Cinemateket is part of the Swedish Film Institute and its mission is to make available the collections of the Filminstitute, to vitalize the history of cinema and to enhance the interest of film as an art form.
By curating the film collections of the Swedish Film Institute and presenting it alongside films from other archives and commercial distributors, Cinemateket contributes to a widened knowledge about film history and about film as an art form.
Cinema is part of our collective memory – on a global as well as on a national level. An extended understanding of film history contributes to a more comprehensive understanding of our common history. It offers us the possibility to understand ourselves and our position in life, as well as open up for possibilities to question imagined communities. Cinema, as all other art forms, can demolish accustomed perspectives and make us see and experience the world in new ways. The program of Cinemateket sheds light on parts of film history and offers guidance to it by showing everything from canonized classics to lesser-known films and by placing them within a film historical or societal context.
The collections of the Film Institute are located at Filmhuset in Stockholm, where the general public can explore film history by way of film screenings, literature, posters and still images. A section of the program screeened at Filmhuset is also screened at Capitol in Gothenburg and at Spegeln in Malmö.
The Swedish Film Institute is a member of FIAF, Fédération Internationale des Archives du Film. FIAF is an international federation of film archives and cinematheques with a shared mission to preserve and make accessible the global film heritage. FIAF had four members when it was founded, and today it has more than 170 member from 75 different countries. Through FIAF, Cinemateket has indispensable access to films from other archives – and other cinematheques can also borrow material from our own rich archives. Read more at fiafnet.org.
Number of screenings:
About 400 a year in Stockholm.
About 60 a year in Gothenburg.
About 30 a year in Malmö.
An international matter
The Swedish Film Institute is a member of FIAF, Fédération Internationale des Archives du Film – the International Federation of Film Archives and cinematheques which aims to preserve the global film heritage and make it accessible. When FIAF was founded in 1938 there were four institutional members, whereas today there are more than 150 members from 77 countries. FIAF gives the Swedish Film Institute’s Cinematheque vital access to the world’s most important film collections – and foreign cinematheques too can enjoy our extensive archival film collections.
The Swedish Film Institute was founded in 1963 and the Cinematheque, or Film Club as it was called at the time, was formed a year later. The very first film screened was The Circus by Charlie Chaplin, requested by Ingmar Bergman.
It all started in 1933, when the Svenska Filmsamfundet, or ‘Swedish Film Society’, was formed. Its purpose was to rescue the legacy of the silent film era and improve Swedish film.
It organised debates and seminars, awarded grants and prizes, and laid the foundation of what is today the Archival Film Collections: a library and archive for scripts, stills, press cuttings and film copies. In 1940 the Society changed its name to Filmhistoriska samlingarna (‘the Historical Film Collections’).
The Swedish Film Institute was founded in 1963 as a result of Harry Schein’s idea that cinema owners would avoid paying entertainment tax if 10% of box office receipts went on production of Swedish film (the Film Agreement).
The Historical Film Collections were donated to the Film Institute. In September 1964 the Film Institute Film Club, now the Cinematheque, started screening films in room Z of the ABF building on Sveavägen in Stockholm, above the Gyllene Cirkeln jazz club. Films were also screened at Moderna Museet, the Museum of Modern Art.
The Film House opened in 1970. One of the first climate-controlled cooling rooms for storing film was built underneath the building to preserve the film collections.
For the opening programme in September 1964, five Swedish directors were asked to choose three films each. In the presentation Nils-Hugo Geber, the then head of the Archival Film Collections, wrote:
“In its entirety, the programme establishes the divergent guidelines according to which the film club will run its screening activities in the future. As a first example of collaboration between the film club and film artists, the opening programme promises a lot. Everyone who feels a need to follow the silver screen’s eye out into the world and see its visions is welcome to the Film Institute film club.”
The very first film screened at the Film Club was Charlie Chaplin’s The Circus on Tuesday 15 September 1964. Other films included Zero for Conduct by Jean Vigo, Erotikon by Mauritz Stiller and Throne of Blood by Akira Kurosawa.
In Gothenburg, the Cinematheque started in autumn 1967. Once a week, films were shown in one of the lecture rooms at the City Library, and the first one was Norrtullsligan by Gothenburg director Per Lindberg. The first programme focused on Italian Neorealism, Disney, Bulgarian film and politics, among other things.
Not until 1988 did Malmö become a Cinematheque venue. Elia Kazan’s A Streetcar Named Desire was shown on 31 October at Spegeln cinema, and the Malmö Cinematheque has been based there ever since. Several other Marlon Brando movies were shown that autumn, along with films by Jean Renoir, Michelangelo Antonioni and Victor Sjöström.
Victor and Mauritz
We screen films Tuesday to Sunday in our Film House cinemas. Number of seats in Cinema Victor: 350. Number of seats in Cinema Mauritz: 130.
The Film House is located at Borgvägen 1 and 3, at the edge of the Gärdet plain in Stockholm. Bus number 72 or 76 to Filmhuset, number 1 or 4 to Värtavägen, or number 67 to Karlaplan. Metro station: Karlaplan.
The ticket office at the Film House, where you can buy membership cards and tickets to the Film House screenings, opens an hour before the first screening of the day.
Published 16 November 2015