Prästänkan (The Witch Woman) (1920)
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Critic Reviews for Prästänkan (The Witch Woman)
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Audience Reviews for Prästänkan (The Witch Woman)
Both humorous and touching, even by today's standards, you can really see where Carl Th. Dreyer's reputation as a cinematic pioneer came from watching this. The Parson's Widow abounds with technical innovation, such as the first split-screen, to wit, and it mixes tones and genres with surprising fluidity. There's a little bit of inconsistency in some of the characterizations, although the acting is excellent; the most obvious example is Dame Margarete's frigid reception of her new husband, which seems totally at-odds with her characterization in the latter portion of the film. It sort of seems like a drop in the bucket, especially considering Hildur Carlberg's potent performance. She has a haunted, sad, lived-in face that makes the final minutes of the film legitimately heartbreaking. Definitely worth catching for anyone interested in silent film, film history, the genesis of Dreyer as an influential auteur, the creation of the tragicomedy...hell, this has value to just about anyone who can bring themselves to watch an "old movie." Emphatically recommended.
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