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Körkarlen (Der Fuhrmann des Todes)

FromVictor Sjöström

WithVictor Sjöström, Hilda Borgström, Tore Svennberg, Astrid Holm, u.a.



According to legend, the last dead man of the old year must serve as the "coachman of death" in the new year: An irresponsible, self-destructive man sees his own life pass by after his death on New Year's Eve - in the face of the coachman and in a captivatingly complex flashback structure. A major work of fantastic cinema, Victor Sjöström (as director, screenwriter and leading actor) endows it with so much modernity and inventiveness that it is almost astonishing when the story turns out to be Selma Lagerlöf's version of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. Sjöström creates a magical, fateful and ghostly vortex by means of astonishing, extremely skillfully handled multiple fades and double exposures. Ingmar Bergman's favorite film. Immediately afterwards we will be showing Julien Duvivier's sound film version of Lagerölf's novel La charrette fantome (1939). (Christoph Huber)

At the piano: Elaine Loebenstein

Photo: Austrian Film Museum