Mitt liv som hund (1985)
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- My Life as a Dog
- 101 min.
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As My Life as a Dog shows, chaos breeds chaos, or so it would seem from the life of Swedish 12-year-old Ingemar, who has a real knack for getting into trouble. At least, while he lives with his mother and brother in a home that's less than nurturing. The mother is clearly overwhelmed, and she's ill to boot. So when Ingemar goes out to live with an aunt and uncle in another town, so as to give his mom a break, he finds order and support he never knew before. And he's at an age where he's becoming interested in sex, and those opportunities open up to him as well. Coming of age movies like to play it older, teenagers coming into adulthood, but My Life as a Dog dares show us the previous coming of age, from childhood to adolescence. All our experiences work to make us who we are, and it fits that part of the setting includes a glassworks, and that a recurring joke is about a man who never stops working on his house's roof. As the title ironically suggests, it's a film about shaping identity, and it includes a very interesting character in Saga, a tomboy who poses as a boy to play soccer, at least as important to the themes of the story as Ingemar is. For him, it's really a question of asking who he is without the chaos. Does he have to be troublesome? Is that just a matter of environment? Or is he stuck with it? A very complex portrait of the end of childhood.
Very touching. Loved the comparisons of the sweet little dog's life (both Laika and Sicken) to life in general and how it helps the child grow up. This is life.
Ingemar got a lot more action than I did at his age; Good movie.
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In 8 official lists
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This movie ranks #23 in Guldbagge Award
This movie ranks #36 in FLM's Best Swedish Films of All Time
This movie ranks #182 in The Criterion Collection
This movie ranks #587 in NY Times' The Essential 1,000 Films to See
This movie ranks #595 in The Guardian's 1000 Films to See Before You Die
This movie ranks #685 in They Shoot Pictures, Don't They?
This movie ranks #700 in UNESCO's Memory of the World: National Cinematic Heritage
This movie ranks #983 in Halliwell's Top 1000: The Ultimate Movie Countdown