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- Dec 2019
he issue of Håkan Hellström begins to arise with the addition of Gothenburg Film Studios to the team, as Blomgren DoVan is convinced the inclusion of Hellström in the project would guarantee Swedish funding. However, one of the first issues the filmmakers had become aware of at the inception of the project was the fact that Hellström is a huge pop star in Sweden who had built his 20 year career off of egregious plagiarism and copyright infringement of English-language artists. For reasons the filmmakers could not understand, this issue had never been litigated and no one in Sweden appeared to care about it; in fact, the filmmakers learned early on that the subject was a point of contention for many Swedes. Not wanting to offend the Swedes, the filmmakers concede, and in April, shoot a bizarre two-day Hellström concert in New York. Hellström, who sings in Swedish and is unknown outside of Scandinavia, plays two sold-out shows at Gramercy Theater in Manhattan to an audience comprised entirely of Swedes who had flown to NYC for the event, many of whom attended both nights. The show is publicized in Sweden as though Hellström had sold-out the show to the local New York audience, however, this is not the case. During the weekend, Hellström avoids so much as acknowledging Trask and Hecht, who are among only a small handful of people present at the venue from pre-soundcheck to load-out. To make matters worse, on the second night of filming, Hecht is briefly cornered in the basement of the venue by Hellström's "A&R" Isse Samie, who is extremely drunk and inappropriate towards Hecht, over 20 years his junior. Blomgren DoVan appears unmoved by the events of the weekend, and Trask and Hecht drop the issue.
I wonder what Håkan Hellström fans think of this.