A Star is Born

Afgrunden
R & B: Urban Gad. K: Alfred Lind. D: Asta Nielsen. H. Neergaard, Robert Dinesen. P: Kosmorama, Kopenhagen. Dk 1910

“After Joyless Street (1925), Asta Nielsen was called the greatest tragedienne since Sarah Bernardt. However, her fame was established fifteen years earlier with her first screen appearance in ‘The Abyss’ (Afgrunden), a film of sexual bondage and passion featuring the erotic ‘gaucho’ dance in which Nielsen, a respectable girl led astray, ties up her lover with a whip on stage as she twists her body around his provocatively.  ‘The Abyss’ was an explosive success and Nielsen became, overnight, the first international star of the cinema, celebrated from Moscow to Rio de Janeiro. Her performance brought people to the cinema who had never before taken it seriously as an art form. Her personal appearances drew crowds around the world. (…)
Between 1910 and 1915, Nielsen and [her husband and director] Gad collaborated on over thirty films, establishing the signature style of her first period. In these early films, Nielsen’s sensuality is matched by her intelligence, resourcefulness, and a boyish physical agility. Her expressive face and body seem immediate and modern, especially when compared with the exaggerated gestures that were common in early cinema. Her powerful, slim figure and large, dark eyes, set off by dramatic, suggestive costums, allowed her to cross class and even gender lines convincingly.”
Janet Bergstrom: Asta Nielsen (1881-1972). In: Geoffrey Nowell-Smith (ed.): The Oxford History of World Cinema. Oxford University Press 1997, p. 25

Zapatas Bande (Two Fragments)
R & B: Urban Gad. K: Axel Graatkjaer, Karl Freund. D: Asta Nielsen, Fred Immler, Max Agerty, Senta Eichstaedt u.a. P: PAGU, Berlin. D 1913/14

Zapatas Bande

Asta Nielsen
Photographs and Posters

More Asta Nielsen:

>>> Den sorte Drøm , Balletdanserinden Die Filmprimadonna (Fragment)Die Suffragette, Das Mädchen ohne Vaterland

TRAUM UND EXZESS, S. 254 ff.