Victor Sjöström

T. it.: “Il carretto fantasma”; Scen.: Victor Sjöström, dal romanzo di Selma Lagerlöf; Scgf.: Alexander Bako, Axel Esbensen; F.: J. Julius (Julius Jaenzon); Op.: Carl-Axel Söderström; Ass. R.: Arthur Engborg; Int.: Victor Sjöström (David Holm), Hilda Borgström (Mrs Holm), Tore Svennberg (Georges), Astrid Holm (Edit), Lisa Lundholm (Maria), Tor Weijden (Gustafsson), Concordia Selander (madre di Edith), Einar Axelsson (fratello di David), Nils Arehn (cappellano della prigione), Simon Lindstrand, Nils Elffors (compagni di David), Olof Ås, Algot Gunnarsson, Hildur Lithman, John Ekman, Josua Bengtsson, Emmy Albiin, Mona Geijer Falkner, Anna Lisa Baude; Prod.: Svensk Filmindustri; 35mm. L. or.: 2126 m. L.: 1937 m. D.: 106’ a 16 f/s. Col.

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

Perhaps the most famous of all Swedish silents, Körkarlen has been restored many times. A black-and-white inter-negative was made from a tinted nitrate print in the late 60’s, and this negative has been the source for all further prints. In March 2003 a new tinted print was struck using the Desmet method, which brings a sharper contrast to the images compared to the older, filter-tinted prints.

New Year’s Eve night. The entire range of delusions and hopes in life comes into focus for a brief instant. Drunks in the cemetery. The past begins to move in people’s minds. In superimposition, we see the ocean, the drowned man, death’s chariot coming to pick up the bodies; in the background, the “Grim Reaper” lifts a shadow while the body remains at the bottom of the sea: there is something truly supernatural in these images, there is figurative poetry, the largest, most surprising element in the film. The imagination is not just a glimmer or a trick, but a deep-rooted fact in the foundations of the real world.

Peter von Bagh

Copy From

Score written by Matti Bye, performed live by: Lotta Johansson (electric violin, musical saw), Matti Bye (piano, sampler, glockenspiel), Andreas Edlund (clarinet and a Swedish folk instrument called vevlira), Daniel Bingert (electric bas, sampler and percussions), Pelle Halvarsson (electric cello)