Art and commerce, self and image, roles and rules, authenticity and fake, freedom and confinement. Not knowing much about the real Colette, this slow and deliberate coming-of-age tale had some rather unexpected turns.
Fascinating story, visuals too slick for credibility, ultimately a tad bland. Not in my turn-of-the-century book.
Foppish noblemen, exotic jews, innocent flower children. Ruthless politics, forbidden love, arcane magic. As expected, the silent movie body language is extremely exaggerated but the young lovers’ almost feverishly heavy breathing and lingering glances are still a joy to behold. The sets and special effects are oddly convincing, the cinematography advanced, and the storytelling reasonably rapid – for its day, of course. The monster itself, however, looks more ridiculous than scary (especially the hairdo!) and his domestic scenes are downright silly. Dragging our damsel in distress by her braids through the streets shows his brutality clearly enough, though.
The perhaps creepiest part to a contemporary viewer is the antisemitic scroll delivered from the ruler. All in all interesting and well worth seeing, though not in my proto-Frankensteinian book.
Despite focusing on the more gruesome aspects of the Divina Commedia, at times this looks almost like actual comedy – body language, Beatrice’s rotating halo, flabby King Minos, the demons and giants, many of the »special effects«! The story itself is far more dated than I remembered, while the repetitive storytelling is rudimentary at best and almost devoid of dramaturgy. Combined with long explanatory texts (before events take place!) and slow tempo this becomes a tedious watch. It is impossible not to compare the visuals to Gustave Dore’s world-famous illustrations, still retaining their power to this very day.
One of the earliest feature-length movies ever, and of course spectacular for its era. Not in my infernal book, however.
Intersectionality at work – black/brown/olive/white, rich/poor, master/servant, north/south, urban/rural, straight/gay, man/woman, intellectual/menial, famous/unknown, honest/criminal, peaceful/violent, driver/passenger, control/release. And so on in a strange, sometimes dangerous game with ever-changing roles and rules.
Relevant story, slick production, impressive performances, some debatable details – might lack that extra something, but definitely a contender for my book of struggles.
The biggest twist of this almost parodically oldfashioned murder mystery is that there really isn’t any big twist. The good guys are angelic to the core, while the bad eggs of the family turn out to be even more spoiled rotten than expected.
No sex, very little violence, lots of talk. Enjoyable entertainment, though not in my book of eccentric detectives with strange accents and french-sounding names.