April 19, 2012

Swedish Sounds of Silence

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This Sunday, Cornell Cinema will host a special viewing of Terje Vigen (A Man There Was), presenting a unique live accompaniment by Swedish film composer and musician Matti Bye on amplified piano, glockenspiel and electronic instruments. This 1917 film, directed by Victor Sjöström, marked the beginning of the golden age of Swedish silent film. Based on a poem of the same title by Henrik Ibsen, it tells the story of an indigent sailor who tries to run the English blockade of Norway’s southern coast in a small rowboat, desperately attempting to smuggle food back to his starving wife and daughter. Terje Vigen is captured by a British commanding officer, and years later, when this same officer’s family finds itself dependent on Terje, he must decide whether to be benevolent or to take bitter revenge.

Original Author: Martha Wydysh

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