Irish Film Institute -MASTER OF THE HOUSE



107 minutes, Denmark, 1925, Subtitled, Black and White, 35mm

This film will have live musical accompaniment. 

By now Dreyer was producing one gem after another, and this simple but supremely effective comedy-drama – virtually a pro-feminist manifesto – sees a devoted but much nagged wife and mother persuaded by her own mother, her teenage daughter and (delightfully) her hubby’s former nanny to take a break from domestic drudgery, in the hope that the couple will see the error of their ways. A forerunner of neo-realism in its focus on the ordinary lives of ordinary people, the film is both psychologically astute and utterly credible in its low-key naturalism. 

Mikaël is perhaps Dreyer’s first masterpiece, assured, reticent, and radiant with subtle inner connections, but by comparison with Master of the House, which Dreyer returned to Denmark to make in 1925, it is a strictly two-dimensional work. Master of the House is my own personal favourite among Dreyer’s films with the possible exception of Vampyr and Gertrud, and its golden simplicity almost defies description.” (Tom Milne) 

Print courtesy of the Austrian Film Museum.

Showing as part of a season of Carl Dreyer’s greatest films throughout April.

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