"One Sunday, when I was very young, I discovered that there existed two parallel worlds … It happened when I went to a movie matinee … I never forget crowd's jubilant anticipation, the explosion of air-borne caps, and the loud noise made to honor and hold the precious moment when the lights were dimmed and the curtain opened for a showing of this week's dream. All this at the local movie house, the temple of my childhood."
—Stig Dagerman, Essay, Collected Works 11
Dagerman was early on fascinated by the medium of film. Much of his writing is very visual and often uses cinematic story-telling techniques (like in the short stories To Kill A Child and The Games of Night). As a consequence, many of his works have inspired, and continue to inspire, filmmakers in Sweden and abroad.
"Dagerman has long been one of my favorite writers. To Kill A Child was my directing debut. The short format felt just right, I was not ready to take on a feature based on novels like The Snake or A Burnt Child. I was also fascinated by the dramatugy of this short story, where the terrible but unrevocable ending is known to the reader already while reading the first lines."
Stig Dagerman's life has also been the subject of several documentaries.
Dagerman and Hollywood
Dagerman had a chance to visit Hollywood with his partner Swedish actress Anita Björk, who was offered a contract to work with Alfred Hitchcock. Although the couple established friendships with actors such as Montgomery Clift, they did not much care for life in Los Angeles or the authoritarian atmosphere of studio life, and after some months, they packed their bags to return to Sweden. The precipitating event was that they had a daughter, but were not yet married. Even worse for Hollywood in the early 50s, Stig was not yet divorced from his first wife. When the studio demanded that Stig file for a quick divorce in USA, the couple balked at this intrusion into their privacy and, with no regrets, went back home.
Filmography by Text
DVD still of Automne Allemand '46.
German Autumn (journalism)
- Automne Allemand '46. Documentary film (80 min), France. By Michaël Gaumnitz.
- Tysk höst. TV report from Germany (20 min), Sweden.
To Kill A Child (short story)
- To Kill A Child. Short film, Norway. Krutfilm/Freeshine.
- Att döda ett barn/To Kill A Child. Short film, Sweden, Finland. Directed by Björne Larson and Alexander Skarsgård. Narrated by Stellan Skarsgård. Award-winning.
- Att döda ett barn. Short film (8 min), Sweden. Directed by Gösta Werner. Award-winning.
Cover of The Games of Night, a short film directed by Dan Levy Dagerman.
The Games of Night (short story)
- The Games of Night. Short film (20 min), USA. Directed by Dan Levy Dagerman. Award-winning.
- Nattens lekar. Short film (34 min), Sweden. Directed by Kurt-Olof Sundström.
- Nattens lekar. Short film (17 min), Sweden. Directed by Sten Dahlgren.
Our Need for Consolation Is Insatiable (essay), see Theater, Music, Dance
- Our Need for Consolation. Short film (19 min), Sweden. Directed by Dan Levy Dagerman.
- En liten film om vilka tankar man kan få av att brodera. Short film, Sweden. Directed by Marjo Marthin.
A Burnt Child (novel), see Theater
- L’enfant brûlé. Filmscript by Martin Pierlot, Sofis-Films Sarl, France.
- Bränt barn. Feature film, Sweden. Directed by Hans Abrahamson. Cinematographer: Sven Nyqvist, Minerva Film.
The Shadow of Mart (play), see Theater
- Skuggan av Mart. TV film (75 min), Sweden. Directed by Kurt-Olof Sundström.
- Skuggan av Mart. TV film (80 min), Sweden. Directed by Johan Bergenstråhle.
Birgitta Poems (poetry)
- Birgittasvit. Short film (10 min), Sweden. Directed by Göran du Rees.
The Climber (play), see Theater
- Streber. TV film (120 min), Sweden. Directed by Christian Lund.
The Surprise (short story)
- Överraskningen. TV film (52 min), Sweden. Directed by Georg Oddner.
DVD cover of Ormen (The Snake).
The Day of Judgment (radio play)
- Den yttersta dagen. TV film (75 min), Sweden. Directed by Per Sjöstrand.
The Snake (novel)
- Ormen. Feature film, Sweden. Directed by Hans Abrahamson.
Wedding Worries (novel)
- Bröllopsbesvär. Feature film, Sweden. Directed by Åke Falck.
One More Brother (poem), see Music
- En broder mer. Short film (20 min), Sweden. Algerian refugees in Tunisia. Directed by Jan Troell and Bertil Rubin.
Documentaries about Stig Dagerman
- Stig Dagerman. Documentary (60 min), Sweden. By Anneli Rogeman for "K Special", Swedish TV.
- Dagerman. Documentary (60 min), France. By Pierre Beuchot and Swedish novelist Klas Östergren.
- Stig Dagerman – ett diktarporträtt. Documentary (60 min), Sweden. By Magnus Roselius.