Wednesday 11th April 2012;
The Kings Arms Pub,
7:30pm Free Admission
A brief introduction to this Wednesdays Club screening by Peter Walsh:
‘This is a great unknown masterpiece!’ Tom Gunning
An almost forgotten classic of Norwegian cinema, The Bridal Procession in Hardanger (1926) arrives to the world after a meticulous six year restoration process by the Norwegian Film Institute. A tale of young love, early marriage, and the looming draw to emigrate from rural Norway to the promise of America, the film is a beautiful realisation of 19th century heritage and tradition, set against the stunning backdrop of the Hardangerfjords.
The film stands prominently as part of Norway’s cultural history, not just as brilliant movie of the late silent period, but also as a visual continuation of the young nation’s still emerging identity. An adaptation of the novel Marit Skjølte, and a recreation of the 19th century landscape painting which inspired it, Bridal Procession the film shows us the idealized view the new country had of its own historic past, just twenty one years after it’s own independence. Traditional cottages, wooden churches, intricate folk dress, and the unique music of the region are all interwoven in a vivid tableaux of life in 19th century Norway.
The place of this traditional folk music is not lost in this silent film either, as part of the film’s extensive restoration process involved rediscovering contemporary cue sheets, integrating among others the work of Edvard Grieg. At the heart of the film is the haunting Hardanger fiddle, unique to the region, and key to the film’s central scene as the bridal procession cross the mirror-blank Hardangerfjord at speed in traditional rowing boats. A spectacular scene in a brilliant but overlooked film, The Bridal Procession in Hardanger is not to be missed.
The film will be introduced by Bristol Silents’ very own Scandinavian Film Enthusiast Peter Walsh. Peter is (and has for many years) been a regular supporter of Bristol Silents in and around the UK. He also bides his time with many of us at Le Giornate Del Cinema Muto. He indulges in everything Scandinavian, including Silent Film and Folk Music, which this film neatly combines.