholm, she made an unforgettable impression on the people she met,” recalled festival director Git Scheynius, of the Stockholm International Film Festival, which in 2000 bestowed the Stockholm Lifetime Achievement Award upon her.
At the press conference in Stockholm, Bacall – who rose to instant fame after her 1944 feature debut, To Have and Have Not – was asked how to become a star: “If you want to be an actor, learn how to act, then maybe you can be a star. If you want to be a star, and that’s your aim, then you will never be an actor. And you may also never be a star,” replied Bacall, known for her gaze and deep voice.
Unspooling from 5-16 November, the 25th anniversary edition of the festival is dedicated to Bacall, who died on 12 August this year. Usually screening 180 films from 50 countries, the showcase will this year be launched by Swedish director Mikael Marcimain’s adaptation of Swedish author Klas Östergren’s 1980 novel, Gentlemen, after its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival (4-14 September).
“I am honoured to deliver the opening film for the second time – a film that depicts a city and a time in stark contrast to today’s society,” explained Marcimain, whose feature debutCall Girl[+] kicked off the festival in 2012. Gentlemen follows the Morgan brothers during 40 years in post-war Europe in a society undergoing change, involving jazz, poetry and espionage.
Besides the November programme, the festival organises a spring Stockholm Junior Film Festival, for audiences of 6 to 16 years old, and a summer outdoor showcase in a park in central Stockholm, this year featuring six films from previous years, including US directorsQuentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction and Wes Anderson’s The Darjeeling Limited.