In earnest

The secret behind successful Swedish media is (to my mind) the particular blend of slick style and earnestness, served with quiet humour. When it works, it rocks. The weird thing is that there doesn’t seem to be much middle ground between excellence and toe-curling provinciality.

My lingering earnestness is one of the remaining, indelible signs of Swedishness. I still recall that film, [blahdiblah] north of Molkom. Hilarious to an English audience because of the painful earnestness of the on-screen proceedings. Somewhat sad to me, as the relative innocence and shiny openness (embarrassing as it is at times) of the people depicted makes them look like freaks to an ironic, English audience.

I like when that earnestness comes across with intelligence and style. It doesn’t have to hysterically funny; it can add something rather heartwarming too. As in Tackfilm/Swedish Hero. Så det så.

I went to a presentation by Greg Garvey this afternoon at Lighthouse. He was talking about all the potential pitfalls of planning for shows, and it turned out to be both useful and quite funny.

Getting stuff to work in situ is a big deal. Not just the dramatic/theatrical aspect of the work (which is of course also important), but the really practical, tried and tested aspects. Things functioning like they are supposed to. Things withstanding the onslaught of interaction from a sometimes destructive or just random audience. Things being ready on time. In a way, show business skills. Not very glamorous, but necessary. Nice to have the nuts and bolts in the spotlight for a change.


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