Cinema Lumiere - Sala Officinema/Mastroianni > 17:30


Mauritz Stiller
Piano accompaniment by

Matti Bye


Sunday 26/06/2016


Original version with simultaneous translation through headphones


Film Notes

Vingarne was director Mauritz Stiller’s 34th film in four years, and after shooting was completed in the summer of 1916 Stiller left the cinema to direct for the stage in Göteborg, and would only return to Stockholm and studio AB Svenska Biografteatern a year later. The film is based on the novel Mikaël by Danish author Herman Bang, about an artist and his young protégé, which would also be the source for an adaptation by Carl Th. Dreyer, made for UFA in 1924. In Stiller’s version the ageing artist is a sculptor, who at the beginning of the film sets out to work on a piece called Vingarne (The Wings), inspired by the Ikaros myth. Celebrated Swedish sculptor Carl Milles had in 1908 created a number of statues called Vingarne (and it is Milles’ work which is displayed in the film), but actor Egil Eide’s appearance in the film bears more resemblance to the ageing Strindberg.
The film evolves into an asymmetric love triangle, where the old master in growing despair sees the young model-painter, played by Lars Hanson, get infatuated by Lili Bech’s countess. To cater to her taste for extravagant meals and lavish gowns, the youngster spends the money of his ‘adoptive father’, whose feelings nevertheless remain undiminished despite being let down by the object of his love and affection.
The erotic drama, and the delightful play of ancient myth and urban modernity, is framed by a prologue and epilogue where Stiller gets the idea to the manuscript, casts and shoots the film; and where the leading performers attend the opening and comment the film during the screening, and also read reviews in the press afterwards. This framing story was not appreciated by contemporary critics, and it seems to have been deleted in the majority of the prints made for foreign distribution. When this previously lost film resurfaced in Norway in the mid 1980’s, the prologue and epilogue were missing, which were recreated in the 1987 preservation by the insertion of stills and the missing intertitles.

Jon Wengström

Cast and Credits

Sog.: dal romanzo Mikaël di Herman Bang. Scen.: Mauritz Stiller, Axel Esbensen. F.: J. Julius [Julius Jaenzon]. Scgf.: Axel Esbensen. Int.: Egil Eide (Claude Zoret, lo scultore), Lars Hanson (Eugène Mikael, il giovane artista), Lili Bech (contessa Lucia de Zamekow), Albin Lavén (Charles Schwitt, l’amico di Zoret). Prod.: AB Svenska Biografteatern. 35mm. L.: 1032 m. D.: 50’ a 18 f/s. Col.