EROTIKON surely pushed the boundaries of what was acceptable on the screen in 1920: Irene, the bored wife of a distracted entomologist, pursues a womanizing aviator, but she may actually be...
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EROTIKON surely pushed the boundaries of what was acceptable on the screen in 1920: Irene, the bored wife of a distracted entomologist, pursues a womanizing aviator, but she may actually be in love with Preben, her husband's best friend. Meanwhile, her husband seems to be getting unusually close with his own niece. Stiller obviously delights in teasing his audience with each scandalous plot twist and every salacious leer, and the result is a deliciously subversive comedy that was very much ahead of its time.Written by
Insects are very similar to people in their sexual lives, as the entomologist Herr Leo Charpentier ( Anders de Wohl ) knows; some insects, like some people, are bigamists, others monogamists, and the boldest are even polygamists, not to mention the "Ipstypographus" who has three females!
Charpentier's niece Marthe ( Karin Molander ) secretly loves her uncle, and Charpentier's wife Irene ( Tora Teje ) loves Baron Felix ( Vilhem Bryde ), and as well the sculptor Preben Wells, a friend of the whole family ( Lars Hanson ) loves Irene, but that one is an unrequited love... so, that's what "Erotikon", directed by the great Swedish director Herr Mauritz Stiller, is: a film about love and insects.
"Erotikon" is a film that can be divided in two different parts: in its first part it is a high comedy with a remarkable pace and very dynamic editing; the film characters live in villas, go to the city by taxi, fly in airplanes and go to the theater; in this last scene the performance of the ballet "Schaname" is used by Stiller as a metaphor or analogy to explain in a subtle way ( as with the sexual life of insects ) that such complicated relationships have always existed, in ancient Persia ( the ballet tells the story of the Shah's favorite who loves prince Torie, another unrequited love with a tragic ending ) as in modern Sweden ( the entwined relationships of the main characters of the film ). In the last part of "Erotikon" the pace is more slow and static ( focused to solve those complicated love affairs ), the film more romantic, but not forgetting the comedy anyway, emphasizing for this German Count the surprising ending, modern and very advantageous for the film heroes' love interests.
"Erotikon", filmed in 1920, is another great example of the modernity of the silent Swedish cinema ( in editing, acting, and even the audacity to show non-conventional marital relationships ), Herr Mauritz Stiller being one of its more important exponents.
And now, if you'll allow me, I must temporarily take my leave because this German Count must investigate the Ipstypographus' secrets.
Herr Graf Ferdinand Von Galitzien http://ferdinandvongalitzien.blogspot.com/
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