Access to the full text of the entire article is only available to members of institutions that have purchased access. If you belong to such an institution, please log in or find out more about how to order.


Sjöström, Victor David (1879–1960) By Hortelano, Lorenzo J. Torres

DOI: 10.4324/9781135000356-REM347-1
Published: 09/05/2016
Retrieved: 12 June 2024, from


Victor Sjöström (also known as victor Seastrom) was a Swedish film director, screenwriter, and actor. He is, with Mauritz Stiller, the joint founding father of Swedish cinema and a pioneer of silent film art. His first worldwide success, Ingeborg Holm (1913), was a drama heralding what would be the hallmarks of his cinema: a strong sense of truth, a refined form of expression (he studied painting in his youth), slow pacing, representations of nature enveloped in violent mysticism, but also a strong sense of realism exemplified by Strejken [The Strike] (1914), for some scenes were shot during a real strike. In 1915 he initiated his golden age: Terje Vigen [A Man There Was] (1916), Berg-Ejvind och hans hustru [The Outlaw and his Wife] (1918) and Ingmarssönerna [Sons of Ingmar] (1918). These works are full of flashbacks, daring camera movements, crossfades and point-of-view shots which denote a free modernist narrative. One of the last films he made before leaving for Hollywood due to the crisis in Swedish cinema was the fantasy drama Körkarlen [The Phantom Carriage] (1921). After a difficult period adapting to the United States, he filmed, true to his style, what is probably his masterpiece: The Wind (1928) with Lillian Gish. Although it was a commercial failure, he discovered his favorite subject: the individual struggle against a hostile universe sustained by love and faith. He never made a ful transition to the talkies, so after some minor movies, he devoted himself to acting. His final performance was as the elderly professor in Ingmar Bergman’s Smultronstället [Wild Strawberries] (1957).

content locked



Article DOI



Related Searches

Citing this article:

Torres Hortelano, Lorenzo J.. Sjöström, Victor David (1879–1960). Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism, Taylor and Francis,

Copyright © 2016-2024 Routledge.