Maid in Sweden

All I really have to say about this film is this: Christina Lindberg is a goddess. I could sit and stare at her breasts all day and I don’t think I’d ever get bored. She’s like the Swedish Lolita with just the right air of mystery and allure and all that elusive nymph-like stuff we love. Here, she plays Inga (because we all know that there are no other names for Swedish sex goddesses…), a young girl of about 16—though Lindberg was older at the time, she’s definitely playing younger—who’s coming to visit her sister, Greta (Monica Ekman) who’s living with her boyfriend, Carsten (Krister Ekman). Inga arrives young and innocent, but when she leaves she’s developed a taste for sexual escapades after meeting Bjorn (Leif Naeslund).

This is the second Lindberg film I saw after Anita: Swedish Nymphet. According to Lindberg (in a review available as an extra on the DVD) this was the first film she ever shot and it was completed in a miniscule three weeks, even though most of the films she made took several months. While it starts off quite auspiciously, seeming to offer a solid story with decent characterizations, like many such films it too quickly descends into scene after scene of gratuitous nudity and sex. Not that I’m really complaining, but it certainly falls more on to the cheap, sleazy side of erotica/sexploitation as opposed to the classier side. Anita may not have been a masterpiece, but at least there Christina was playing a character we could care about, and the sexual encounters seemed better integrated into the story.

On the plus side, Maid in Sweden certainly does take every opportunity to ogle Lindberg in various states of undress. The sex is plentiful and, thankfully, quite varied. Occasionally it’s done quite well, especially the scenes between Inga and Bjorn, but just as often it seems wholly arbitrary. Things especially get bad towards the end where it seems like the filmmakers said “Uh-oh, we’re getting toward the end: we must cram as much sex and nudity in the film before it’s over!” There’s no less than three such scenes, all very bad, jammed right up next to each other within the space of about 10-15 minutes. The final one is especially bad in that it has Carsten, who’s done nothing but be an annoying douchebag throughout the entire film, jumping Inga while she’s in the bath.

The best of the lot is probably a scene in which Inga finds her sister and Carsten having sex in the next bedroom over. This triggers some bizarre, nightmare-like memories before she wakes up and begins pleasuring herself. The entire sequence takes on the quality of a wet dream, and it’s a neat moment of well-done erotica in a film that’s, on the whole, not well done. One has to especially giggle at the late-60s hippie soundtrack which is, like, so grooovy maaaan… or, well, more like cheesetastic in a delightful sort of way. Although the song that accompanies the dance scene actually is quite good and catchy.

Anyway, according to Christina she must have made 25 films in a span of three years throughout this period, and I can’t help but think what a tragedy it is that the vast majority don’t seem to even exist—certainly not in any readily viewable format, anyway. We’re not left with much, and most of what’s left is films where Lindberg has minor parts. It’s a shame because if she had been in her prime today, everything she made would be flooding the internet. I could easily imagine her being a star for a site like Met-Art, for example. But I guess we’ll have to make do with the paltry amount that’s left.

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About Jonathan Henderson
I'm a dedicated aesthete that's been fascinated with the arts since I was in my early teens. At 13 I saw my first foreign film, which ignited my passion for world cinema. I also discovered the enormous world of music out there and fell in love with everything from death metal to classical. My love for literature has especially grown in recent years, and I've taken up writing (and working really hard at) poetry. But over the past 12 years I've probably taken to film criticism more than anything, and seeing Neon Genesis Evangelion reignited my love for the arts (especially film) and took it to an even higher level. Now I write film reviews for two sites, including this one and Cinelogue. I play poker professionally, and while the world of arts and poker don't seem to converge much, I have taken the deductive and inductive logic that poker requires and attempted to apply it to all the arts as well as my criticism in an attempt to get past the jellybean syndrome ("I like blue jellybeans, you don't, and that's all we can say.").

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