Everlasting Moments


2h 11m 2008

Brief Synopsis

In the early 1900s in Sweden, a time of social change and unrest, war and poverty, a young working class woman, Maria, wins a camera in a lottery. The decision to keep it alters her whole life. The camera grants Maria new eyes with which to see the world, and brings the charming photographer "Piff P

Film Details

Also Known As
Everlasting Moment of Maria Larsson, The, Ikuistetut hetket, Maria Larsson's Everlasting Moment, Maria Larssons eviga ogonblick, Maria Larssons evige ojeblik
MPAA Rating
Release Date
2008
Production Company
Danish Film Institute (Dfi); Sandrew Metronome Filmdistribution As; Sveriges Television (Svt); Swedish Film Institute; Trustnordisk
Distribution Company
IFC Films; Alfa Films; Arsenal Filmverleih; Finnkino Oy; IFC Films; Icon; Icon Uk Group; Norsk Filmdistribusjon; Sandrew Metronome Distribution Finland Oy; Sandrew Metronome Distribution Sverige Ab (Sweden); Sandrew Metronome Filmdistribution As; September Film Distribution

Technical Specs

Duration
2h 11m

Synopsis

In the early 1900s in Sweden, a time of social change and unrest, war and poverty, a young working class woman, Maria, wins a camera in a lottery. The decision to keep it alters her whole life. The camera grants Maria new eyes with which to see the world, and brings the charming photographer "Piff Paff Puff" into her life. Trouble ensues when Maria's alcoholic, womanizing husband, feels threatened by the young man and his wife's newfound outlook on life.

Film Details

Also Known As
Everlasting Moment of Maria Larsson, The, Ikuistetut hetket, Maria Larsson's Everlasting Moment, Maria Larssons eviga ogonblick, Maria Larssons evige ojeblik
MPAA Rating
Release Date
2008
Production Company
Danish Film Institute (Dfi); Sandrew Metronome Filmdistribution As; Sveriges Television (Svt); Swedish Film Institute; Trustnordisk
Distribution Company
IFC Films; Alfa Films; Arsenal Filmverleih; Finnkino Oy; IFC Films; Icon; Icon Uk Group; Norsk Filmdistribusjon; Sandrew Metronome Distribution Finland Oy; Sandrew Metronome Distribution Sverige Ab (Sweden); Sandrew Metronome Filmdistribution As; September Film Distribution

Technical Specs

Duration
2h 11m

Articles

Everlasting Moments - EVERLASTING MOMENTS - Swedish Director Jan Troell's 2008 Award-Winning Biography on DVD


The complete Swedish title of Jan Troell's 2008 drama based on the life of Maria Larsson, a real-life wife and mother in early Twentieth Century Sweden whose photographs capture the life and people of her time with poet's sensitivity, translates to Maria Larsson's Everlasting Moments, which is a richer title. It tells us not only that this is Maria Larsson's story, but that it is also about the everlasting moments that she created in her time.

When we first meet Maria Larsson (played by Maria Heiskanen), a Finnish immigrant in Sweden, she's a mother of four enduring a marriage her marriage to Swedish dockworker Sigfrid (Mikael Persbrandt). He's a hard working bruiser who is sweet and gentle when he's sober but, despite his pledges, has a tendency to fall off the wagon with alarming frequency and become angry and violent. Maria's camera, a forgotten object won at a raffle while they were courting, becomes an escape (divorce is out of the question, according her unbending father) after she rediscovers it hidden away in a cupboard. When she tries to sell it to the owner of the local portrait studio, Mr. Pederson (Jesper Christensen) encourages her to try using the camera before selling it and then praises her efforts with genuine appreciation. "Not everyone is endowed with the gift of seeing," he tells her, and offers her plates (this is era when still photos were taken on glass negatives), paper and chemicals. Pederson is a gentle and supportive man who, like Maria, is in an unhappy marriage, and beneath the story of her "gift of seeing" is the love between them, shared solely through their art and encouragement. In one of their loveliest scenes, Pederson shows his new acquisition, a motion picture camera, to a mesmerized Maria, both of them excited by the possibilities of this new technology in a way that their spouses could never understand or appreciate.

Everlasting Moments is based on the memoir by Maria's daughter, Maja, and it plays like a memoir. Her story is as much about the detail of her daily life and the culture of her world as it is about her marriage, her hardships raising children with an unreliable and often absent husband (between a stint in the war, a term in jail and an affair with a barmaid, she's left to support the family alone) and her work as a photographer, which in hard times she turns into a small business run out of the home. The portrait of Sigfrid is hardly favorable but Troell doesn't demonize him, even in his worst moments (and there are many). "Why mother stayed with father, I've always found a mystery," Maja contemplates in her narration, which frames the film. "Perhaps it was love." Troell's portrait suggests it's more than that, a combination of duty, social expectations, concern for the children, and maybe even a little guilt. But perhaps love was a part of the equation too, for Sigfrid does love his wife and children and brief moments of intimacy remind us of that. There is even room for his redemption.

But Everlasting Moments is also about photography (as both art and documentary record) and "the gift of seeing" that Maria brings to it. There is a sense of magic to photography as presented in the film, from the ethereal image of a moth refracted through a lens by Pederson onto Maria's hand (as beautiful and delicate an image you've ever seen in a feature film) to the unexpected emotional power of a heartbreaking portrait of a dead child in repose before the funeral.

This is obviously a personal project for Troell, both as an artist working in the medium of images and as distant relation to Maria through his wife, writer and journalist Agneta Ulfsäter-Troell, who is Larsson's grand-niece. Agneta helped the real-life Maja turn her remembrances into a memoir and collaborated with her husband on the script. Troell's respect for Maria, as a mother, an artist and a resilient woman defying convention despite hard times and harder situations, is apparent in every shot. Troell entered the film industry as a cinematographer and continued to shoot his own films even after becoming a director in his own right (he shares credit on this film with Mischa Gavrjusjov). His images are distinct, delicate and detailed, glowing with natural light and a burnished palette that evokes the quality of faded photos and the idealization of memory, even though there is nothing idealized about her hard life.

Everlasting Moments is about seeing and capturing images through the lens, both Maria's box camera and Troell's moving picture camera. In her portraits of family and friends, of events and objects of her life, she created a record of her time and her people and a series of photographic canvasses that captured the beauty of the world that was so hard on her. They are portraits of endurance, innocence, strength, fragility and a particular quality of life at a certain time and place. At one point in the film she explains that photographs makes her "forget I'm a mother," yet it's a mother's eyes-probing, protective, appreciative and supportive-that defines so many of her photos. It's a beautiful film about hard lives and resilient people and the power of photography to bring hope and beauty to both.

Criterion releases Everlasting Moments on both DVD and Blu-ray in a superb edition that preserves the lovingly shaped images and delicate colors. Both editions feature the same supplements. The hour-long documentary Troell's Magic Mirror is a generous career retrospective of the director from 2007 and Troell Behind the Camera is a well-made 28-minute making-of featurette with footage of Troell on the set of the film. Both are in Swedish with English subtitles, as is the visual essay The True Story of Maria Larsson, a nine-minute survey of the life and photography of the real-life Larsson narrated by Agneta Ulfsater-Troell. Also features a booklet with a new essay by Armond White.

For more information about Everlasting Moments, visit The Criterion Collection. To order Everlasting Moments, go to TCM Shopping.

by Sean Axmaker
Everlasting Moments - Everlasting Moments - Swedish Director Jan Troell's 2008 Award-Winning Biography On Dvd

Everlasting Moments - EVERLASTING MOMENTS - Swedish Director Jan Troell's 2008 Award-Winning Biography on DVD

The complete Swedish title of Jan Troell's 2008 drama based on the life of Maria Larsson, a real-life wife and mother in early Twentieth Century Sweden whose photographs capture the life and people of her time with poet's sensitivity, translates to Maria Larsson's Everlasting Moments, which is a richer title. It tells us not only that this is Maria Larsson's story, but that it is also about the everlasting moments that she created in her time. When we first meet Maria Larsson (played by Maria Heiskanen), a Finnish immigrant in Sweden, she's a mother of four enduring a marriage her marriage to Swedish dockworker Sigfrid (Mikael Persbrandt). He's a hard working bruiser who is sweet and gentle when he's sober but, despite his pledges, has a tendency to fall off the wagon with alarming frequency and become angry and violent. Maria's camera, a forgotten object won at a raffle while they were courting, becomes an escape (divorce is out of the question, according her unbending father) after she rediscovers it hidden away in a cupboard. When she tries to sell it to the owner of the local portrait studio, Mr. Pederson (Jesper Christensen) encourages her to try using the camera before selling it and then praises her efforts with genuine appreciation. "Not everyone is endowed with the gift of seeing," he tells her, and offers her plates (this is era when still photos were taken on glass negatives), paper and chemicals. Pederson is a gentle and supportive man who, like Maria, is in an unhappy marriage, and beneath the story of her "gift of seeing" is the love between them, shared solely through their art and encouragement. In one of their loveliest scenes, Pederson shows his new acquisition, a motion picture camera, to a mesmerized Maria, both of them excited by the possibilities of this new technology in a way that their spouses could never understand or appreciate. Everlasting Moments is based on the memoir by Maria's daughter, Maja, and it plays like a memoir. Her story is as much about the detail of her daily life and the culture of her world as it is about her marriage, her hardships raising children with an unreliable and often absent husband (between a stint in the war, a term in jail and an affair with a barmaid, she's left to support the family alone) and her work as a photographer, which in hard times she turns into a small business run out of the home. The portrait of Sigfrid is hardly favorable but Troell doesn't demonize him, even in his worst moments (and there are many). "Why mother stayed with father, I've always found a mystery," Maja contemplates in her narration, which frames the film. "Perhaps it was love." Troell's portrait suggests it's more than that, a combination of duty, social expectations, concern for the children, and maybe even a little guilt. But perhaps love was a part of the equation too, for Sigfrid does love his wife and children and brief moments of intimacy remind us of that. There is even room for his redemption. But Everlasting Moments is also about photography (as both art and documentary record) and "the gift of seeing" that Maria brings to it. There is a sense of magic to photography as presented in the film, from the ethereal image of a moth refracted through a lens by Pederson onto Maria's hand (as beautiful and delicate an image you've ever seen in a feature film) to the unexpected emotional power of a heartbreaking portrait of a dead child in repose before the funeral. This is obviously a personal project for Troell, both as an artist working in the medium of images and as distant relation to Maria through his wife, writer and journalist Agneta Ulfsäter-Troell, who is Larsson's grand-niece. Agneta helped the real-life Maja turn her remembrances into a memoir and collaborated with her husband on the script. Troell's respect for Maria, as a mother, an artist and a resilient woman defying convention despite hard times and harder situations, is apparent in every shot. Troell entered the film industry as a cinematographer and continued to shoot his own films even after becoming a director in his own right (he shares credit on this film with Mischa Gavrjusjov). His images are distinct, delicate and detailed, glowing with natural light and a burnished palette that evokes the quality of faded photos and the idealization of memory, even though there is nothing idealized about her hard life. Everlasting Moments is about seeing and capturing images through the lens, both Maria's box camera and Troell's moving picture camera. In her portraits of family and friends, of events and objects of her life, she created a record of her time and her people and a series of photographic canvasses that captured the beauty of the world that was so hard on her. They are portraits of endurance, innocence, strength, fragility and a particular quality of life at a certain time and place. At one point in the film she explains that photographs makes her "forget I'm a mother," yet it's a mother's eyes-probing, protective, appreciative and supportive-that defines so many of her photos. It's a beautiful film about hard lives and resilient people and the power of photography to bring hope and beauty to both. Criterion releases Everlasting Moments on both DVD and Blu-ray in a superb edition that preserves the lovingly shaped images and delicate colors. Both editions feature the same supplements. The hour-long documentary Troell's Magic Mirror is a generous career retrospective of the director from 2007 and Troell Behind the Camera is a well-made 28-minute making-of featurette with footage of Troell on the set of the film. Both are in Swedish with English subtitles, as is the visual essay The True Story of Maria Larsson, a nine-minute survey of the life and photography of the real-life Larsson narrated by Agneta Ulfsater-Troell. Also features a booklet with a new essay by Armond White. For more information about Everlasting Moments, visit The Criterion Collection. To order Everlasting Moments, go to TCM Shopping. by Sean Axmaker

Quotes

Trivia

Miscellaneous Notes

The Country of Sweden

Nominated for the 2009 Spirit Award for Best Foreign Film by Film Independent (FIND).

Released in United States Spring March 6, 2009

Released in United States 2008

Released in United States October 2008

Released in United States 2009

Released in United States January 2009

Released in United States July 2009

Shown at Pusan International Film Festival (World Cinema) October 2-10, 2008.

Shown at Chicago International Film Festival (Main Competition) October 16-29, 2008.

Shown at Santa Barbara International Film Festival (World Cinema) January 22-February 1, 2009.

Shown at Palm Springs International Film Festival (Best of the Fest) January 6-19, 2009.

Shown at Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (Horizons) July 3-11, 2009.

IFC Films acquired North American distribution rights at the 2008 Toronto Film Festival.

Released in United States Spring March 6, 2009 (NY)

Released in United States 2008 (Shown at AFI/Los Angeles International Film Festival (World Cinema) October 30-November 9, 2008.)

Released in United States 2008 (Shown at Telluride Film Festival August 29-September 1, 2008.)

Released in United States October 2008 (Shown at Pusan International Film Festival (World Cinema) October 2-10, 2008.)

Released in United States October 2008 (Shown at Chicago International Film Festival (Main Competition) October 16-29, 2008.)

Released in United States 2009 (Shown at Santa Barbara International Film Festival (World Cinema) January 22-February 1, 2009.)

Released in United States January 2009 (Shown at Palm Springs International Film Festival (Best of the Fest) January 6-19, 2009.)

Released in United States July 2009 (Shown at Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (Horizons) July 3-11, 2009.)