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Kosmorama nyhedsbrev / Kosmorama newsletter        
NYHEDSBREV #19 / NEWSLETTER #19

VALDEMAR PSILANDER: DANSK STUMFILMS VERDENSSTJERNE

Når talen falder på dansk stumfilms største ikon, falder tanken oftest på Asta Nielsen. Men faktisk gør Valdemar Psilander (1884-1917) hende rangen stridig. For mens Astas karriere udfoldede sig i Berlin, blev Psilander hos Nordisk Films Kompagni i Valby. Fra Rusland til Rio, over Helsinki via Valby, Berlin og til Australien svulmede kvindehjerter i tusindtal, når Psilander tonede frem i biografens mørke.

I dag er det 100 år siden han blev fundet død på sit hotelværelse bare 32 år gammel. Det markerer vi med dette temanummer, hvor et internationalt forskerteam eftersporer Psilanders verdensomspændende karriere.
Lisbeth Richter Larsen lægger ud med den introducerende artikel om Valdemar Psilander – hans kometkarriere, stjernestatus og Nordisk Films storhedstid i 1910'erne:

VALDEMAR PSILANDER – EN VERDENSSTJERNE I DANSK FILM
Fra Nordisk i Valby går turen til Rio de Janeiros varmere himmel-strøg, hvor den urbane elite tog det erotiske danske stumfilmdrama til sig i den antagelse, at i det kolde nord måtte man holde varmen med lidenskabelige filmkys. Rielle Navitsky har fulgt Psilanders spor i Rio i artiklen:
 
At ikke bare det nordiske filmkys, men også sproget kunne være vanskeligt at forstå, fremgår af, at Psilander i Brasilien lejlighedsvist gik under navnet ’Wuppschlander’. Russerne, derimod, omdøbte helt bevidst Psilander til ’Garrison’. Hvordan det gik for sig fortæller Lauri Piispa i sin artikel:

GARRISON, STAR OF THE RUSSIAN SCREEN
Fra Rios ‘Wuppschlander’ og Ruslands ‘Garrison’ går turen videre til journalist-ikonet Viggo Cavlings roman ”Lydia”, hvor en skuespiller med det påfaldende navn ‘Drulander’ optræder. Carl Th. Dreyer skrev Cavlings roman om til filmmanus, og Psilander spillede med, men filmen gik siden tabt. Hvordan man rekonstruerer en tabt film på baggrund af dokumentationsmateriale, og hvordan Dreyer forholdt sig til antisemitismen i Cavlings roman, skriver Casper Tybjerg om i:
 
Dokumentationsmateriale, særligt biografannoncer, danner også basis for Outi Hupaniitus kortlægning af Psilanders karriere i Finland. Hupaniitu tager blandt andet bestik af det stjernesystem, der voksede frem i 1910’erne, hvor filmselskaberne begyndte at markedsføre film med skuespillernes navne:
 
Men ingen god Psilander-film uden et passende Psilander-manus. Fra Helsinki går turen tilbage til Nordisk Film i Valby, hvor selskabets skriverkarle og -kvinder skræddersyede manuskripter specielt til Psilander. Det har Stephan Michael Schröder set nærmere på i:

SCREENWRITING FOR A STAR: THE SCRIPTS FOR VALDEMAR PSILANDER'S FILMS
De allerstørste stjerner dør unge på karrierens tinde. Og så sætter mytomanien ind. I Psilanders tilfælde spekulerede man i, om han døde af et hjertetilfælde, syfilis, selvmord eller ligefrem blev myrdet. Isak Thorsen fortæller om de mange versioner af Psilanders død i artiklen:
 
Dette nummer af Kosmorama er gæsteredigeret af Julie K. Allen, professor ved Brigham Young University, Utah.

KOSMORAMA NEWSLETTER #19


 
This issue of Kosmorama marks the centenary of the untimely death of the brightest international star of Danish silent cinema. If you are thinking: ’Ah, Asta Nielsen!’, think again. In the early 1910s, even Nielsen’s international fame was outshone by Valdemar Psilander or ’The World’s Valdemar’ as Nielsen nicknamed him.

We have put an international team of researchers to work tracking Psilander’s global career from Copenhagen to Russia, via Helsinki in Finland to Rio de Janeiro. We also detail how scripts were tailor-made to serve as vehicles for Psilander; how one may reconstruct a lost film – written by Dreyer, starring Psilander – on the basis of archival material, and what Psilander meant to the budding star system of the era. Finally, we delve into the mystery and mythology surrounding Psilander’s death: aged only 32, at the peak of his career, he was found dead in his hotel room on 6 March 1917.
Lisbeth Richter Larsen introduces the theme issue with an article on Psilander’s position as Nordisk Film’s leading man:

VALDEMAR PSILANDER – A WORLD STAR IN DANISH FILM
From Copenhagen we travel to Rio de Janeiro where the urban elite took to the silent, erotic Danish melodrama, assuming that these northerners simply had to indulge in passionate screen-kisses to keep warm. Rielle Navitsky writes on Psilander i Rio:

"THE ARBITER OF ELEGANCE”: PSILANDER’S STARDOM AND ELITE-ORIENTED FILM CULTURE IN RIO DE JANEIRO
Danish is not an easy language to pronounce. In Rio, Psilander was sometimes referred to as ’Wuppschlander’. To Russian movie-goers, he became known as ’Garrison’. Lauri Piispa analyses Psilander’s Russian career in the article:

GARRISON, STAR OF THE RUSSIAN SCREEN
In a novel by the Nestor of Danish journalism, Viggo Cavling, Psilander is satirized under the alias of ‘Drulander’. The novel, Lydia, was turned into a screenplay by the young Carl Th. Dreyer and the resulting film starred Valdemar Psilander. The film, however, has not survived. Based on a study of contextual material, Casper Tybjerg reconstructs the film in his article:

PSILANDER, DREYER, AND LYDIA: A DOCUMENTARY STUDY OF A LOST FILM
Contextual material, cinema ads especially, also provides the basis for Outi Hupaniitu’s study of Psilander’s role in early Finnish film culture:
In her article, Hupaniitu discusses the emerging star system of the early 1910s. Another prerequisite for international stardom was tailor-made scripts. Stephan Michael Schröder examines how Psilander-vehicles were a trademark of Nordisk Film in his article:

SCREENWRITING FOR A STAR: THE SCRIPTS FOR VALDEMAR PSILANDER'S FILMS
The greatest stars die young. And then rumours spread like wildfire. Did Psilander die from a heart attack? Was it suicide, syphilis or murder? Isak Thorsen details and disentangles the mythology and rumours surrounding Psilander’s death in his article, which is published in Danish only:

HJERTESLAG, SYFILIS, MORD ELLER SELVMORD – MYTERNE OM VALDEMAR PSILANDERS DØD
This theme issue of Kosmorama was guest edited by Julie K. Allen, professor at Brigham Young University, Utah.
Enjoy your read
 
 
You can find all the Kosmorama articles in English here:
Kosmorama/English/Articles
Copyright © 2017 Det Danske Filminstitut, Arkiver & digitalisering, All rights reserved.


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