Film Archive

International Programme 2014
Penthouse North Johanna St Michaels

Agneta, a Swedish model in 1970s New York. Hipness, fame, money and beauty descend into dementia and old age poverty. A vintage style farewell to Manhattan.

Penthouse North

Documentary Film
Sweden
2014
83 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Johanna St Michaels
Johanna St Michaels
Matt Johnson, The The
Johanna St Michaels
Bernhard Winkler
Erik Bjerknes, Henrik Ohlin
One should have feathered one’s nest at 62, if only to be able to withstand the hostilities of old age. But what if life is as alluring and seductive as in 1970s New York – who wants to think of being old and weak one day then? Agneta Eckemyr was 20 when she came to the city: a blonde Swedish bombshell, determined to make her way as a model and actress. Successfully. But then her lucky chip somehow crumbled in the reality of this tough city. What’s left is a penthouse on Central Park. And here’s the rub: the apartment is a mere illusion. The address signals a success that doesn’t exist. There is no income to pay the rent. The former star fights all the more stubbornly for this residue of her old life, but her strength is waning. Agneta is more and more dependent on friends who lend her money, help at home and try in vain to persuade her to give up the apartment. Her resistance against the mere idea is only later explained by the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
The director’s original plan was to adapt an autobiographical screenplay written by Agneta. The result is a poignant film about the transience of beauty, growing old in poverty, friendship and solidarity.
Matthias Heeder
International Programme 2014
The Dogwalker Caroline Ingvarsson

Old man with dog. A flat filled with memories: of former theatrical fame and men with whom happiness was not possible. A small exercise in loneliness.

The Dogwalker

Documentary Film
Sweden
2014
13 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Caroline Drab
Caroline Ingvarsson
Alice Boman
Benjamin Zadig
Dan Persson
Johan Hansson
Loneliness has many names, for example that of the Swedish former actor Lars-Gunnar, whom we meet reviewing his life in a monologue that’s fit for the stage, leisurely clad in a dressing gown. Posters on the walls of his modest modern flat advertise his former fame in the theatre world. Now his only listener is his dog and his greatest pleasure is smoking. Gradually the outlines of a life emerge whose protagonist failed in love and has no apparent success to show for but who has steadfastly refused to bow to convention. Is this the price you pay at old age? Lars-Gunnar has charisma and is definitely not a bore. He mentions his homosexuality quite casually and in passing. Director Caroline Ingvarsson follows her protagonist over the course of a day – and one feels that his days are all the same. She gives him the space this showboater needs. Her short film is a straight portrayal of a meeting with a jack of all trades who always gambled for high stakes and could have come out of a Jim Jarmusch film – in short: an impressive character.
Cornelia Klauß