Take Me To The River on Blu-ray & DVD Feb 5Phantom From 10,000 Leagues (1956) on Blu-ray & DVD Jan 5Condemned on DVD & Blu-ray Jan 5Broad City: Season 2 on DVD Jan 5McHale's Navy: The Complete Series on DVD No 17Return to Sender on Blu-ray & DVD Sep 29The Phantom of the Opera with Lon Chaney Blu-ray & DVD Oct 13

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

Jennifer Esposito Is Your Newest NCIS Agent in Season 1...
Critics Are Split on Ghostbusters Reboot ...
'Respect is key': The Game, Snoop Dogg lead march to LA...
Kristen Stewart's Sheer Dress At 'Equals' Premiere -- S...
"A Slow Slipping Away"-- Kris Kristofferson's Long-Undi...
Fox News' Roger Ailes Sued for Sexual Harassment by Ous...
Garrison Keillor Retires from 'Prairie Home Companion' ...
Jennifer Aniston is Pregnant: Star Steps Out in Loose D...
Hiddleswift Is One Big Song Promotion -- A Theory...
Elvis Presley's daughter Lisa Marie Presley files for ...

Microsoft Store

Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif

Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

Kino on Video presents
Erotikon (1920)

"Don't be such a brute, Preben. We're not married."
- Irene Charpentier (Tora Teje)

Review By: Mark Zimmer   
Published: June 20, 2006

Stars: Tora Teje, Lars Hanson, Anders De Wahl
Other Stars: Karin Molander, Vilhelm Bryde, Torsten Hammarén
Director: Mauritz Stiller

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (thematic material)
Run Time: 01h:37m:31s
Release Date: June 06, 2006
UPC: 738329047023
Genre: foreign

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer

DVD Review

The first of three new releases from Kino focusing on Swedish silent film director Mauritz Stiller, Sir Arne's Treasure (1919), gave an indication of Stiller's aptitude for the historical epic. This picture, made the next year, puts the focus on Stiller's light comedy touch in a tale of the sexes, firmly in the Jazz Age mindset.

Irene Charpentier (Tora Teje) is the bored wife of professor of entomology Leo Charpentier (Anders De Wahl), who is rather focused on beetles rather than his wife. He does, however, have a somewhat unhealthy interest in his young niece, Marte (Karin Molander). Irene whiles away her time with extravagant shopping and taking plane rides with dynamic young Baron Felix (Vilhelm Bryde). Sculptor Preben Wells (Lars Hanson), the professor's best friend, has secretly been harboring affections for Irene himself, and overwrought with jealousy over Baron Felix, Preben makes accusations about Irene's fidelity. Outraged at Preben's meddling and Leo's blindness, Irene leaves them both and heads back to mother, but things get even more tangled as Preben gets the professor to reluctantly challenge the baron to a duel.

It's very much a comic tale of the early 1920s in its mood, and in its disregard for marital niceties and its frivolous character it has much in common with the marital comedies of Cecil B. DeMille, such as Old Wives for New and Don't Change Your Husband. However, where DeMille often is constrained to give a conventionally moral conclusion to his tales, Stiller is having none of that. Divorce is not only easily acquired in Erotikon, but it's considered a positive good and there's really no tut-tutting about it. When you add to the mix some shocking-for-its-day sequences of both Irene and young Marte smoking, and Marte dangling her leg sexily, the Edwardian age is given an abrupt heave-ho.

Much as Hamlet focuses on the play-within-a-play device that sets the final action in motion, Erotikon uses the device of the fictitious ballet Schaname to demonstrate the unspoken emotions of its characters. In that ballet, the Shah believes that he has been cuckolded by his best friend Tariel, at the hints of his wife Schaname, who actually loves Tariel and has been rebuffed by him, Tariel choosing to remain faithful to his friend. The mirror image of the situation occurs in the main storyline, as Preben is all too willing to corrupt Irene and the professor remains utterly clueless about it, standing by his friend and preferring to believe the worst about his wife instead. Preben doesn't seem to realize the applicability of the ballet as he sits and watches, perhaps because he is so focused on his object of desire. But when she rebuffs him, he can take no more, storms out, and the plot is set into motion.

Teje was a Swedish stage actress who only made a handful of films; she's quite good in this, other than a few stagey moments where she seems to be playing to the back rows. She definitely has the role of the Modern Woman down pat, though, and there's little doubt that she's both intelligent and determined. The rest of the cast tends to be quite naturalistic in their portrayals. Hanson has a vivid intensity that makes him quite credibly blind to what he's about; he would go on to star in The Wind (1928) with Lillian Gish, one of the last great silents (and unaccountably still AWOL on DVD). De Wahl is quite humorous as the professor, but many of his scenes are stolen by Torsten Hammarén as another entomologist, Sidonius, who is even more fascinated by insects, often quite hilariously. With an enormous and ridiculous shock of white hair and an odd bowlegged walk, Sidonius inspires laughter just being on the screen. The comedy is otherwise fairly urbane, but it's solid and holds up well today.

What works against the comedy is a criminally inappropriate score by Bruce Bennett and Paul Mercer. A setting for violin and piano, recorded in what sounds like a cavernous warehouse, it almost utterly disregards the onscreen action and drifts into tendentious and dull seriousness at the most inopportune times. Apparently they were under the impression that, being Swedish, this was a difficult film and should bear the burden of difficult music. But the frothy comedy can't bear it, not one bit, and the result is highly destructive to the mood of the film. Better to have had an arbitrary needle-drop score of ragtime tunes, or no score at all, than this ragged abortion.

Rating for Style: B+
Rating for Substance: B


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: The original full-frame picture generally looks quite good. Restored from several different original prints, during much of the running time it looks excellent. One short segment near the end suffers from wear and decomposition, but otherwise only the expected minor scratches and speckling are present. There's quite good detail most of the time, and contrast levels are acceptable overall. The film is presented in sepia, with blue tint for night sequences, though intertitles are in plain black and white.

Image Transfer Grade: B


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0(music only)no

Audio Transfer Review: The 2.0 DD score doesn't suit the picture at all, but it seems to have been adequately transferred to DVD, aside from the cavernous sound. Range is good and fidelity acceptable under the circumstances, but that doesn't make it any less inappropriate.

Audio Transfer Grade: B


Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 12 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
Cast and Crew Biographies
Cast and Crew Filmographies
2 Featurette(s)
Packaging: generic plastic keepcase
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: Frequent Criterion commentator Peter Cowie leads the viewer through two featurettes (which can be played together or separately). The first is a repeat of the discussion of Stiller's art and career, Rediscovering Sweden (12m:03s), and the second and shorter and is devoted specifically to Erotikon (6m:33s). Both are packed with valuable and interesting information, with clips used sparingly to illustrate a point. Cowie notes that this was one of the most expensive films ever made in Sweden; if the implications are to be believed, composer Kurt Atterberg was actually engaged to write the ballet Schaname in order to provide a verisimilitude that even von Stroheim would find impressive. Kino also adds a short onscreen bio and selected filmography for Stiller. The decorative intertitles are presented in English, but onscreen Swedish text is helpfully translated in removable English subtitles.

Extras Grade: C+


Final Comments

A fun and highly modern comedy of the sexes, in a fine restoration but saddled with a woefully wrong musical score.


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90


Microsoft Store


television, jennifer esposito, blue bloods, ncis, mark harmon. duane henry, wilmer valderrama, michael weatherly, bull, movie, ghostbusters, comedy, chris helmsworth, melissa mcarthy, kristen wiig, celebrity, rap, game, shoop dogg, jayceon terrell taylor, alton sterling, kristen stewart, equals, jonathan simkhal, nicholas hoult, music, kris kristofferson, country music hall of fame, alzheimers, lyme disease, fox news, gretchen carlson, fox and friends, steve doocy, roger ailes, the real story with gretchen carlson, radio, garrison keillor, a prairie home companion, jennifer anniston, baby bump, justin theroux, taylor swift, tom hiddleston, calvin harris, lisa marie presley, michael lockwood, riley and benjamin keough, danny keough, michael jackson, nicolas cage, tom affleck, boston fan, bill simmons, hbo show, any given wednesday, tom brady, deflategate, hamilton, lin-manuel mianda, periscope, heart tweet machine, hamilton mixtape, cable, hbo, curb your enthusiasm, larry david, bernie sanders, saturday night live, maya and marty, christina grimmie, murdered, plaza live, before you exit, marcus grimmie, nashville, cmt, president brian phillips, the tonight show, jimmy fallon, president obama, the roots, hillary clinton, tim mcgraw, faith hill, maggie mcgraw, humble and kind, ellen degeneres show, titi pierce, coldwell banker robbins & free realty, hairspray live!, tracy turnblad, york theatre company, john waters, jennifer hudson, harvey fierstein, martin short, derek hough, j.k. rowling, harry potter and the cursed child, noma dumezweni, emma watson, judd apatow, paul freig, melissa mccarthy, romance, history channel, roots, remake, anika noni rose, t.i., malachi kirby, josh duhamel, transformers, fergie, black eyed peas, axl, double dutchess, abc, music city, grand ole opry, chip esten, lennon stella, the voice, alisan porterm, christina aguilera, ceelo green, ariana grande, sia, the little big town, 2016 billboard music awards, pink, just like fire, pamela neal, warrior princess, send my love (to your new lover), billboard music awards, adele, patrick daughters, bryan cranston, lbj, all the way, melissa leo, frank langella, todd weeks, hard sell, kristin chenoweth, wicked

On Facebook!
Promote Your Page Too



Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact
Microsoft Store