A name I haven’t heard in a long time, Neneh Cherry isn’t necessarily making a “come back,” as she’s “been here for years;” I just haven’t been keeping up with her travels, so it’s ultimately my fault! As she noted in a lengthy interview I came across that she gave to UK paper The Guardian last year: “People say, where did you go for 18 years? Unless there’s some sort of product to show for it, it’s as though the life doesn’t exist. I knew my kids were growing up fast and I decided to catch those years. That’s an option, isn’t it? If you want to become more authentic in your life and less of a parody.”
The interview was published in anticipation of the release of Cherry’s first solo album in almost 2 decades.
Prior to that, there was her 1996 album “Man,” which featured hits with the likes of Youssou N’Dour; and after that, she stopped making solo albums, but got frustrated at the idea that she had suddenly “disappeared”.
Neneh Cherry is 51 years old now, with children, and living in Stockholm, Sweden, where she was born to a Sierra Leonean father and a Swedish mother, in 1964.
She’s still making music, and, oh, by the way, she’s acting as well.
Last year, she shot a feature film in Stockholm titled “Stockholm My Love” in which she stars, and will provide the soundtrack for.
The film is being directed by Irish filmmaker Mark Cousins, and is being shot by acclaimed cinematographer Christopher Doyle (who cinephiles will know most for the beautiful work he’s done on several Wong Kar-Wai films); so, at the very least, I’d expect “Stockholm My Love” to look lovely.
One of six new feature-length films backed by the Swedish Film Institute, according to Cineuropa, “Stockholm My Love” follows 47-year-old architect Alva Diop (played by Cherry), who is married, with a 20-year-old daughter, and who loves architecture and the way buildings influence people’s lives. A year before the story begins, Diop killed a man in a traffic accident which wasn’t her fault, but she is still being held hostage by the occurrence, which is disrupting her daily life. Unable to sleep, she wakes up early in the mornings to go for long walks, wandering through the city that she truly loves, but missing the joy and peace that the experience would typically give her.
It reads like a filmed love letter of sorts to the city – Stockholm – one of those seemingly plotless, quiet films that’s more about individual moments experienced by lead characters, however unrelated, with an entire city as a starring character. And with Christopher Doyle shooting, I’d expect stylized frames that take full advantage of locations.
Director Cousins penned the script with Swedish producer Anita Oxburgh, and Stockholm’s Migma Film is producing.
And announced most recently, Fortissimo Films, the Hong Kong and Amsterdam based sales agency, has picked up rights to “Stockholm My Love,” and will represent the film globally (except for the U.K. and Sweden), and will position it for an international film festival launch later this year. Although no specific date or targeted festival is given.
A show-reel for the film was screened at Berlin’s European Film Market last month.
“We wanted to make a city symphony. Cities are noisy, messy, but teeming with life. Our story tries to capture this,” said director Cousins, who’s best known for the 15-part “The Story of Film: An Odyssey” documentary series 4 years ago. “Stockholm My Love” is his first feature-length fiction film.
No trailer yet; but Fortissimo Films released the above image from the film.
Cherry has contributed to the soundtracks of many films and TV shows (IMDB lists 30 of them total), but her acting credits are a precious few, appearing in an episode of a British TV series called “The Young Ones” way back in 1982; and a short film titled “Assumptions” in the year 2000. So, unless she’s acted in some indie films that IMDB doesn’t know about, “Stockholm My Love” will be her feature film acting debut.
I’m certainly intrigued.
For for those who have no idea who Neneh Cherry is (maybe you weren’t even alive at the time she burst onto the music scene), here’s what was probably her biggest hit Stateside: