Tag Archives: Swedes

BE KIND REWIND: A History of Sweded Film

Be Kind Rewind (2008) was written and directed by French filmmaker Michel Gondry. It’s a movie about the dawn of the DVD and a VHS video rental employee’s attempt to thwart off the digital competition by creating his own versions of popular movies. This practice is known as “Sweding.”

It was panned by critics.

“It’s the kind of amusing film you can wait to see on DVD,” said Roger Ebert in a 2008 review.

Be Kind Rewind currently sports a 65% fresh rating on rotten tomatoes and 6.4 on IMDB.

A colossal box office flop. The film only reeled in four million opening weekend.

Dave Chappelle was supposed to play the main character, who is instead played by Mos Def.

Chappelle’s Block Party documentary in 2005, apparently inspired the film’s urban setting, though the idea was one Gondry had envisioned for years prior.

In an interview with avclub.com in 2008, Gondry said: “Chappelle was intrigued, interested in this project for a while, and he mentioned a couple of films that we did remake: Driving Miss DaisyRush Hour 2, that was his idea… Boyz N The Hood as well.”

Enlisting Dave Chappelle would have made a difference at the box office. Nevertheless, the legacy of Sweding has lived on.

Four years after the film was released, people are still cranking out Sweded films. Including this Casino Royale Gem.

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Filed under 3 Tinseltown Tuesday, The Big Screen

Best headline ever: Belarus expels Sweden’s envoy after teddy bear incident

The nation of Belarus, a leftover from the old Soviet Union, is all upset and in therapy because Swedish democracy activist types organized an invasion of paratrooper teddy bears, each one bearing a message of peace and human rights and such.

Here’s the story: Belarus expels Sweden’s envoy after teddy bear incident

Have you heard of a better prank? Putting a bunch of Crazy Glue on the toilet seat doesn’t compare.

Another headline: Belarus admits air invasion by teddy bears

Is there video? Oh yes.

Teddy Bear paratrooper people of Sweden, I salute your creativity and courage. Belarus could have scrambled MiG‘s to shoot you out of the sky. But no, you flew low and steady, allowing the brave teddy bear paratroopers to successfully deploy their chutes and accomplish their mission of peace and tolerance. Well done.


This is Guy Bergstrom the writer, not the Guy Bergstrom in Stockholm or the guy in Minnesota who sells real estate or whatever. Separate guys. Kthxbai.

Guy Bergstrom. Photo by Suhyoon Cho.

Reformed journalist. Scribbler of speeches and whatnot. Wrote a thriller that won some award (PNWA 2013). Represented by Jill Marr of the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency.


Filed under 5 Random Thursday, Animals, monsters and monstrous animals, Journalism, publicity and scandals, Muffin chokers