Livet är en schlager comes back to Sydney: Screw you SBS!

Livet är en Schlager / Once in a Lifetime

Livet är en Schlager / Once in a Lifetime

I am as happy as a pig in shit! I’m so happy I could just shit!

I just found out that there’s a Nordic Film Festival coming up in Sydney next month. And they will be showing ‘Livet är en schlager’ also known as ‘Once in a Lifetime’ in English.

This is a fabulous movie that blew me away at the Sydney Gay Film Festival a few years ago. It’s Swedish and all about Melodifestivalen – the Swedish competition to select their entry for the Eurovision Song Contest. Melodifestivalen is unbelievably huge in Sweden – it’s a television competition that has multiple heats and a huge finale.

Ever since I saw the movie I prayed that SBS TV – Australia’s Multi-Cultural Television channel would show it on Australian TV. After all, it wouldn’t cost them much – the subtitles have already been done and that’s usually a big part of their costs. But did they show it? No, of course not. SBS are shit. They now have TV commercials as well, despite being Government funded. I’ve been hoping the Government cuts them off completely, makes them go fully commercial and they go bankrupt. And I’ll be having a party that day.

47 hours a day of soccer broadcasts mixed with the Russian newscast and 1/2 hour documentaries about peasant life in Kreplochia, that small fishing nation wedged between Estonia and Latvia. Endless French and Chinese movies where everyone ends up either depressed or dead or both. But expecting one life-affirming Swedish comedy to be played? Forget it. And now they’ve cancelled South Park on Monday nights. I hate SBS. It’s like flames on the side of my face….

Anyway, in Livet är en schlager, the lead character Mona is obsessed with Melodifestivalen and schlager music in general. She is a care-worker who looks after a guy with cerebral palsy. He writes the perfect Melodifestivalen tune, she writes the words and enters the song in the competition. And then all hell breaks loose!

This woman is so Melodifestivalen-obsessed, she even named her 4 children after famous Swedish schlager artists: Lena Ph, Carola, Kikki and Anna Book. Yoda and I pissed ourselves laughing at this when we saw the movie – most of the audience had no idea what was going on at this point.

The movie has fabulous cameos from real Swedish stars like Jean-Pierre from Army of Lovers and the real Carola of course. As a confirmed Swedophile and Melodifestivalen tragic I just ached for this movie. I came out of the cinema on another planet. I immediately began a search for the video/DVD and the CD soundtrack.

I got the CD soundtrack from Sweden but all searches for the DVD led to the same result: it was released with sub-titles in four languages…but none of them English. I gave up searching after realising it just wasn’t going to happen. Earlier this year, on holiday in Stockholm, I finally broke down and bought the DVD…without subtitles. I watched it when I got back to Oz but it just isn’t the same without subtitles…my Swedish is very, very basic.

For a long time I scoured the SBS program guides hoping to see it listed. And Yoda also checked Foxtel’s international movies channel. Nothing, nada, nil. So SBS can burn in hell – wish my taxpayer dollars weren’t funding it.

Anyway, today Yoda calls me and tells me there is to be a Nordic Film Festival at Dendy Opera Quays and Livet är en schlager / Once in a Lifetime is to be shown. I screamed! I can’t wait.

Here’s a bit of the opening of the movie which has some  gratuitous shots of Stockholm – that’s like porn for James, Yoda and me!



  1. Hey, I love this movie and I can also speak Swedish. So I’m making English subtitles for it. They’re almost done. You can have them if you like.

    • You’re my hero.

    • Thank you. I would love a copy if you get it completed!

    • Hey cheekystu! Have you finished the subtitles yet? I would love to have them if possible! Here’s my email: ptnaruto (at) gmail (dot) com Thanks!!!

  2. I’m also desperately looking for english subtitles. As a melodifestivalen fan, I’d really love to watch this movie, but it’s pointless if I can’t understand the plot.

  3. so… is there any English subtitle file I can download anywhere?
    google search didn’t get me much…

    • No unfortunately not. And we’ve been looking for years.

  4. I uploaded the movie albeit in ten minutes slots on you tube on my channel.

    I am from Ireland and have lived in Sweden for (Swedish woman of course) for many years. I am a big MF and Lena Ph fan too.

    I was thinking of doing subtitles but thought that anyone interested in the movies and Schlager music would understand the language anyway. And then I saw your blogg and some other English speakers who would appreciate it.

  5. No-one can deny that both music and sport have a unique value, as forms of a universal language. However I think we should have a spoken one as well 🙂

    Your readers may be interested that this year’s French entrant, Patricia Kass, translated her Eurovision Song Contest into Esperanto and Michael Jackson used the Esperanto language to promote HIStory in its teaser promo.

    For Patricia see and for Michael see or

    A glimpse of this global language can be seen at or

Comments RSS TrackBack Identifier URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s