Friday, 26 November 2010


Writer: Vilgot Sjöman
Τitle: I Was Curious
Subtitle: Diary of the making of a film
Translated from the Swedish by Alan Blair
First Printing
Place of Publication: New York
Publisher: Grove Press, Inc.
Year of Publication: 1968
Format: 142x208mm
Pages: 217
Illustrations: 23 black and white plates and pictures by Kenneth Skogsberg, Peter Webster, and Raymond Lundberg
Binding: Boards in duotone dust jacket
Weight: 428gr.
Price: USD 5.95
Entry No.: 2009075
Entry Date: 15th January 2009


Early in 1966, Swedish filmmaker Vilgot Sjöman began to formulate an idea for a film that would be a portrait of Sweden in the late sixties, and would particularly reflect the social, political, and sexual problems of today’s youth. The idea was realized in his now controversial film I Am Curious –Yellow. The film has been hailed by critics as one of the most significant of recent years, and yet it is presently banned in the United States.

Sjöman conceived of the film as a kaleidoscopic portrait rather than as a simple story. He planned to combine documentary sections with feature film, studio and location shots, to use both professional actors and amateurs, to form an acting and production troupe totally involved in the project.

The focal point of the film is a young girl, Lena Nyman, who is curious about everything and is struggling to understand herself and the world about her by asking questions and collecting a vast array of miscellaneous materials. She conducts her own interviews and experiments to learn the attitudes people have toward the Swedish social structure, non-violence, and sex. Through her curiosity, the film explores these areas.

I Was Curious
is the account of the making of this film. It is too a kaleidoscopic, as flashbacks have been inserted and dates have been shuffled to juxtapose what had been planned with the actual outcome. In effect, the diary presents the preparation for the film, the filming itself, and reflections on the result―frequently outside of chronological order.

The diary not only describes technical problems and solutions, but it is also a close account of the personal interrelationship of director, actors, technicians, film editor, and friends. The totality of their reactions also becomes woven into the film about making a film―a mixture of actuality and a planned production―which is achieved through improvisation. Thus I Was Curious follows this small group through the entire process of making a 3½ hour film, which was begun in 1966 and finished in 1967, and ultimately became two parallel versions. I Am Curious―Yellow was seized by U.S. Customs. The censorship was upheld in the U.S. District Court and is now being appealed. I Am Curious―Blue is being shown in Sweden, but has not yet come to the United States.

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