Two scenes in this film, "The Ballet Dancer", led me to believe there might be something worthwhile in it: a play within the play that is this film and a painting sequence. I was reminded of the work of Russian silent film director Yevengi Bauer, especially his "The Dying Swan" (Umirayushchii Lebed) (1917), which was about a painter and a ballet dancer. Additionally, Bauer included references to theatre throughout his film oeuvre. But, Bauer was also an artistic genius.
I was also led to believe there might be something to this film because August Blom seems to have been a talented filmmaker. In addition to directing "Atlantis" (1913), he made two intelligent little films in 1911, "Temptations of the Great City" (Ved Fængslets Port) and "Desdemona" (For Åbent Tæppe). But, alas, there's nothing worthwhile here.
The film centers on a story of adultery, which isn't very interesting--rather, it's merely sensational. The film boasts Denmark's two biggest stars of the era, Asta Nielsen and Valdemar Psilander, but I'm not a big fan of either. "The Ballet Dancer" is like most Danish films of the time, sensational but unfulfilling. There are good things to say about some of these films, and I've said them elsewhere when deserved. It seems to me that Danish films became set to fit a mold, and while I can see how a great filmmaker like Carl Theodor Dreyer came out of it and why the country in some ways led the world in the art in the early silent era, I also see why the national cinema largely faded away.
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