Berlin International Film Festival

Pernilla August, director of “A Serious Game” #Berlinale2016

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11 min. and 2 sec.

“A Serious Game” is about the dream of true love

Play Podcast
11 min. and 2 sec.

PODCAST: FRED’s Chiara Nicoletti interviews Pernilla August, director of the film A Serious Game (Den allvarsamma leken) from the 66th Berlinale.

To listen to the interview, click on the ► icon on the right, just above the picture of the film

Director Pernilla August elaborates on the difficulties of adapting a classic novel of the Swedish tradition, titled Den allvarsamma leken. She also talks about how her long.term friendship and collaboration with Ingmar Bergman influenced her directing career, Pernilla says that she learned not to give up on her intuitions.

A SERIOUS GAME (Den allvarsamma leken): Once upon a time Lydia was the innocent girl, the painter’s daughter, the girl that the young promising journalist Arvid fell in love with during a lunch outing on a beautiful island in the Stockholm archipelago. Did he fall for the girl or the idea of pure, untainted love, the idea of love at first sight? The attraction between them is interrupted by the social structures of Stockholm’s society at the turn of the 20th century, restraining them from taking the leap into marriage. And so love slips away. A decade later, they meet when they are both married with children, but the desire takes the upper hand and they end up having an affair. An affair that forces the couple to reflect on the time they’ve spent apart and how it has changed them both. Their affair, their serious game, also comes with unforeseeable consequences in theirs as well as other people’s lives.

Based on the best selling classic novel by Hjalmar Söderberg and set in Stockholm in the beginning of the 20th century, the story about the complex romance between Lydia Stille and journalist Arvid Stjärnblom has touched reader’s hearts for over a century. In the hands of Danish screenwriter Lone Scherfig (Italian For Beginners, An Education, The Riot Club) and director Pernilla August (Beyond) the epic scope of this bittersweet love story has finally been made into a full cinema experience.


  • Reporter
    Chiara Nicoletti
  • Guest
    Pernilla August
  • Interviewee role
  • Film title
    A Serious Game (Den allvarsamma leken)
  • Festival section
    Berlinale Special Gala
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