Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Gipsy Anne: Rasmus Breistien

A complete change of pace a few days later in this silent restoration of what is considered the first
authentic Norwegian feature.   Starring Aasta Nielsen in the title role of a foundling tomboy who has
always thought she would marry her childhood friend, the early scenes show her getting into mischief with a local farmeralways being there to protect her.   As an adult, she sets fire to the house her erstwhile boyfriend has built but  her farmer friend takes responsibility for it even though Anne has turneddown his proposal of marriage.   When he leaves prison, Annewho has moved to the town to start afresh, is there to greet him and the film ends with them both leaving for the USA with his mother.   A relatively static camera setting with but a few moving shots though one of the farmer being taken to jail ( a shot of passing scenery with the camera behind the driver) is effective; the film stock switched from sepia to black and white without reason though this may be a function of the material available for restoration.   The main drawback for me was the apparent age of the main characters, all of whom looked to be in their thirties or more though Nielsen was only 23 when the film was made.   A curiosity but no more.