Axel Graatkjær

Axel Graatkjær
Born (1885-01-09)January 9, 1885
Århus, Denmark
Died November 2, 1969(1969-11-02) (aged 84)
Copenhagen, Denmark
Occupation Cinematographer
Years active 19061930

Axel Graatkjær (18851969) was a Danish cinematographer noted for his work on silent films during the Golden Age of Danish cinema. Graatkjær was the favorite cinematographer of film director August Blom as well as silent film star Asta Nielsen and her husband, director Urban Gad. He filmed more than 100 films during his career from 1906 to 1930.


Axel Graatkjær was born Axel Sørensen on January 19, 1885 in Århus, Denmark.[1] During his late teens, Graatkjær moved to Copenhagen for an education in music. In order to pay for his music studies, he worked as a ticket and program seller at the Biograf movie theater where he developed an interest in film making. In 1906, Graatkjær shot his first film—a short piece of news footage. That same year, Ole Olsen established the Nordisk Film studio and hired Graatkjaer as his cameraman. His first film was Viggo Larsen's the short The Anarchist's Mother-in Law (Anarkistens Svigermoder). In 1908 they made the The Lion Hunt (Løvejagten, 1908). The short film created a scandal in Denmark because it showed the actual shooting of two lions that Olsen had purchased for the film. Graatkjær, who also acted the part of a hunter, was jailed for one day for participating in the film because it had been forbidden by the Ministry of State. The film was smuggled out of Denmark and became an international sensation.

In 1910, he formally changed his name from Sørensen to Graatkjær. During the seven years working at the Nordisk Film company, Graatkjaer filmed more than 100 movies. He became the favorite cinematographer for the director August Blom, with whom he made popular melodramas such as The White Slavery Trade (Den hvide slavehandel, 1910), At the Prison Gates (Ved Fængslets Port, 1911) and A Victim of the Mormons (Mormonens offer, 1911). In 1913, after a disagreement, Graatkjær left Nordisk Film to work for Asta Nielsen's German film company and her husband, director Urban Gad. They made 11 films together.

Graatkjær died on November 16, 1969.[1]

Selected filmography


  1. 1 2 Axel Graatkjær Archived September 30, 2007, at the Wayback Machine., Danmarks Nationalfilmografi , Danish Film Institute

External links

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