His Majesty the Barber
Photo from The Swedish Film Institute's stills and posters archive

His Majesty the Barber in Pordenone

This year's edition of the world's leading silent film festival, Le giornate del cinema muto, starts in Italy's Pordenone on October 1st. Among the films in the program is the rarely screened 1928 Swedish-German feature film comedy His Majesty the Barber directed by Ragnar Hyltén-Cavallius.

His Majesty the Barber (Hans Kungl. Höghet shinglar) will be screened as a part of the festival's main series "Ruritania" along with other films all set in or around fictional European kingdoms.

The plot revolves around a young, handsome hairdresser in a small Swedish town who has no idea that he is the crown prince of a kingdom in the Balkans. Incidentally, the young hairdresser is played by the Chilean actor Enrique Rivero, who was launched as a Swedish Valentino, but who ultimately appeared in only three films in Sweden.

Despite its exciting subject matter, the print has rarely left the freezer at the Swedish Film Institute. Perhaps the screening in Pordenone can change this. Ragnar Hyltén-Cavallius's debut film A Sister of Six (Flickorna Gyurkovics, 1926) was also long forgotten, but after being shown in Pordenone in 2015 it has screened at a number of international festivals, most recently in San Francisco this May.

For those who do not have the opportunity to visit Pordenone, His Majesty the Barber will also be available on the festival's streaming platform to the accompaniment of the acclaimed silent film composer Donald Sosin.