Vingarne – A ‘Gay-Themed Film’

700-vingarneClick at the picture to view the film on YouTube

Vingarne (aka Ikarus, Frgm.)
R: Mauritz Stiller. B: Herman Bang (novel), Axel Esbensen, Mauritz Stiller. K: Julius Jaenzon. D: Nils Asther, Lili Beck, Egil Eide, Lars Hanson, Julius Hälsig, Bertil Junggren. P: Svenska Biografteatern AB. Sw 1916
Print: Filmarkivet Svenska Filminstitutet
Engl. subtitles

An adaptation of Herman Bang’s 1902 novel “Mikael”

“The silent era saw two films based on the novel ‘Mikael’  by gay Danish author Hermann Bang:  Vingarne/The Wings (Mauritz Stiller, 1916) and Michael (Carl Theodor Dreyer, 1924).  The narrative centres on the relationship between an older artist and his younger protégé.  Both films follow the same basic plot:  Zoret, an aging artist, helps and supports Michael, a young aspiring artist who also models for him. (…) Vingarne survives today only in fragmented form, but Michael has been issued on DVD both in the USA and in Europe, with the American release part of Kino’s series called ‘Gay-Themed Films of the Silent Era.’  The problem with discussing ‘gay-themed films’ of the silent era is that, all too often, modern ideas of queerness, masculinity and sexuality have been transplanted onto these texts created over 90 or 100 years ago.  In the case of Vingarne, we are now privy to information regarding many of the participants in the film that encourages a queer reading even though this information would not have been widely-known at the time of release.”
Shane Brown: Vingarne (Mauritz Stiller, 1916)
Beyond Boundaries

Further reading:
Shane Brown: Queer Sexualities in Early Film: Cinema and Male-Male Intimacy. Bloomsbury Publishing 2016

Gay-themed films on this website:

>>> Algie the Miner: Gay Cinema 1912 ?
>>> A Florida Enchantment: Lesbian? Gay? Queer?

>>> more films by Mauritz Stiller