“Pansarskeppet kvinnligheten” deconstructed : A study of Eva Dahlbeck’s stardom in the intersection between Swedish post-war popular film culture and the auteur Ingmar Bergman
Sammanfattning: Eva Dahlbeck was one of Sweden’s most respected and popular actresses from the 1940s to the 1960s and is now remembered for her work with Ingmar Bergman, who allegedly nicknamed her “Pansarskeppet kvinnligheten” (“H.M.S. Femininity”). However, Dahlbeck had already established herself as a star long before her collaborations with Bergman. The popularity of Bergman’s three comedies (Waiting Women (Kvinnors väntan, 1952), A Lesson in Love (En lektion i kärlek, 1954), and Smiles of a Summer Night (Sommarnattens leende, 1955)) suggests that they catered to the Swedish audience’s desire to see the star Dahlbeck. To explore the interrelation between Swedish post-war popular film culture and the auteur Bergman, this thesis examines the stardom of Dahlbeck, who can, as inter-texts between various films, bridge the gap between popular film and auteur film. Focusing on the decade from 1946 to 1956, the process whereby her star image was created, the aspects that constructed it, and its relation to her characters in three Bergman titles will be analysed. In doing so, this thesis will illustrate how the concept “Pansarskeppet kvinnligheten” was interactively constructed by Bergman’s films, the post-war Swedish film industry, and the media discourses which cultivated the star cult as a part of popular culture.
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