Nordic Film Series

The five-week summer series--Borgen Fest 2017--which began on Friday, July 14th,
and is now over.  The ten-week winter series will begin in early January 2018.

(See the film flyers for the most recent series at the bottom of this page.)

A scene from Summer 2017's Borgen Fest:  Birgitte (hugging son, Magnus), her closest political allies, and her family—including her new boyfriend,
Jeremy, a celebrated architect from England (upper left, in blue shirt)—watch the election returns.

 *         *          *         *         *         *         *          *

A Brief History of the Nordic Film Series

Many years ago, I lived and worked in northern Sweden where I developed a fondness for the Swedish landscape, culture, language, and people.  But it wasn't until fall 2005 that I found a way that I could really share my love of Sweden with the Eugene community.

I'd begun teaching at the University of Oregon earlier that year and found that most lecture rooms were provided with projection equipment for showing both videotapes (remember those?) and DVDs on The Big Screen.  Although I'd never owned a television and knew very little about film and absolutely nothing about video projectors, the idea of hosting a film series was hatched.  I knew that I could rent the movies very inexpensively from local video stores, so my costs for doing the series would be very low.  And I decided that each evening, I would discuss a different aspect of Sweden--geography, history, food, language, etc.--before showing the film, and afterward have a brief discussion about the film itself.

After doing a little research, I found a number of Swedish films at a local video store called Flics and Pics (no longer in business) as well as a few at the Yamada Language Center on campus.  It was tough to come up with the requisite ten films that first year, but I did.  Then, I reserved a lecture room in McKenzie Hall on Friday evenings for winter term 2006, and the series was underway.

With very little advertising, the Swedish Film Series drew 25-40 or more people to each film.  By the second year of the series, as word spread and interest grew, we were already outgrowing the McKenzie Hall room.  In 2007, we moved to 177 Lawrence in the Architecture Building--where the series occasionally drew crowds of nearly 200 people.

I thought at the beginning that I would host this series for only five years.  But toward the end of the fifth year, I decided to offer just one more year of films--a "bonus" year that would include films from all five of the Nordic countries (Iceland, Norway, Denmark, Finland, and Sweden).  Thus began the Nordic Film Series which took place for the first time during winter term of 2011, and now looks as if it will continue indefinitely.

Finally, in 2012, I began offering a special five-week summer series, as well as the ten-week winter one.  It, too, appears as if it will continue indefinitely.

A list of all 96 different films shown through winter 2016 is attached below (as "Swedish and Nordic Film Series History")--as are posters for the most recent film series as well as the current one.

The films are currently being offered by the University of Oregon's Department of Landscape Architecture as an on-going lecture series entitled The Nordic Landscape in Contemporary Film.  The films are now shown in 115 Lawrence Hall--a somewhat more intimate space than the huge 177 Lawrence room--and each film is preceded by a 20-minute lecture that addresses aspects of the Nordic landscape, sensu lato, seen in the film that follows.

(Updated 19 September 2017)

Whitey Lueck,
Jun 19, 2017, 12:24 PM
Whitey Lueck,
Jul 5, 2016, 3:32 PM
Whitey Lueck,
Dec 14, 2015, 12:04 PM
Whitey Lueck,
Jan 8, 2017, 1:46 PM