Tribute: Manoel de Oliveira


Carl Theodor Dreyer
DK 1964

Gertrud is in a passionless marriage to Gustav Kanning. She tells him she wants a divorce, that she has begun a relationship with a young artist, Erland Jansson. Jansson seems ready to give up everything for his love for Gertrud, but still he falls short. At a party she meets an old love, Gabriel Lidman, who never got over the fact that she left him.
GERTRUD, based on a 1906 play by Hjalmar Söderberg, was Dreyer’s last film. The spirit of Söderberg’s play is naturalistic, while the film is exquisitely stylized, seeking tragedy. In a rare move for the director, there are almost no close-ups. Instead, we are treated to long, elaborate camera movements in a film that consists of just 89 setups. The end result is an almost relentlessly stripped-down visual style, characterized overall by purity and simplicity. There is consistently distance, both visual and emotional, between the characters and, in turn, no eye contact, while the lines are spoken very much like lines. This is the ultimate of Dreyer’s many portraits of women. While his other female characters typically are suffering women or victims of power and men, Gertrud is a strong, free woman who chooses life without tepid men and half love. (Dan Nissen)

From the collection of Österreichisches Filmmuseum.

  • Nina Pens Rode - Gertrude
  • Bendt Rothe - Gustav Kanning
  • Ebbe Rode - Gabriel Lidman
  • Baard Owe - Erland Jansson
  • Axel Strøbye - Axel Nygren
  • Carl Theodor Dreyer
  • Grethe Risbjerg Thomsen (poems) based on a play by Hjalmar Söderberg
  • Knud Kristensen
  • Henning Bendtsen
  • Edith Schlüssel
  • Jørgen Jersild
  • Kai Rasch
  • Berit Nykjær
35 mm
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