Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Indiewire logo
Coming Attractions: 'Boy Meets Girl,' An Unlikely Twist On The Teen Rom-Com Coming Attractions: 'Boy Meets Girl,' An Unlikely Twist On The Teen Rom-Com John Waters Will Show a 'Sequel' to ‘Pink Flamingos’ in January -- Starring Kids John Waters Will Show a 'Sequel' to ‘Pink Flamingos’ in January -- Starring Kids 'Mommy' and Me: Why Xavier Dolan's Film Is This Writer's 'Boyhood' 'Mommy' and Me: Why Xavier Dolan's Film Is This Writer's 'Boyhood' Listen To The Entire Soundtrack For Xavier Dolan's 'Mommy' Listen To The Entire Soundtrack For Xavier Dolan's 'Mommy' The 10 Best Tina Belcher Moments On 'Bob's Burgers' The 10 Best Tina Belcher Moments On 'Bob's Burgers' Let These Wise Words Meryl Streep Lives By Usher You Into September Let These Wise Words Meryl Streep Lives By Usher You Into September The 5 Best Gay and Lesbian Romantic Comedies On Netflix The 5 Best Gay and Lesbian Romantic Comedies On Netflix 14 Films On Netflix To Watch At Your 2014 Pride Party 14 Films On Netflix To Watch At Your 2014 Pride Party Reader's Poll: The 25 Most Important LGBT Television Series Reader's Poll: The 25 Most Important LGBT Television Series 'Game of Thrones,' Sex and HBO: Where Did It Go Wrong For TV's Sexual Pioneers? 'Game of Thrones,' Sex and HBO: Where Did It Go Wrong For TV's Sexual Pioneers? On Zac Efron, Homoeroticism and Gay Pandering: How 'Neighbors' Is The Gayest Studio Movie of the Summer On Zac Efron, Homoeroticism and Gay Pandering: How 'Neighbors' Is The Gayest Studio Movie of the Summer EXCLUSIVE: Actor Daniel Franzese Writes a Touching Coming Out Letter To His Iconic 'Mean Girls' Character Damian EXCLUSIVE: Actor Daniel Franzese Writes a Touching Coming Out Letter To His Iconic 'Mean Girls' Character Damian Amber Heard and Johnny Depp Are Officially Engaged But We Need To Talk About Bisexuality Amber Heard and Johnny Depp Are Officially Engaged But We Need To Talk About Bisexuality Read Sally Field's Impassioned Open Letter About Her Gay Son Read Sally Field's Impassioned Open Letter About Her Gay Son Watch: Travis Mathews' Sexy, Very NSFW Doc 'In Their Room: Berlin' Is Now Streaming Online Watch: Travis Mathews' Sexy, Very NSFW Doc 'In Their Room: Berlin' Is Now Streaming Online Must Watch: Kate McKinnon Gets Naked For Lena Dunham in SNL Promo Must Watch: Kate McKinnon Gets Naked For Lena Dunham in SNL Promo Why Sexy Gay Love Story 'Free Fall' Is Not Just a German 'Brokeback Mountain' Why Sexy Gay Love Story 'Free Fall' Is Not Just a German 'Brokeback Mountain' Watch a Teenage Boy Find a Stack of Gay Porn In Adam Baran's Adorable Short Film 'Jackpot' Watch a Teenage Boy Find a Stack of Gay Porn In Adam Baran's Adorable Short Film 'Jackpot' Ranking the House Down:
 The Queens of RuPaul’s Drag Race, from Worst to Best (Part Six: The Top 10!) Ranking the House Down:
 The Queens of RuPaul’s Drag Race, from Worst to Best (Part Six: The Top 10!) Ranking the House Down:
 The Queens of RuPaul’s Drag Race, from Worst to Best (Part Five) Ranking the House Down:
 The Queens of RuPaul’s Drag Race, from Worst to Best (Part Five)

Rewatching The Queer Canon, Part 1: "Fucking Amal"

Photo of Oliver Skinner By Oliver Skinner | /Bent January 22, 2014 at 10:35AM

"Have you seen Fucking Amal?" was an icebreaker I once used at a shitty part-time job with a new coworker who would go on to become my boyfriend. He was from Sweden and aside from it being an all-time fav of mine I also knew it had been one of his country's highest-grossing films ever. The would-be bf's eyes lit up as he replied "You know Fucking Åmål?" (correcting my mispronunciation), and thus began an extended conversation that ranged from Ingmar Bergman to Ace of Base. But most prominently, we rejoiced with one another in the total utter perfection of the 1998 picture: the house parties, the Broder Daniel soundtrack, the unrequited love… everything a good film essentially needs.
0
Fucking Amal

"Why do we have to live in fucking bloody cock-Åmål?"

"Have you seen Fucking Amal?" was an icebreaker I once used at a shitty part-time job with a new coworker who would go on to become my boyfriend. He was from Sweden and aside from it being an all-time fav of mine I also knew it had been one of his country's highest-grossing films ever. The would-be bf's eyes lit up as he replied "You know Fucking Åmål?" (correcting my mispronunciation), and thus began an extended conversation that ranged from Ingmar Bergman to Ace of Base. But most prominently, we rejoiced with one another in the total utter perfection of the 1998 picture: the house parties, the Broder Daniel soundtrack, the unrequited love… everything a good film essentially needs.

Our movie of joint admiration was Swedish auteur Lukas Moodysson's debut film, following his youthful emergence onto the scene with 5 collections of poetry and a novel. The title had to be altered to 'Show Me Love' for distribution in less-risqué English-speaking markets, yet the film was so popular in its home country that a longtime rumour purported it sold more tickets than the unsinkable 'Titanic'. It dominated the Guldbagge Awards that year where Moodysson boldly took the stage and proclaimed that cinema doesn't belong at the opera (where the awards were held that year), that people shouldn't eat meat, and proceeds to give the middle finger to the attendants. 

Fucking Åmål shows us, in part cinéma vérité style, the dissimilar lives of two schoolgirls living in painful smalltown Sweden. Agnes is that certain breed of outcast with a Morrissey poster on her bedroom wall; her only friend is bound to a wheelchair and all her other classmates either bully her or don't know she exists. She's deeply enamoured with Elin, a popular blonde whose photo Agnes stares at longingly in the school yearbook. Elin is bored to death with the dull routine of life in Åmål and its uninteresting boys. In search of any new experience, one night she drags her sister "as a joke" to a birthday party Agnes' parents are making her throw. It's on that night they fall for each other. 

The film has the slamming of one's head against a school desk moaning "everything is boringgggg", the guzzling of wine straight from the bottle at a trashy party, and the picking one's brain for any pharmaceuticals in the house that could potentially get them high to escape the reality of being destined for all that is superior and magical while being confined to lame teenage existence. There's also a backseat makeout scene set to Foreigner's "I Want To Know What Love Is". Fucking Åmål captures the bittersweet desperation of youth: a tragedy as it's in the midst of occurring yet such a comedy in hindsight. It's a totally endearing love story free of artifice -- with an optimism rare for these sort of flicks. 

Stream Fucking Åmål in its entirety on Netflix.

This article is related to: Rewatching The Queer Canon