Sweden’s Way Out West festival delivers a hot music line-up and packed film screenings.
It’s rare when a day at a film festival ends after 3am in a club watching the wonderfully named Pissed Jeans play their incendiary brand of face-melting punk rock to a packed and moshing festival crowd.
But Gothenburg’s Way Out West offers a unique mix, combining a music festival in the city’s Slottsskogen park and at clubs around town with film screenings and events.
The film section – added to the festival in 2011 – shows around 30 titles and while these aren’t all music films, the Way Out West crowd packed out screenings of titles like Shane Meadows’ Made Of Stone and Strom At Folket, a documentary about the history of Swedish electronic music edited at 120 beats per minute.
The film crowd was just as excited about the music on offer. The East star Alexander Skarsgard said he was heading to see The Knife on Friday night, and that experimental Swedish electronica act seemed particularly popular among film attendees.
Pissed Jeans aside, a particular favourite for Screen was a Thursday night show by These New Puritans in Gothenburg’s imposing Annedalskyrkan church. With the band performing under a huge floor-lit model of Christ on the cross, it was a particularly atmospheric show.
Another impressive musical event was a surprise performance by Edda Magnason with a small jazz band at an industry party on Saturday. The star of the forthcoming Waltz For Monica, in which she plays the Swedish jazz legend, Magnason performed songs sung by Zetterlund, impressing the Swedish crowd that had grown up with the singer’s voice.
An experimental VJ studio at the Gothenburg Film Studios explored the music and visuals, with directors and visual artists mixing live music videos while attendees danced. Directors choosing the videos included Martin De Thurah and Andreas Nilsson.
Head of film programming Svante Tidholm, who has overseen the film section since its introduction in 2011, says he would like to expand the event as a crossover space between the two worlds.
“I still want to be unpredictable,” Tidholm said. I don’t want anyone to know what kind of films there would be here. That’s how we work with music too.”