And yet he is often seen as a lightweight maker of comedies. Even I, who definitely should know better, was once under the impression that most of his films are comedies. Until two years ago when I actually counted them. It's a bit weird, this perception. It might perhaps come from the fact that the later films are in many cases slightly silly, even if they're are some more intense genre films in the later years as well. Or maybe it's because Hasse Ekman's reputation, from the beginning of his career, as a playboy, with the scarf, cool sports car and pretty women. (He protested this charge, wondering how he could be a playboy since he was working all the time, which is a valid question.) The reason why I too thought this way is probably because I was subconsciously influenced by the common view.
The point here is not that there is something wrong with making comedies. Some of the greatest filmmakers of all time, such as Ernst Lubitsch and Leo McCarey, primarily made comedies (they could also do drama brilliantly). And it is often said by actors and filmmakers that making comedies is perhaps the hardest thing to do, and the skills required are no less then when making films without laughter. No, the point is just that there is this idea of Ekman, which doesn't really square with the real person and what he was doing.
It doesn't take much research though to get this mistake corrected. But what I've found in my own research is much more interesting and relevant. Themes, concepts and motifs that connects his films and which makes the viewing experience much more rewarding for the apt spectator. I will from now on write more about Ekman on this blog, while I'm doing my research, in the hope of making him interesting for a larger audience.
For now, you can have a look at MUBI's Hasse Ekman page: http://mubi.com/cast_members/6956