Friday, February 22, 2013

Stockholm Sex Report

Stockholm Sex Report
Original title: Rapport från Stockholms sexträsk
Directed by: Arne Brandhild
Sweden, 1974
Documentary/Mondo, 69 min
Distributed by: Klub Super 8

Mondo fans rejoice! You may know about Luigi Scattini’s Svezia, inferno e paradiso (Sweden: Heaven and Hell) 1968, but you have probably never seen Rapport från Stockholms sexträsk (Stockholm Sex Report), a smut fest that shows the real Sweden and it’s dirty, sleazy nightclubs, as they where in the early seventies. Just before the self-sanitation and clean up of several sordid areas.
Ok, so in all honesty Stockholm Sex Report was most likely shot with a documentary idea at its heart, but comes off as an exploitative curiosity relying on its sensationalistic content and a truly groovy, vinyl static ridden, soundtrack. It’s basically a series of lurid night club acts (think Bunny Yeager/Irving Klaw acts, but dirtier) where chicks strip down and shake their strut or hairy couples interact on stage, interwoven pseudo documentary footage telling of the many sex clubs in Stockholm, what goes on behind the closed doors, how the businesses are run, and what to expect during a visit. Pornographic comics and magazines are discussed, content and quality wise. Classified ad’s get a chapter and the obligatory tour of sex shops and all their kinky devices on display. There’s an interesting segment of where some geezer – possibly Brandhild - picks up prostitutes, drives them around Stockholm and candidly talks to them about sex trade of the day. The frank conversations become something of a fascinating interview and document of the oldest profession in the world, revealing what the prostitutes feel for their customers, what their ordinary life is like and how they emotionally handle the work. To some extent the narrative tries to give some kind of justification as the hookers come off as happy and content, and well off for dosh. One woman brags about her income and how she’s going to go buy a midnight blue Chrysler with a hard top. It’s possible that the dialogue is bogus and was written by Brandhild, but it’s certainly sleazy fare and one can only fantasize what a full fledged exploitation, or Swedish Sin film as they where to become know as, from Brandhild’s pen would have been like.
Arne Brandhild was a man of many talents. He was first and foremost a cinematographer who lensed stuff like Torgny Wickman’s Inkräktarna (The Intruders) 1975 and Ta Mig I Dalen (Girl on her Knees 1977 – both available from Klub Super 8), Ragnar Frisk and the Mats Helge Olsson produced Attentatet (Outrage 1980, which starred Christina Lindberg in one of her last roles before her twenty year absence from theatre screens).  He also edited several films for Mats Helge Olsson and Ragnar Frisk. But it didn’t stop there, he also wrote the script to Claes Fellbom’s Agent 0,5 och Kvarten – fattaruväl! But if’s mainly Brandhild’s camerawork and self made short films that make up his legacy if we where to designate him with one. There’s no real record of the amount of shorts he shot, but some of them are still around, and even one of them – Girlography, a 14 min short from 1986 where Brandhild cruises from inner city to archipelago of Stockholm checking out the chicks and sights – is included as a bonus on this release…
…and talking bonuses, holy fucking sleazebag, this disc is a treasure chest of filth, musky odours and sexy dancing. Funny loops, seedy reels and even a randy documentation of the nightclub show at the sex club Chat Noir. The short “Where the Action Is” was a strange souvenir film available to buy in the establishment after spending the evening watching live acts, stripteases and corny magicians to take home and watch at your own leisure. With this release you get Where the Action is a couple of Danish and Swedish stag loops, facsimiles of gentleman magazines of the time, an interactive map of the smut parlours of Stockholm, and the hilarious, Nana’s Christmas Cabaret, where strippers and nightclub dwellers sing Swedish Christmas carols.
Out now in Sweden, Rapport från Stockholms sexträsk (with a cover designed by yours truly) is obligatory viewing for Swedish sin and Mondo fans, or even those perversely curious to what really went on in the seedy underbelly of beautiful Stockholm in the seventies. English Subtitles in English are optional on this release, as they are on KlubSuper8’s other titles in this batch; Gunnar Höglund’s Vill så gärna tro (Want So Much to Believe) 1971 and a double shot of Mac Alhberg, Molly – Familjeflickan (Sex in Sweden) 1977 and Jag en Markis (The Reluctant Sadist) 1967.

As the tagline states: “Reveals all, shows all!” Get it here!

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