Victor Sjostorm dominated Swedish cinema, as both director and actor, for the first half of the twentieth century, until the arrival of Ingmar Bergman. This Swedish Film Institute documentary is full of generous, tantalising, beautifully refurbished clips of his silent masterpieces, including 'The Outlaw and his Wife', 'The Phantom Carriage' and 'The Monastary at Sendomir'. Another bonus is a rare interview with Bergman, who discusses Sjostrom at length as influence, collaborator and father figure (Sjostrom today is most famous for his lead role in Bergman's 'Wild Strawberries', a rare excursion for him into thespian restraint by the evidence of this documentary). The downside is the lack of contextualisation about Sjostrom's place in Swedish cinema as a whole, his development as an artist, or his awareness of the other great silent directors.
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