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Report from Sam Mendes visiting Stockholm Film Festival

By: Anders Frejdh
Sam Mendes Stockholm Visionary Award 2022
The delightful British theatre and film director Sam Mendes visited Stockholm on 11th November 2022 to receive the Visionary Award at this year's Stockholm International Film Festival. After meeting the press earlier in the day, he attended a Face2Face event at Cinema Skandia (moderated by film critic Jakob Åsell) ahead of a preview screening of his latest film, Empire of Light.

From Sweden with Love graciously received an invitation to attend the press conference with Sam Mendes at Hotel Diplomat in central Stockholm. The wonderful director was in a good mood throughout the conference and spoke openly about his career.

Sam Mendes, Stockholm, press conference
Sam Mendes during the press conference in Stockholm, November 11, 2022. Photo by Cawa Media. All rights reserved.

Yours truly asked him if, in retrospect, he'd change anything in the two James Bond movies he directed (Skyfall and Spectre). Sam spontaneously said, “I wouldn't have started Spectre without a script. I loved the first half of Spectre but it starts to faulter when it doesn't quite know where it's heading. I would have loved to have a third act. No good movie can be made if you don't know where it's heading.”

He also pointed out the good things that happened during the pre-production of Skyfall, for example the nine month delay due to MGM's financial difficulties, which opened up the opportunity to improve the script “even if we weren't allowed to work on the movie”.

On the other side, he mentioned that Spectre strongly affected his way of approaching his work on 1917 (2019) which, in our opinion, is another great movie from the talented director with a solid resume on the big screen.

Furthermore, he seemed very happy to be back in Stockholm (clearly a big fan of Ingmar Bergman and his work) and was looking forward to returning in the future.

My review of Empire of Light? No doubt another solid and well-made film from Sir Sam!

Watch the Face2Face interview with Sam Mendes in Stockholm on 11 November 2022

With special thanks to Peter Lulle Johansson of Cawa Media and Angela Ljungblad, the festival's Head of Press.

For more information about the Stockholm International Film Festival, visit the official website.

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