Journal Article

‘Battleship Femininity’ deconstructed: Unmasking the myth of Eva Dahlbeck and Ingmar Bergman

Publication

Abstract

The Swedish film star Eva Dahlbeck (1920–2008) is now remembered mainly for her contributions to Ingmar Bergman’s comedies in the 1950s. The epithet ‘Pansarskeppet kvinnligheten’ (‘Battleship Femininity’), allegedly given to her by the director, has integrated her stardom into the myth-making process driven by Bergman and the press. This can erroneously give him sole credit for Dahlbeck’s fame despite her already established star status. To reconsider such an auteurist misconception, this article examines Dahlbeck’s stardom from 1946 to 1956, drawing on Richard Dyer’s seminal theorization of a film star as a media construction. By analysing Dahlbeck’s star image and its relationship to three characters she plays in Bergman’s films, the article situates these films in the dynamics formed by diverse media texts and elucidates their historical and cultural context while also providing a case study of film stardom in post-war Sweden.

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Details

  • Type:
    Journal Article (peer reviewed)
  • Journal:
    Journal of Scandinavian Cinema, Vol 11, Issue 2.
  • Pages:
    217-234
  • Published:
    2021
  • Language:
    English
  • DOI:

About the Author

Saki Kobayashi

Saki Kobayashi is a PhD candidate in Cinema Studies at the Department of Media Studies. She holds BA in Language and Culture from Osaka University and MA in Cinema Studies from Stockholm University. Read more

Reference

Kobayashi, S. (2021). ‘Battleship Femininity’ deconstructed: Unmasking the myth of Eva Dahlbeck and Ingmar Bergman. Journal of Scandinavian Cinema, 11(2), pp. 217-234. Available at: https://www-ingentaconnect-com.ezp.sub.su.se/content/intellect/jsca [Accessed 9 Dec. 2021]. doi: https://doi.org/10.1386/jsca_00049_1.