The Man Who Wouldn't Cry
A man tarnishes the company’s reputation when he refuses to mourn the death of a beloved actress and now his professional and social life is put in jeopardy.
Credits / Collaborators / Cast
Director: Emil T. Jonsson
Screenplay: Björn Boström
Story: Stig Dagerman
Sissela Kyle – The Boss
Jonas Ö. Nilsson – Martin
Christoffer Nordenrot – Jockum
Music: Peter Nylander
Animation: Christofer Ahde
Production Design: Olivia Asplund
Sound Design: Niklas Björklund
Editors: Max Arehn, Emil T. Jonsson
Emil T. Jonsson & Björn Boström @ Cine Craft Collective
In collaboration with Light in a Room, Identity Works, Marklund Film
The story behind the film
We read Stig Dagerman’s short story “The Man Who Wouldn’t Cry” (Mannen som inte ville gråta) written in 1947 and were struck by how relevant the text was in our present time. The idea was born to modernize this story about a man who can’t seem to adapt to a hypocritical world with disingenuous social roles.
This project allowed us visit themes close to our hearts, such as group thinking and mob culture, and how it extends into our modern online world. In the background there’s a more universal question: What would you do if you recognized that what the group is doing is wrong?
The main character Martin works as a commercial illustrator and this gave us the idea to mix live action and animation; both to add to the zaniness of the film, but also to limit the number of locations needed for the shoot.
We proceeded to aim high and contacted Sissela Kyle, one of Sweden’s most respected comedic actresses, that we thought would be a perfect fit for the role as the boss; and to our surprise and delight she accepted the part. She said she was looking for a story just like this and mentioned how she really loved our previous short “The Best of Intentions”, a psychological thriller, previously selected at Göteborg Film Festival and Palm Springs ShortFest. Graciously she gave us two shooting days in July and so with that deadline in mind, we went to work with getting this film off the ground.
Here’s where hard work and luck really paid off. Not only did we get access to a fantastic office space at the design agency Identity Works. We also landed a co-producer, Light in a Room, that invested their rental film equipment into the film. This was always for us a low budget shoot, paid out-of-pocket, but several pieces started to fall nicely into place. Everyone seemed genuinely happy to support this film and the vision we both had.
We filled out our cast with great actors like Jonas Österberg Nilsson as the lead, and comedic actor Christoffer Nordenrot in the role of the star employee. The director’s background as an actor also came in handy when we approached a lot of great friends and actors for the supporting parts.
Although stressful and tight on time, the shoot went well. During these four days we also tried to get a lot of the voice recordings and PR material in place as well. Apart from getting the footage we needed, we prioritised getting people home on time and made sure to offer good food. The month of the shoot was Stockholm’s hottest July in decades, yet people worked with a lot of joy. A nice memory is when Stig Dagerman’s daughter Lo visited the set and blessed us and the production with her presence.
Post-production was also a joy, though it took quite some time. The film was ambitious, so a lot of additional adjustments needed to be made in the editing room. This was also the first time we got to work with animation, and we learned a lot about how to communicate the artistic vision and expectations to every film department all throughout.
People came together for the love of a unique story with a pertinent message. Just a month ago we got to pick up our 13th award, Best Nordic Short Film and Best Nordic Short Film Screenplay, at Västerås Film Festival. We’re very proud of the end results and extremely grateful to all the skilled people who worked with us on the film. We hope you help by sharing this film so it can reach far and wide.
Emil & Björn