Produced by Bert Sundberg. Directed, written by Stellan Olsson. Camera (color), Hans Welin; editor, Lasse Lundberg; music, Tomas Elfstadius; production design, Soren Skjaer; costume design, Marianne Lunderquist. Reviewed at Gothenburg Film Festival, Gothenburg, Sweden, Feb. 8, 1994. Running time: 110 MIN.
With: Lars-Erik Berenett, Christian Gortz, Mikael Strandberg, Nina Gunke, Hampus Medin, Cim Meggerle, Johannes Brost, Ernst Gunther, Birgit Carlsten, Jan Malmsjo, Thor Eggers, Anette Bjarlestam, Gerd Hagnell.
Anostalgic look by helmer Stellan Olsson (“Sven Klang’s Combo”) at his own childhood, “Good Night, Irene” appealingly mixes touching humor and dark tragedy. Well told and multilayered, pic is definitely worth a look, and could become a minor hit on the fest and international arthouse circuit.
Olsson’s alter ego, the Man (Lars-Erik Berenett), returns to the small country town Svalov after many years. He walks the streets, takes photographs and recalls his youth. Flashbacks limn the Boy’s (Christian Gortz) story of teenage sexuality and friendship, plus a view of the adult world full of unfaithfulness, greed, jealousy and still-surviving fascist ideals.
Irene of the title is a strange hardtop-owner (Gerd Hagnell), worshipped by madcap inventor Jons (Jan Malmsjo) — two trusting, naive people who fall victim to the evils of the world.