In the middle of Sweden lies Enviken, a village of 1’800 inhabitants. Set besides a small lake, with its numerous red houses, it doesn’t look at first different from any other typical swedish towns. But walking down its few streets, it is of no surprise to see passing by an old 50’s model Cadillac, or bumping into a James Dean or Buddy Holly lookalike.
There exists in Enviken a strong nostalgia for 1950’s americana, and since the 1970’s, it has been the birth place of many modern and nationally (or internationally for some) successful Rockabilly bands. Numerous of its inhabitants have adopted a 1950’s style, the men’s hair greased backwards, the women sporting elaborate hairstyles and colorful dresses.
The people of Enviken have always done their own thing, their passion for the 1950’s is not a passing fashion, but something they believe in strongly. It is in this spirit that new generations are keeping this unique way of life alive, and that the town has seen the emergence of new and young Rockabilly bands.
One of these bands is Little Andrew and the Rhythm Boys. It’s five members, Robin, Victor, Andreas, Tobias and Fred, are all between 16 and 20 of age. This passion for rockabilly and the 50s has often been passed on from their families. They are getting ready to record their first full album, and will be going on tour in Sweden during the summer of 2011.
Rockin’ in the North will explore Enviken and its people. We will learn about the origins, meaning and future of this particular passion, through interviews with key members of the town& 39;s Rockabilly history. Parallel to this, the documentary will follow Little Andrew and the Rhythm Boys as they tour around Sweden. We will see them on the road, as they practice or play on stage, and see that this passion and strong nostalgia for another era is very much alive today.
In a place where a strong nostalgia for the past has been passed on from generation to generation, what does the future hold for such a way of life?
The idea for Rockin’ in the North originated with one picture by swedish photographer Asa Sjöström, that I saw in an issue of National Geographic. The caption mentioned a place, Enviken, where exists a “strong nostalgia for 1950’s Americana”. I was very intrigued by this idea of a place stuck in time and did some research on the town.
While researching the idea, I came across the band Little Andrew and the Rhythm Boys, and contacted them. From there, I organised a research trip to Enviken in January 2011, coinciding with a concert the band was giving. Having already worked with historical re-enactors on various projects during my studies, I quickly discovered during my trip to Enviken that this was not about re-enactment, but about a real lifestyle. Though the whole town is not stuck in time, many of the people have that passion or obsession for the American 1950s. They go to school, to work, or shopping in their colorfoul 1950’s clothes and elaborate hairstyles.
From my week spent in Enviken, I learned that some of the older members of this Rockabilly movement are not always very open when it comes to talking about the Rockabilly in Enviken. Either because they don’t want to be part of a “freakshow”, or because of the way the town and its people have been presented previously, this Rockabilly passion can be a tricky subject. I have already met and been in touch with a few, who are happy to take part in the film. Their stories and views on their culture will be invaluable and crucial to a good understanding of what Enviken is all about.
It is during that research trip that I shot the footage included in the attached trailer, and took a fair amount of pictures, a few of which you can find with this pitch.
With a place like Enviken, it would be very easy to fall in a nice & clean stylistic exercise (as it has been done before) with all these historical elements around. But it is very important that this film is as authentic as possible. This passion for the 1950’s is fascinating, and can be enjoyable, but it might also have it’s downside. Passion and obsession sometimes get mixed up, and I am not afraid to deal with this if the issue arises during the shooting. I do not wish to present sketches of the people, cardboard cutouts dressed in 1950s clothes.
This 26-minute documentary will be shot over three weeks, this summer. The money invested will serve to pay for travel and lodging for three people in Sweden. It will be used for car and equipment rental, as well as the salaries of the various crew members, not yet including any post-production.
Director / Producer: Fabiano D& 39;Amato
D.O.P / Ass. Producer: Thomas Nicholson
Prod Assistant / Translator: Ola Rutz
Editor: Julien Wey
Sound Mixer: Alfred Boutay
Poster designed by : John Wilkinson
For any questions, don& 39;t hesitate to contact me at: email@example.com
Thank you for your support!