Now celebrating its centenary, Vingarne was the first film to deal explicitly with a gay relationship - that between an older sculptor and his young protégé. Once thought lost, the central portion of the film (minus a framing prologue and epilogue) was discovered in 1987, leading to the reconstruction shown here.
The rarely screened Vingarne was the first film to deal more or less explicitly with a gay relationship. Based on the novel Mikaël by Danish author Herman Bang, it tells the story of an ageing sculptor and his young protege. The film evolves into an asymmetric love triangle, with the old master growing increasingly desperate at his young charge’s infatuation for a countess. To cater to her taste for extravagant meals and lavish gowns, the youngster spends the money of his ‘adoptive father’, whose feelings nevertheless remain undiminished despite being let down by the object of his love and affection.
The story’s erotic drama, with its delightful play of ancient myth and urban modernity, is framed by a prologue and epilogue (now lost) in which Stiller gets the idea for the film script, casts and shoots the film, and where the leading performers attend the opening, comment upon the film during the screening and read reviews in the press afterwards.
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