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Poster for Language of Love

Language of Love

Director: Torgny Wickman Run Time: 98 min. Format: Digital Rating: NR Release Year: 1969 Language: Swedish with English subtitles

Starring:  Maj-Brith Bergström-Walan,  Sten Hegeler,  Sture Cullhed, Inge Hegeler

Our 2015 Nitehawk Naughties program begins with a Valentine’s screening of the infamous Swedish educational sex film, LANGUAGE OF LOVE.

Whether or not its intentions were to excite audiences, Torgny Wickman’s 1969 educational sex film Language of Love (Ur kärlekens språk) marks a groundbreaking moment in erotic cinema. Based on the book The ABZ’s of Love by Inge and Sten Hegeler, the film centers around discussions by (s)experts Inge and Sten Hegeler, Maj-Brith Bergstroem-Walan and Sture Cullhed. Their theories are then illustrated by the acts of “non professionals” through the usage of split screens and multiple camera angles.

While Language of Love may be best known today for its inclusion in Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver, it should be acknowledged for its frank representation of sex’s role in society, culture, and in the home. Considered to be the prototype for hardcore pornography, it’s one the first commercial features to show intercourse on the screen, tackle taboos, provoke heated debates and challenge international censorship laws. It wasn’t released in the U.S. until 1971 and rumor even has it that Swedish censor boss Erik Skoglund saw it twice and then had to take three days off! Hopefully you won’t have to do the same.

Part of the Nitehawk Naughties SCANDINAVIAN EROTIC CINEMA program.