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The Man from the Third Row: Hasse Ekman, Swedish Cinema and the Long Shadow of Ingmar Bergman

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The Man from the Third Row

Hasse Ekman, Swedish Cinema and the Long Shadow of Ingmar Bergman

Fredrik Gustafsson

176 pages, 4 illus., filmography, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78533-250-0 $135.00/£99.00 / Hb / Published (October 2016)

ISBN  978-1-78533-286-9 $29.95/£23.95 / Pb / Published (October 2016)

eISBN 978-1-78533-251-7 eBook

View CartYour country: - edit Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format)Recommend to your LibraryAvailable in GOBI®


“The publication is a refreshing addition to cinema shelves for it also contributes to the discourse of authorship, and provides much need international articulation of the history of Swedish cinema.” • Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television

“The book has much to offer, providing the reader with insight not only into Ekman and his films but also Swedish cinema more generally. That said, given the attempt to distance Ekman from Bergman, there is some irony that The Man from the Third Row is also fascinating for anyone interested in the latter… Indeed, discussions of the open rivalry between the two are among the most exciting aspects of Gustafsson’s book.” • Studies in European Cinema

“…a much needed, well-written and informative overview of an under-researched filmmaker" • Flm

“Fredrik Gustafsson has given the enormously talented Swedish writer-director Hasse Ekman the English-language critical study and international exposure he has long deserved. This revelatory book not only reclaims an overlooked European auteur, but also compellingly establishes the 1940s as one of the most essential decades in the Swedish film canon.” • Arne Lunde, University of California, Los Angeles

“Gustafsson's comprehensive study of the consummate film artist Hasse Ekman casts a new light on Swedish cinema. Combining auteur study with an encyclopedic knowledge of 20th century film culture, Gustafsson places the little known Ekman at the crossroads of new cinema developments in Sweden and beyond.  An original and fundamental study.” • Robert Burgoyne, University of St. Andrews


Until his early retirement at age 50, Hasse Ekman was one of the leading lights of Swedish cinema, an actor, writer, and director of prodigious talents. Yet today his work is virtually unknown outside of Sweden, eclipsed by the filmography of his occasional collaborator (and frequent rival) Ingmar Bergman. This comprehensive introduction—the first ever in English—follows Ekman’s career from his  early days as a film journalist, through landmark films such as Girl with Hyacinths (1950), to his retirement amid exhaustion and disillusionment. Combining historical context with insightful analyses of Ekman’s styles and themes, this long overdue study considerably enriches our understanding of Swedish film history.

Fredrik Gustafsson works at the library at the Swedish Film Institute and teaches film history at Örebro University, Sweden. He holds a doctorate in film studies from the University of St. Andrews. He also has programmed numerous Bergman and Ekman retrospectives around the world, writes regularly for La Furia Umana, and blogs at

Subject: Film and Television Studies
Area: Northern Europe


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