Sunday, November 24, 2013

TROLDKARLEN (1999) Anders Østergaard, Denmark/Sweden

How does a film manage to create a shiver down your spine when you've watched it heaps of times already? And how does a bloody documentary film create that feeling? I don't know but that's usually how I feel when I re-watch Anders Østergaard's Danish documentary TROLDKARLEN (aka Trollkarlen) about Jan Johansson. I pull out the movie ever so often and it's always the same, and last night was no exception.

Jan Johansson was a Swedish jazz musician who lived long ago and who died untimely in the late '60s. There's one point in the film where his brother vividly talks about having had dreams about seeing Jan in the Stockholm underground after Jan passed away. In his dreams he meets Jan and says to him, "We thought you had died. Where have you been?" to which Jan explains he's been away to play in Russia. His brother then continues in the doc, "But then I woke up and everything was the same". It gets me every time. So sad.

I highly recommend TROLDKARLEN, even if you're not a fan of old jazz music. The Danish dvd has subs in Danish and English (of the special kind we call Valby-engelsk, argh).


  1. Yes, great documentary. Very intelligent. The intro with different Swedes listening to his famous tune Utanmyra is so clever.
    But where di you find the DVD?! Never heard about a release, let alone a Danish one...!

  2. The film is directed by a Dane and altho it's about a Swedish musician it's actually a Danish film (backed with Swedish money, making it a Danish/Swedish co-production). The dvd is out from the Danish Film Institute and thus isn't for sale in normal stores but, I believe, only from the shop at the Cinemateque in Copenhagen and their web shop. It may be OOP by now as it came out years ago. I don't even own an original copy but a dvdr. There's no extras. You can borrow it from libraries here. Check if they have it or can order it for you at your local library.

    And yes, the beginning is great. I also love the woman who says, "Det normala är fint".