Pathé in Sweden

I lifvets vår
R: Paul Garbagni. B: August Blanche (novel), Paul Garbagni (adaptation). K: Julius Jaenzon. D: Victor Sjöström, Mauritz Stiller, Georg af Klercker, Selma Wiklund af Klercker, Anna Norrie, Astrid Engelbrecht, Victor Arfvidson. P: Pathé Frères Filial (Sweden). Sw / Fr 1912
Print: Svenska Filminstitutet
Swedish titles, Engl. subtitles

“Svenska Bio started in 1907 as a small cinema chain in southern Sweden. In 1909 it expanded its ambitions from local views to feature films and hired the dynamic Charles Magnusson as general manager. However, its first films did not circulate much outsite Sweden. (…) Pathé changed Svenska Bio’s fortune. In 1910, Pathé opened a new branch in Stockholm and looked for local talent with whom to collaborate. Around this same time, Svenska Bio moved its base of operations to Stockholm and hired three young theater directors, Victor Sjöström, Mauritz Stiller, and Georg af Klercker, to make its movies. Pathé helped finance a new studio for Svenska Bio in nearby Lidingö and agreed to train its employees. Magnusson and Sjöström visited Pathé’s studios in Paris and Pathé sent one of its directors, Paul Garbagni, to Stockholm to shoot a film with Sjöström, Stiller, and af Klercker. The film, ‘The Springtime of Life’ (I lifvets vår, Paul Garbagni, 1912), was an erotic melodrama typical of French and Danish productions of the period – it has a circuitous plot, a chain of outrageous coincidences, and intertwining unhappy love stories. (…) Pathé evidently taught the Svenska Bio team how to make the kind of film that had made its brand so popular. Pathé also made its own films in Sweden, but agreed to distribute selected Svenska Bio films. Svenska Bio sent the negatives to the Pathé laboratory in Paris and Pathé duplicated and distributed them. (…) Swedish films thus reached global audiences already in 1912, thanks to Pathé.”
Mette Hjort and Ursula Lindqvist: A Companion to Nordic Cinema. John Wiley & Sons 2016

“This fine three-part picture is notable not only for its good story, fine settings and excellent acting, but for the quality of its photography and its light effects. The latter factor is of so pronounced a value that it will be noticed by those who usually give little heed to anything but the story and its working out. The picture also is valuable as furnishing another answer to the question: Why multiple reels? It comes on a day when the regular program of the licensed companies is weak and colorless; it provides real entertainment. No one will deny that in a company producing single and multiple-reel pictures the standard of quality of the latter is higher. In ‘The Springtime of Life’ there is a well-staged theater fire.”
The Moving Picture World, August 16, 1913