ming movie reviews

in about 100 words or less

Körkarlen (1921)

Sweden 93m, silent (B&W)
Director: Victor Sjöström; Cast: Victor Sjöström, Hilda Borgström and Tore Svennberg

korkBased on the title and the eerie double exposure camera work, it’s understandable why The Phantom Carriage is often described in the horror genre, but aside from this imagery, the film can best be described as a darker and more melodramatic version of Dicken’s “A Christmas Carol”. The non-linear method of story telling which Sjöström employs is remarkably complex for the time, and extremely effective for any period in cinema. The central themes of this film are betrayal, compassion, love and forgiveness, and while some of the inter-titles tend to be over-zealous in their moralistic message, the film is quite effective in creating real feelings of disdain and empathy for the central characters. While Körkarlen provided some of the most memorable visual images in early film making, it remains a little-known New Year’s classic (Klaus Ming November 2008).

2 comments on “Körkarlen (1921)

  1. TSorensen
    07/18/2012

    I don’t know what soundtrack you had. The version I saw had a perfectly mystical and gothic score that made it a horror movie, intended or not. The horror being: This is what happens if you do not repent! And that is really scary according to Körkarlen.

    • Klaus
      07/22/2012

      It was the Criterion version. It’s been some time since i watched. I will have to pay particular attention to the score the next time a re-watch it. Thanks for the comment.

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This entry was posted on 11/23/2008 by in 1001 List, 1920s, All and tagged .
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