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Klostret i Sendomir (The Monastery of Sendomir)

Posted by martinteller on October 21, 2012

Two travelers arrive at a monastery and are given shelter for the night.  They ask one of the monks about the history of the place.  He tells the tale of Count Starchensky (Tore Svenneberg) a wealthy and powerful man who once owned the castle.  The Count is blissfully wed to the beautiful Elga (Tora Teje).  But then he learns of a man secretly entering the castle at night, and suspects his wife of cheating.  The tale grows dark….

Some time ago when I was really getting interested in Bergman, I put a bunch of Victor Sjostrom’s movies on my watchlist.  Perhaps I should be more selective.  I always feel a bit daft writing about silent films, not knowing what to say and certain that I should appreciate them more than I do.  There are so few that really take a hold of me.

There’s nothing at all wrong with this movie that I can think of.  The performances are fine, not too much of the overcompensating hamminess you sometimes see in silents.  The story moves swiftly and for the most part makes sense (I had a little trouble following it at first, but some of the intertitles weren’t translated).  It’s a solid Gothic story with a good dramatic foundation, and it doesn’t feel like it’s beating you over the head with a morality lesson.  I just didn’t get anything out of the experience.  It kinda felt like homework.  I try not to blame the film, I know I have an odd stumbling block when it comes to silents.  So consider this rating more a judgment of my personal experience than a measurement of the film’s quality.  Honestly, it seemed like a fine piece of work that those who appreciate this type of movie should enjoy.  Rating: Fair (62)


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