Something lacking, something unsaid

Review of Lust och fägring stor / All Things Fair (1995)

Review of Lust och fägring stor / All Things Fair (1995) movie, by Stefan Stenudd

This was to be director Widerberg's last movie. A sweet family farewell, since his son played the lead in it. What his last words may be, as expressed in this movie, though, is hard to say.

       There is no clear moral in it, for which I am thankful, but a somewhat distressing observation about love: it is a close neighbor to hate, and it will not leave without vengeance.

       The love affair between the school teacher and the teenage student is interesting when it starts to break up, but its beginning is too swiftly dealt with to make any sense, and its joyous, lustful phase is without depth. Only when things go awry, does the story get interesting, and the actors get to excel in their art.

       The title is from a psalm, which is traditionally sung by students when they leave school for the summer break - or for good. It's a hymn to the summer and its luscious splendor - therefore, a lust of another kind, than the carnal one the movie deals with. Some Widerberg irony, no doubt.

       Using his son as the student in the movie, was not that good an idea, although Johan Widerberg has a rare charisma on screen, and his own odd talent in acting. His father seems not to have been able to treat his son with the same merciless exploitation, as he was quite apt to do with other actors. So, the student is left hanging in a kind of vacuum, as if empty of his own intentions and conflicts. Things happen to him, as if he had nothing to do with them.

       In this type of drama, it is important that the characters are stripped naked - well, mainly their souls, but bodies too, if need be. Widerberg manages the latter with his son, briefly, but not at all the former. When wanting to protect his son, he actually abandons him - for no other reason than the inhibitions in his own fatherhood. Johan, on the other hand, seems to be prepared to do any sacrifice necessary, to make the movie work.

       I could be wrong. But the impression remains: the student's story never really gets to be told, because he is not allowed to be present, completely.

Stefan Stenudd
9 January 2003

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Click the header to get to the webpage where I present all my books in English. Click an image below to go to that book's page on Amazon (paid link).

Fake Lao Tzu Quotes - Erroneous Tao Te Ching Citations. Book by Stefan Stenudd. Ever Young. Novel by Stefan Stenudd. Sunday Brunch with the World Maker. Novel by Stefan Stenudd.
All's End. Science fiction novel by Stefan Stenudd. Tao Te Ching - The Taoism of Lao Tzu Explained. Book by Stefan Stenudd. Tao Quotes - The Ancient Wisdom of the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu. Book by Stefan Stenudd.
Cosmos of the Ancients. Book by Stefan Stenudd. Aikido Principles. Book by Stefan Stenudd. Attacks in Aikido. Book by Stefan Stenudd.
Aikibatto. Book by Stefan Stenudd. Occasionally I Contemplate Murder. Book by Stefan Stenudd. QI - increase your life energy. Book by Stefan Stenudd.
Life Energy Encyclopedia. Book by Stefan Stenudd. Tarot Unfolded. Book by Stefan Stenudd. Your Health in Your Horoscope. Book by Stefan Stenudd.

About me
I'm a Swedish author of fiction and non-fiction books in both Swedish and English. I'm also an artist, an historian of ideas and a 7 dan Aikikai Shihan aikido instructor. Click the header to read my full bio.