Loving Life Blog

Spur of the Moment Reflections

Here is Your Life March 6, 2010

I came back from another movie by Jan Troell last night. The Spirit Awards that took place in Los Angeles had nominated the previous film I saw, “Everlasting Moments” for “Best Foreign film” – but Jan Troell himself was present with us in San Rafael.

The movie “Here is your life” (1966), taking place in the early 20th century was based on Eyvind Johnson’s semi-bioautographical books. The film was mainly in black and white and almost 3 hours long, with a built in 10 minutes break. Here are three things that stood out for me in the movie:

1) Business practice reminder. Olof, 16, was about to bike away to set up posters for the next movie at the Cinema graphic Theatre – the owner leans out the window and shouts, “The life of the nation is business! I want you to wear tie – remember that you represent the business.”

Not only is it important that you make sure your employees/colleagues have the same values and represent the company in a unified way – ultimately, you would also want to make sure that your 3rd parties represent the same values. That stroke me earlier this week when I went to yoga. Stressed from not finding parking and eventually finding out about the deal the yoga studio have with a garage close by, I pull up by the entrance to get a ticket by the gatekeeper. That man said “Welcome to your yoga practice” in a way and with a warm smile, so that I felt as if I had already come to the yoga studio. Brilliant. I’d be happy to park there again.

2) Make the Dream significant. As a special effect in the movie, there was a reoccurring sequence of a flying bird with a colored background, which gave a contrast to the otherwise black and white picture. In the Q&A Jan Troell gave the explanation why. The color was a symbol for the dream; the bird was a symbol for Olof’s longing for a new life and freedom; for this boy becoming an author or writer.

Intentional dreaming is powerful. Eyvin Johnson grew up from the working class up north, to receiving the Nobel price in literature 1974.

3) Freeze the frame. In a bicycle lecture scene John Troell had chosen to include a series of frozen frames. “The expressions in the face of the girl was so fantastic and they would just disappear if you did it the normal way.”

If you experience an extraordinary moment – take some time to freeze the frame and enjoy. Take a photo or a note to self, and make the moment last.

Coming home I researched the result from the Spirit Award and came over an article from New York Times with the below photo. I can’t help believing that there is no coincidence why Jan Troell is here right now. The man behind the masterpieces “The Emigrants,” “The New Land,” “The Flight of the Eagle” based on Vilhelm Moberg’s books. Just days after a conversation with Michael E. Gerber about the above, the Law of Jante in Sweden, and the question: where did the Viking spirit go?

Looking at the photos, I believe there are more things than the hat that the two gentlemen have in common. As the last comment was at the Q&A last night: “Jan Troell brings life [and soul] to the movie, and to us”. I would say: “Michael E. Gerber brings life and soul to business, and to us.”

If I can bring just a little bit of joy and love of [or in – or both?!] life to you – I would be happy. Ultimately, I would love for you to capture your journey. Here is your life.

Stay tuned,
Johanna

Michael E. Gerber - Author to "Awakening the Entrepreneur Within"

Michael E. Gerber, author of The E-myth and Awakening the Entrepreneur Within.

Jan Troell filmin "Everlasting Moments"

Jan Troell filming "Everlasting Moments"

Johanna Nilsson and Michael E. Gerber

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Everlasting Moments March 3, 2010

May I introduce to you, one of the world’s greatest filmmakers: Jan Troell.

That was the beginning of a very impactful experience Saturday evening at The Smith Rafael Film Center in San Rafael, CA. Had I known which treat I was up for, I would have let you know and spread the word ahead of time. And luckily I just realized that there will be a warmly recommended repeat at the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley Thursday night. And more. Check out the above links for details of the complete program.

“Jan Troell is to me a genuine, outstanding genius…an extraordinarily singular, totally original and deeply inspirational director.” Ingmar Bergman (1997)

If I would add to this statement, there are three things that I have learnt about Jan Troell: he is humble, self-taught and his personal favorite among his movies is “The land of dreams” (1988).

Saturday night he said that the reason for the pick of that movie was 1) his daughter Yohanna had the leading role in it at the age of 3.5 and 2) it started as a need to express a feeling at the time being Swedish. In an article in SFGate where he was interviewed last week he said to explain what it was about “I tried to put it in one sentence and it was something like this: “the increasing absence of life in Sweden.” If the state interferes too much with the individual, with the best intentions, it can backfire. That’s to simplify it very much.”

It makes me think of a comment by Michael E Gerber, calling the entrepreneurial spirit in the American population: “We don’t need Obama, just as we didn’t need Bush – we need you”. And you don’t need to have an MBA or a high degree of some sort, to make a difference. Start with what really moves you.

Jan and Agneta Troell at Smith Rafael Film Center, February 27 2010

What made the evening with Jan Troell very special was the beautiful and touching movie, the personal introduction of it, and the presentation of its origination and Q&A together with his wife Agneta. At a deeper level it connected to what is important for me, thoughts about my deceased father’s family’s history that I wish I new more about, and to the product I am about to create. What if you can document your own history as you go? Not only in words and pictures, but also in a way that has structure and supports you in reaching your goals and dreams; and provides you with inspiration from your own progress.

I won’t tell you about the story. To quote Jan Troell: “I never read reviews of movies that I will see. I want to get my own impression. What’s good to know though is the name of it…”

The name is “Everlasting Moments”. And seriously – what if you can create them?

Enjoy,

Johanna

The Cinema of Jan Troell: Sat. through March 6, Smith Rafael Film Center, 1118 Fourth St., San Rafael. Troell will be present at several screenings. (415) 454-1222, links.sfgate.com/ZJEY. Troell will attend a screening of “Everlasting Moments” at 7 p.m. March 4 at the Pacific Film Archive, 2575 Bancroft, Berkeley. (510) 642-1412, bampfa.berkeley.edu.

The film series is organized by the California Film Institute in association with the Swedish Institute, Stockholm, and the Consulate General of Sweden, San Francisco

 

 
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