Last Sunday, ten days before Christmas, the Filmstaden arranged their annual Christmas market. I was there. Perhaps you wonder why?
Filmstaden is the old studio where Swedish films were produced from 1920-1970. Greta Garbo and Ingrid Bergman began their careers here. The film industry moved elsewhere in the late 1960s and today a foundation is taking care of the few surviving buildings. They arrange guided tours, screening, talks on film history, etc. There is still a movie theatre, and a nice café and two restaurants. Below is the famous gate, gatehouse and the smaller studio.
It was filmed here in 1924 starring a young Greta Garbo. The dramatic story is set in the 1820s in the western part of the country, near Norway, where lavish country houses and manors are tucked away in the dark woods. A defrocked but dashing clergyman (!) causes great commotion among the local gentry, especially the ladies. The film was a huge success and Ms Garbo left for Hollywood. Watch a clip here:
Back to us. The organizer wanted to highlight the film and invited us to help create the right atmosphere. Regency/Empire-era christmas fairs don´t happen very often in Sweden, so naturally I wanted to be there. I met up with Helena, who creates costumes from different eras. She was very elegant in a green pelisse with matching beret. Our base was a gorgeous sleigh which offered a good backdrop for photographing. Alas, the horse was as fake as the snow… But there were real horses too, and an open carriage, for those who wanted to take a tour. We got many questions about our clothes. We costumers like that, don´t we? The Swedish public was as always ever so ignorant about fashions from this era. But when you say “Jane Austen” they get it.