Erotikon (1920)

January 8th, 2023
Author: Meredith Taylor

Dir: Mauritz Stiller | Silent Drama 106′

Posterity is proving much kinder to the films of Victor Sjostrom than those of Mauritz Stiller and despite its title the late David Shipman described this particular example “as erotic as an ashtray full of dead stubs”.

For most of it’s length Stiller just directs people constantly talking in long shot as if the closeup hadn’t yet been invented; the raciest moment actually comes when the characters all decamp to a theatre where a lady called Carina Ali performs a startling Apache dance practically nude.

Tora Teje plays a high-maintance floozie who sashays about with her hand on her hip and a cigarette between her fingers, cuckolds her husband (a lecturer on the polygamous tendency of beetles) and makes eyes at a “modern day Icarus”. Her parting shot “It’s a crying shame I had mutton casserole today” isn’t exactly “tomorrow is another day”, but it’s certainly one for the book. @RichardChatten

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