Tuesday, May 3, 2016

greta garbo



In her book Lulu in Hollywood, Brooks compares him to Gish by writing that he "in his direction, shared her art of escaping time and place. Seastrom and Gish were made for each other." Gish, after having remarked upon her having seen Stroke at Midnight (The Phantom Carriage, Korkarlen, 1921, six reels), in her book The Movies, Mr. Griffith and Me had written, "It seemed to me he had Mr. Griffith's sensitivity to atmosphere.". Of the films in which he had directed Gish, Kenneth MacGowan wrote that they were films to which "he brought some of the lyricism that had distinguished his work in Sweden.", whereas, interestingly, Norma Shearer, who had starred under Victor Sjostrom's direction in Tower of Lies (1926, seven reels) with William Haines and Lon Chaney, had said that Sjöström "was more concerned with the moods he was creating than the shadings he should have injected into my performance."       

Begnt Forslund writes, "His final films in the United States had not been successful. However much they valued him at MGM, they were not exactly eager for him to return." Although photographed by Swedish cinematographer Julius Jaenzon, The Markurell Family in Wadkoping (Markurells I Wadkoping) was filmed in Sweden after the departure of Charles Magnusson from Svenska Filmindustri. It having been also filmed as both a silent and sound film, Bengt Forslund sees the film as one that Sjostrom had directed mostly out of friendship, its script having had been being based on a novel written by Swedish playwright Hjalmar Bergman first considered by Svenska Filmindustri shortly after its publication in 1919. In his autobiography, Images, Swedish film director Ingmar Bergman remembers being asked for by Stina Bergman in regard to her commisioning him to write for the script department at Svensk Filmindustri, his including his giving her a compliment on the experience she aquired in Hollywood, one in which he outlines the technique of Hollywood filmaking and "classical narrative" scriptwriting. "When Victor Sjostrom had moved to Hollwood in 1923, the Bergmans followed."
To mark the birthday of Lillian Gish, Sjöström's film was screened Oct 14, 2005 at the Pordenone Silent Film Festival. It was also featured at the San Francisco Silent Film Festival, July 10, 2005. In a volume that was written when William Everson was only a research assistant, one silent film author not only remarked upon Victor Sjöström's use of "austere theme and background" in the film, but noted that "the photography was affected by this Scandinavian approach. Hendrik Sartov's camerawork is magnificent throughout", his noticing that the cinematographer had filmed Lillian Gish differently than he had under the direction of D. W. Griffith. Sartov used tinted light during its filming and panchromatic stock, which had been used to film Gish in the 1925 film La Boheme. Bengt Forslund compares Sjöström's direction of He Who Gets Slapped with his direction of The Scarlet Letter, the former being 'more personal, and also more cinematically exciting" while the latter can be regognized as being a return to the type of film that Sjöström had made in Sweden, to which he briefly returned after making the film. Not incidently, it was the Swedish actor Gösta Ekman who had portrayed the Lon Chaney role in Han som far orfilarna on stage in 1926 in Stockholm, at the Oscarteatern.
Silent Film-Victor Sjostrom
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Sjöström corresponded with Greta Garbo from Sweden, as did Alf Sjöberg, before she returned in December 1928. It was there that she saw Two Kings (Tva Kongungar, 1925), which, directed by Elis Ellis and photographed by Jaenzon, had starred her younger sister, Alva Gustafson. It was also there that she had agreed to film The Painted Veil and there where she had first read the script of Queen Christina at a time when, according to author Bary Paris, Gösta Ekman was in hope of sharing the Swedish stage with her in a theater run of Grand Hotel. Of the off-screen romance of Greta Garbo with John Gilbert, Clarence Brown, who had introduced the two to each other, had said, "After I finished a scene with them I felt like an intruder. I'd have to walk away, to let them finish what they were doing." In an e-mailed correspondence to the present author, Sheryl Stinchum of the John Gilbert Society wrote, "Gilbert and Garbo were a dynamic duo...The love they felt for each other off-screen was reflected on-screen-- especially in 'Flesh and the Devil'. They literally fell in love on the set." Clarence Brown also first introduced to film technique the pullback shot, a shot when the camera dollies back away from its subject, while filming Silent Film actress Vilma Banky in The Eagle at United Artists with cameraman George Barnes, it having become part of the grammar of film, used later by many directors including Brown. Writing about Greta Garbo, Richard Corliss quotes Brown as also having related that he would "direct her very quietly" and never "gave her directions above a whisper." In a later e-mailed correspondence with the present author, silent film webpage author Greta de Groat reiterated Ms Stinchum's enthusium in regard to Greta Garbo by writing, "She is fabulous, though, isn't she! I've always been a big fan."       
Och ma vi harmed satta punkt for Greta Garbos Saga- tills vidare. Einar Nerman ends his article on Greta Garbo with an enthusiasm that may or may not seem seductive.
Greta Louisa Gustafson, or perhaps Keta or G.G from Sodermalm that as a young actress had spoken with Agnes Lind, or still perhaps the more enigmactic Garbo that would later sign her correspondence as "Gurra", was born at South Maternity Hospital in Stockholm, Sweden September 18, 1905.
I'm A commemorative postal stamp bearing Greta Garbo was issued by the United States Postal Service on September 23, 2005; two stamps were issued by Sweden. Only a little older than Garbo, Karin Granberg, who appeared in films in Sweden between 1930-1937 while Greta Garbo was at MGM, was born on August 2, 1905, while Sigge Furst, who appeared in Swedish films from 1931 untill 1969, was born on November 3, 1905. Two Swedish Film directors were born in September of that year, a month after Greta Garbo, Ake Ohberg, whowas born September 20, 1905, and Ragnar Falck, who was born September 23, 1905. Swedish Film director Arne Bornebusch was born December 10, 1905. Only slightly younger than Garbo, Greta Nissen appeared in two films in Denmark under the direction of Lau Lauritzen before her first film made in the United States, Lost: A Wife, scripted by Clara Beranger and directed by William C. deMille. GretaNissen was born on January 30, 1906 in Oslo Norway. Swedish Film actress Karin Kavli was born on June 21, 1906. Thomas Gladysz of the Louise Brooks Society e-mailed a notice that Nov 14, 1906 was the one hundredth birthday of Louise Brooks and to coincide with the event, Ingmar Bergman biographer Peter Cowie will be publishing the volume, "Louise Brooks: Lulu Forever". If anything, on her birthday Greta Garbo left us again with a long, static dolly shot, her face motionless in its symmetry, waiting for her eyes to mention something we should already know, much like the dolly shot that concludes Queen Christina (1933), directed by Rouben Mamoulian, not a look of goodbye, but an aloof, penetrating stare from the bow of a vessel that acknowledges it may be headed into an unknown the mystery of which it may already be familiar.
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