Silent Saturday: Master of the House

1925 drama

Rating: 15/20

Plot: A nanny and mother-in-law to conspire to soften a tyrant of a husband who isn't very nice to his wife and kids.

This movie is almost too subtle for 1925. It's not nearly as heavy as any other Carl Theodor Dreyer movie I've ever seen, and there are a few moments that I guess audiences back then might have even felt like laughing at. The domestic drama unfolds fairly slowly, and so little actually happens during the hour and fifty minutes or so that you really have time to feel these characters and connect with their situations.

There are some sneaky--and again, subtle--things that Dreyer does to tell the story visually. It doesn't grab you and gut you like The Passion of Joan of Arc or anything, but there are some key close-ups and some other visual tricks that really bring the situation to life. The majority of the story takes place in the family's little apartment, but Dreyer uses the space so well.

The performances feel a little more modern to me as well. I especially liked Mathilde Nielsen who plays the nanny.

I might fill my Silent Saturdays with Dreyer until I've seen them all. Why not?

No comments: