Regarded as Norway’s first authentic indigenous feature, Fante-Anne was the directorial debut of Rasmus Breistein, best known for his later idyll, The Bridal Party in Hardanger. The film also kick-started the string of bucolic romantic melodramas, using natural landscapes, which typified Norwegian silent cinema, most of them directed by Breistein. Long neglected, but now newly restored by the Norwegian Film Institute, with a folk-themed score by Haldor Krogh, Fante-Anne is a revelation: a love triangle between gypsy foundling Anne, her stepbrother, and a farmhand, Jon, the film is charming, painterly, dramatically truthful and uniquely Norwegian. In short, a rare treat. –Clyde Jeavons
Rasmus Breistein made his mark in the annals of Norwegian cinema history in more ways than one. Most importantly he played a huge part in the period 1920-1930, that later was known as “the national breakthrough for Norwegian films.” Until 1920, ironically the only dramatization of Norwegian literature was made by Swedish and Danish filmmakers, a trend that shifted when Breistein made his debut as a feature filmmaker and screenwriter with 1920’s “Fante-Anne”, based on a story by Norwegian writer Kristofer Janson. Historians would later claim that “Fante-Anne” marked the true beginning for the serious and dedicated Norwegian film-industry.
It was in the 1920s that the Norwegian film industry started to get a self-awareness that would also lead to a wave of respected stage actors finally taking a leap into the art of moving pictures, and thereby helping to improve the productions. It was considered quite a historical feat when Breistein got his “Fante-Anne” cast with professional… read more