Stiller, Mauritz

Stiller, Mauritz

 

Born July 17, 1883, in Helsinki; died Nov. 8, 1928, in Stockholm. Swedish film director, actor, and screenwriter.

Stiller worked in various theaters in Finland from 1899 to 1909 and headed the experimental Lilla Theater in Stockholm from 1910 to 1912. He began his motion-picture career in 1912.

Stiller’s best films are screen versions of works by S. Lagerlöf, including The Money of Mr. Arne (1919), Gunnar Hede’s Saga (1922), and Gösta Berling’s Saga (two-part series, 1923–24), and of J. Linnankoski’s novel The Song of the Blood-red Flower (1918). As a director, Stiller was noted for his skillful and profoundly realistic approach to character development. His films stress the importance of atmosphere, especially of nature, which Stiller used as an integral dramatic and narrative element.

Stiller also produced and directed light comedies, in which he combined techniques of situation comedy with subtle character development. Along with V. Sjöström, Stiller was a leading director of the Swedish classical school of cinematography. From 1925 to 1928 he worked in Hollywood, where he directed several films that enjoyed success but were inferior in depth and mastery to those he made in Sweden.

REFERENCES

Sadoul, G. Vseobshchaia istoriia kino, vol. 3. Moscow, 1961. (Translated from French.)
Werner, G. Mauritz Stiller och hausfilmer. Stockholm, 1969.

N. P. ABRAMOV