Nate’s Silent Movie at Full Circle: “The Phantom Carriage”
Nate’s Silent Movies at Full Circle Brewing Co. presents “The Phantom Carriage” (1921)
Wednesday October 25
Cartoons at 7:00 pm, Feature film at 8:00 pm
All ages admitted
See a preview here: https://youtu.be/XNYQfuMzPpo
“The Phantom Carriage” is a 1921 Swedish horror film generally considered to be one of the central works in the history of Swedish cinema. The film is notable for its special effects, its advanced (for the time) narrative structure with flashbacks within flashbacks. The film was a powerful influence on the later Swedish film director Ingmar Bergman who also utilised the figure of Death in “The Seventh Seal”, where the referring to him as a ‘strict master’ is a reference to “The Phantom Carriage”. Bergman has said that he first saw it at age 15 and watched it at least once every year. Stanley Kubrick's 1980 horror film “The Shining” also features several thematic similarities, as well as the famous sequence where Jack Nicholson uses an axe to break through a wooden door.
Post-production was famously long and intense due to the extensive use of special effects. Double exposures made in the camera (optical printing wasn't available until the early 1930s), had been used before, but were here developed to be far more advanced with several layers. This allowed the ghost characters to walk around in three dimensions, being able to first be covered by an object in the foreground, but when in the same take walking up in front of the object, it would be seen through the ghost's semi-transparent body. One difficulty was that the cameras were hand-cranked, meaning that the camera had to be cranked at exactly the same speed in the different exposures for the end result to appear natural.
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