As you may have noticed a season of Carl Theodor Dreyer’s striking, unusual films are about to begin at Watershed Cinema. This is following in the wake of a season at BFI that included screenings of all 14 of the great Danish directors films.
Although we in Bristol aren’t getting to see all 14 we’ve still lucky enough to have 6 of Dreyer’s best films coming to Watershed, all but one of which are featuring as part of Watershed’s Sunday Brunch films during April which is great news, especially as April has 5 Sundays.
Anyway, we here at bristol Silents are certainly all pretty stoked at the prospect of these wonderful films and James, who runs our club nights, has written a piece about Dreyer and the films being screend during the season for the blog. Also included in the piece is a competition to win tickets so read on:
CARL THEODOR DREYER COMPETITION
Before we delve into the wonderful world of Dryer and the films which are being screened in April at the Watershed, Bristol, let’s get our competition out of the way first!
All you need do is answer the following question and either ‘@’ us on twitter, send us a message on our facebook group or leave your answer in the comments below.
We’ll need your answer by the end of Wednesday 4th April. & the winner of the two tickets to the screening will be announced on Thursday the 5th.
You will need to be available for the Sunday 8th April for the screening of The Bride Of Glomdal.
There will also be a final competition for Once Upon A Time as well so watch this space.
So, the question to win tickets for the BRIDE screening is:
Which film did Carl Dreyer Win The Golden Lion For In The 50’s?
Good Luck to you all but don’t forget, if you don’t win all Bristol Silents Members get concessions for these screenings.
CARL THEODOR DREYER (1889 – 1968)
For me, Dryer is everything that a silent film director should be. His control of the camera is spellbinding. From the cinematography to the framing of every shot everything is carefully established & everything you see on screen is perfect. And like all the great silent film directors, he lets the images tell the story by letting the camera linger on the actors in front of it.
Classic examples of all these characteristics of Dryer’s work can be found throughout The Passion of Joan of Arc, especially throughout the trial sequence, the cell sequences and the final inferno scene, (although it’d probably be more honest to say the entire film) where we see some wonderful close ups, facial expressions and get time to admire the poetic rhythm found within his cutting and camera work.
However, all this didn’t come straight away. While Joan of Arc is very much his last true great silent film (Vampyr was released originally as a sound rather than as a silent film); films which are being screened over the course of the season at Watershed, Bristol give a great oppurtuniy to see other films of Dryer. Films that, to be honest, most have never heard of, let alone seen before & which I’ll briefly introduce below.
First up, the April season kicks off with Love One Another (1922) on SUNDAY 1st APRIL:
When a young Jewish woman flees St Petersburg (and her Bolshevik boyfriend) to head to her hometown she arrives to find it heaving with ferocious mobs. Dreyer was a lifelong critic of anti-semitism, and this epic account of pogroms in 1905 Russia was his only film that directly tackled the issue. Powerful, poignant and disarmingly authentic.
The Bride Of Glomdal (1926) is the next film up on SUNDAY 8th APRIL…
The Bride of Glomdal was generally well received in Norway and Denmark; the reason? Well, probably because of the stunning scenery and the way in which Dreyer uses the camera in the wide landscape shots.
This romantic drama, about a wealthy farmer’s daughter falling in love with a poor farmer’s son, despite having been promised to a rich suitor she hates, shows Dreyer at his most whimsical. Featuring plenty of comedy and action (most memorably a thrilling climax involving a raging river) and some gorgeous landscapes, The Bride of Glomdal is a light, breezy pleasure.
It should be mentioned that the Bride is not one of his most important films, but blimey, it’s most certainly still worth watching.
April will continue with a screening of Once Upon A Time (1922) on SUNDAY 15th APRIL.
Now, I got to put my hands up, I have never seen Once Upon a Time, so here’s what it says in the Watershed program:
The Princess of Illyria not only rejects every suitor who comes her way, she has them executed. Thankfully for the Prince of Denmark she has a less harsh reaction to his charms, and he begins to educate her in the ways of rural living disguised as a lowly beggar. Though sadly not all of this enchanting fairy tale survives, the Danish Film Institute has done an expert job of telling the film’s entire story with the clever use of stills and intertitles.
Sounds incredibly interesting. I will most certainly be making my way to this one.
The final screenings of the month will see Vampyr (1932) on SUNDAY 22nd April return to Bristol (after it was screened at The Cube in February – it’s still always great to watch on the big screen of course) and then Day of Wrath (1943) on SUNDAY 29th APRIL.
I hope to see some of you there for some of the screenings. And good luck with the competition.
More info on the Watershed screenings and how to book tickets can be found here:
And don’t forget there are concessions for Bristol Silents Members!