THE PHANTOM CARRIAGE is a phantom movie that came well before PHANTOM THREAD, THE PHANTOM MENACE, or even my man THE PHANTOM. In fact it hails from way back in the silent era of film. Obviously 1921 is a long time ago, but it was a little ways into the movie before it clicked in my brain that holy shit this movie is a-hundred-and-one-years-old. That’s, like, pretty old. Trends, hairstyles, etc. have changed.
It’s also Swedish, which is a whole other thing. I’ve watched HÄXAN, THE VIRGIN SPRING, THRILLER: A CRUEL PICTURE, LET THE RIGHT ONE IN and the DRAGON TATTOO trilogy from my Ikea couch while eating Swedish Fish and wishing I had a Dolph Lundgren poster, but otherwise it’s a culture I’m completely ignorant about. Wikipedia describes PHANTOM CARRIAGE writer/director/star Victor Sjöström as “Sweden’s most prominent director in the Golden Age of Silent Film in Europe.” He was such an influence on also-very-influential Swedish director Ingmar Bergman that Bergman cast him in the lead of WILD STRAWBERRIES and got the idea of his most internationally recognizable character – Death in THE SEVENTH SEAL – straight from THE PHANTOM CARRIAGE. (read the rest of this shit…)