Alva Lundin was an artist who was employed by Svensk Filmindustri to design the intertitles for Sir Arne’s Treasure (Herr Arnes pengar) in 1919. The following year, with her elegant text vignettes for the intertitles of Mauritz Stiller’s Bonds That Chafe (Erotikon, US title: Just Like a Man), she contributed to the film’s reputation and status as a classic among modern ironic romantic comedies. She continued to work for SF as the designer of intertitles and title sequences, becoming one of the most prolific yet least widely known film workers in Swedish film history. With the advent of the talkies, title sequences became more streamlined and genre-specific, reducing the artistic scope for their designers. Title sequences were generally drawn using graceful type on cardboard which were over-toned or rolled downwards, and Alva Lundin’s sequences often followed this formula.
During the 1940s title sequences began to leave the cardboard behind and designers were given greater artistic freedom. This can be seen, for example, in Hasse Ekman’s Banketten (‘The Banquet,’ 1948) and in Ingmar Bergman’s Thirst (Törst, 1949) in which the title sequences are superimposed directly over a moving image. Sometimes the title sequence could also create a commentary for the film to come, as in Alf Sjöberg’s Miss Julie (Fröken Julie, 1951).
Alva Lundin has been called the “Nestor of Swedish film calligraphers” and she worked with virtually all the directors who were active during the heyday of the studios. She was also engaged by most of the film companies active at the time, such as Terrafilm, Sandrews and Nordisk Tonefilm. She was extremely prolific between 1919 and 1960, creating the title sequences for nearly 500 feature films, plus a considerable number of information and documentary films. Alva Lundin’s impressive CV includes most of the classics of Swedish film, such as Gustaf Molander’s En stilla flirt (‘A Little Flirt,’ 1934) and Intermezzo (1936), Gustaf Edgren’s Sunshine Follows Rain (Driver dagg, faller regn, 1946), Hasse Ekman’s Fram för lilla Märta (‘Put Little Märta First,’ 1945) and Girl with Hyacinths (Flicka och hyacinter, 1950), Arne Mattsson’s One Summer of Happiness (Hon dansade en sommar, 1951) and Ingmar Bergman’s Sawdust and Tinsel (Gycklarnas afton, 1953).
Ingmar Bergman, who had a problem with traditional title sequences, only engaged Alva Lundin for four of his feature films, although he did make her responsible for the design for the nine commercial films he made for the Bris soap brand between 1951 and 1953. Lundin’s last work as a title sequence designer came in 1960 with the short film Nybyggarna i Faxälven (‘The Settlers in Faxälven’), a documentary about the beaver population of the northern Swedish province of Ångermanland.
Mikaela Kindblom (2011)
(translated by Derek Jones)
Main profession: Other profession
Över 500 filmer, här listas de som nämns i den biografiska texten.
En stilla flirt (1934)
Fram för lilla Märta (1945)
Driver dagg faller regn (1946)
Flicka och hyacinter (1950)
Fröken Julie (1951)
Hon dansade en sommar (1951)
Gycklarnas afton (1953)
Herr Arnes pengar (1919)
Boman på utställningen (1923)
Gösta Berlings saga/del I (1924)
Gösta Berlings saga/del II (1924)
Damen med kameliorna (1925)
Flickan i frack (1926)
Drottningen av Pellagonien (1927)
Hans Kungl. Höghet shinglar (1928)
Svarte Rudolf (1928)
Ådalens poesi (1928)
Rågens rike (1929)
Charlotte Löwensköld (1930)
Filmer med förtexter av Alva Lundin