Another Funny Early Herr Stiller Comedy Of Intrigues
In a small provincial town there is a hotel run by one of those eccentric cooks of long ago who made generous meals that have nothing in common with the extravagant restaurateurs of nowadays and their meagre menus. The manager is named after Alexander the Great and in his restaurant the town bourgeoisie meet and discuss various issues, especially matters of the heart. Morals are part of the conversations and prove to be complicated issues even for strict and serious Nordics.
"Alexander Den Store" (1917) is another funny early Herr Stiller comedy of intrigues in which the skilfulness of the Finnish director in managing different stories featuring peculiar characters is shown at its best. The miscellaneous eccentrics are very well delineated in a grotesque way perfectly in accordance with a story full of dubious behaviour and questionable morals. It's low comedy full of sarcasm but still very proper. This Herr von suspects that some of Herr Lubitsch's early comedies could have been influenced by this film, especially with its gallery of odd characters.
The film uses the elaborate and technically very modern film narratives so well-known in Herr Stiller's elegant comedies ( parallel stories, different characters who finally are directed toward the same final objective ) . Surely even the new longhaired generation would find much that is remarkable and valid in this film, even though it was produced in the mid tens.
"Alexander Den Store" is a good example of Herr Stiller's professionalism and artistic efficacy and while it is characteristic of Herr Stiller's early comedies it is probably more cynical and bold ( the Nordic censors with no sense of humour, a characteristic that is common with any censor, considered some scenes inappropriate and later had them removed).
And now, if you'll allow me, I must temporarily take my leave because this German Count is famished; perhaps a fat Teutonic heiress would be satisfying.
Herr Graf Ferdinand Von Galitzien http://ferdinandvongalitzien.blogspot.com/
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