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People in Film | Tomas Alfredson

Updated October 14, 2011

From absurdist comedy to social commentary musicals, from teen horror to scintillating spy dramas, Tomas Alfredson is a director who truly defies limitations of genre.

Tomas Alfredson | Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy...Director
Tomas Alfredson | From a Filmmaking Family
Tomas Alfredson | TV, Film, & Stage
Tomas Alfredson | The Right Breakthrough
Tomas Alfredson | Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy...Director

Tomas Alfredson | Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy...Director

Director Tomas Alfredson on set

What initially drew Tomas Alfredson -- the soft-spoken, erudite Swedish director -- to TINKER, TAILOR, SOLDIER, SPY was the considerable challenge of bringing John Le Carré's intricate Cold War spy novel to the big screen. “It was the complexity of the source material that was intriguing to me,” he explained to The Telegraph. “It was like a huge crossword, and some crosswords want to be solved.” The book had previously been turned into a highly successful BBC TV mini-series starring Alec Guinness, however, the task of condensing it into a two-hour movie was almost unthinkably difficult. Recalling his early talks with producers on the project, the self-effacing Alfredson remembers to The Guardian, “We agreed that this was probably a totally impossible book to turn into a film. That it was almost blasphemous to introduce anyone other than Alec Guinness as George Smiley, and that it might as well be a confused Swedish non-horror director who would go out and explore this strange idea.” By all accounts, the gamble was a huge success. As Philip Kemp raves in Sight & Sound, “Alfredson’s direction, bringing to it something of the cool control and refusal to sensationalize that made his breakthrough movie LET THE RIGHT ONE IN so exceptional.”