The article offers a close reading of one of the most celebrated masterpieces of early Nordic cinema, Victor Sjöström's "Berg-Ejvind" (Sweden, 1917. English title: "The Outlaw and his Wife"). The film is interpreted as a particularly vivid example of what André Bazin, drawing from Antonin Artaud, called "le cinéma de la cruauté". What is cruel in Sjöström's film is the way in which it breaks with the schematic Manichaeism of melodrama, by refusing to reduce all dramatic conflict to the moral category of good and evil, and forcing instead the audience to face the task of an impossible judgement. The rigourous naturalism that characterizes Sjöström filmmaking style -- a kind of dramaturgy of Nature meant to work as a guarantee for the film's authenticity -- is also taken into account as a major feature that allows to consider this film as a precursor to the modern tradition of "cruel cinema".

"Berg-Ejvind": Cruel Film

DALL'ASTA, MONICA
2006

Abstract

The article offers a close reading of one of the most celebrated masterpieces of early Nordic cinema, Victor Sjöström's "Berg-Ejvind" (Sweden, 1917. English title: "The Outlaw and his Wife"). The film is interpreted as a particularly vivid example of what André Bazin, drawing from Antonin Artaud, called "le cinéma de la cruauté". What is cruel in Sjöström's film is the way in which it breaks with the schematic Manichaeism of melodrama, by refusing to reduce all dramatic conflict to the moral category of good and evil, and forcing instead the audience to face the task of an impossible judgement. The rigourous naturalism that characterizes Sjöström filmmaking style -- a kind of dramaturgy of Nature meant to work as a guarantee for the film's authenticity -- is also taken into account as a major feature that allows to consider this film as a precursor to the modern tradition of "cruel cinema".
M. Dall'Asta
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/34920
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