HØK OVER HØK
[Hawk over Hawk]
? (NO 1929)
This clearly comical film has an unusual dramaturgy to many other commercial films. A woman emerges from a gate onto a country road, ready to play tennis. A pedestrian winks at her making her less attentive. A passing car splashes mud on her tennis outfit, and its driver alights to apologize. The story then takes a sudden turn, leaving the audience surprised by the unexpected course of events. The title Høk over høk (“hawk over hawk”) refers to a Norwegian proverb used to describe that above the highest there is someone or something even higher. The expression can also describe two people competing to be the best/smartest/fastest, etc., trying to outmatch each other. In this case though, a gentler understanding is more appropriate: who tricks who? Mixing bold jokes within its narrative and cinematic elegance in the final revelation of the product makes the film both funny and charming. Everything ends happily, thanks to Lux laundry detergent.
The tubby man is played by the well-known Norwegian actor and singer Einar Rose (1898-1979). He became one of Norway’s most beloved revue artists, singers, and directors of his time, working in farces, operettas, and revues. According to the title card and intertitles the company which produced this commercial for Lilleborg Fabrikker, a producer of hygiene products, is R.K. Film, for Kommunernes Filmcentral. Kommunernes Filmcentral was the Norwegian municipal film distribution and production company, established in 1919. The director is unknown, but the photography is credited to Gunnar Nilsen-Vig, who shot many of the most successful Norwegian feature films of the 1920s and 30s, starting with Fante-Anne (1920; shown at the Giornate in 2017).
An original tinted nitrate print was digitized in 2019. Parts of the nitrate were too decomposed to use; the missing sequences were available on a file from a previous scanning in 2013 of an earlier preservation done in 1999. Due to difficulties in equalizing the quality in the two files from different sources, it was decided to use only the complete file from the older scanning. The file had to be interlaced and was digitally tinted to correspond to the original nitrate print.
Tina Anckarman, Magnus Rosborn
photog: Gunnar Nilsen-Vig.
cast: Einar Rose (uomo in macchina/the man in the car), ? (donna con racchetta da tennis/woman with the tennis racquet), ? (uomo che ammicca/winking man).
prod: R. K. Film / Kommunernes Filmcentral, per/for Lilleborg Fabrikker.
v.c./censor date: 15.06.1929.
copia/copy: DCP, 5’37”, col. (da/from 35mm, 18 fps, imbibito/tinted); did./titles: NOR.
fonte/source: Nasjonalbiblioteket, Mo i Rana.