Mauritz Stiller

Sog.: ispirato al lavoro teatrale “A kék róka” (“La volpe azzurra”) di Ferenc Herczeg; Scen.: Mauritz Stiller, Arthur Nordén; F.: Henrik Jaenzon; Tit.: Alva Lundin; Scgf.: Axel Esbensen; Coreografie: Carina Ari; Int.: Anders de Wahl (Leo Charpentier), Tora Teje (Irene), Karin Molander (Marthe), Elin Lagergren (madre di Irene), Lars Hanson (Preben Wel- ls), Vilhelm Bryde (Baron Felix), Torsten Hammarén (Professor Sidonius); Prod.: Svensk Filmindustri 35mm. L.: 1764 m. D.: 96’ a 16 f/s. Toned.


T. it.: Italian title. T. int.: International title. T. alt.: Alternative title. Sog.: Story. Scen.: Screenplay. F.: Cinematography. M.: Editing. Scgf.: Set Design. Mus.: Music. Int.: Cast. Prod.: Production Company. L.: Length. D.: Running Time. f/s: Frames per second. Bn.: Black e White. Col.: Color. Da: Print source

Film Notes

Stiller already displayed a talent for sophisticated comedy in urban settings in the genuinely funny Kärlek och journalistik (1916) – playing with identities and appearances and depicting the emergence of a new, modern society – a talent further developed in the two Thomas Graal films (starring Victor Sjöström) that followed in 1917 and 1918.

His most famous comedy is Erotikon, released in November 1920. The script bears a resemblance to the play The Blue Fox by Hungarian writer Ferenc Herczeg, first staged in 1917 and also popular in Stockholm theatres. Stiller’s film, said to have inspired many directors of sophisticated comedies with an erotic touch, including Lubitsch, tells the story of a young professor’s wife being courted by different men. The entomology professor at one stage declares that the insects he is studying under the microscope prefer to have more than one partner, and indeed the people in the film, studied under Stiller’s microscope, do the same.

The film is modern not only in its subject matter and the way it is told, but also in that it ultimately is a film about seeing, about the perception and deception of the eye, as Jan Holmberg observes in the anthology Moderna motiv – Mauritz Stiller i retrospektiv (2001). He notes that the film is full of optical instruments – microscopes, looking glasses, binoculars, etc. – and that the medium of film itself is able to convey things in their smallest detail, as well as in broad panoramas taken from the vantage point of an aeroplane.

An important part in Erotikon’s style and self-reflective humour is played by the wonderfully witty intertitles, designed by Alva Lundin.

Jon Wengström, Cinemateket-Svenska Filminstitutet

Copy From

Print restored in 2005 from a duplicate negative made from a nitrate print. The colours were reconstructed using the Desmet method