Theseus, Duke of Athens, is going to marry Hyppolyta, Queen of the Amazons. Demetrius is engaged with Hermia, but Hermia loves Lysander. Helena loves Demetrius. Oberon and Titania, of the ... See full summary »
I feel rather odd writing comments, which probably no one will read (other than the staff approving them), on films that hardly anyone has seen, of who fewer might visit the film's entry at this website. This film, "The Islands of Bliss" (Die Insel der Seligen), hasn't even received five votes yet. The only thing going for it, other than still existing and having been released on video, holding out the possibility of more persons viewing it is that Max Reinhardt was involved in making it. Reinhardt was a great theatre director whose influence figures prominently in the cinema of Weimar Germany, including the films of Ernst Lubitsch. You won't see this greatness in "The Islands of Bliss", though. He, like many of other arts, took interest in the new art form, however. His 1935 American film, "A Midsummer Night's Dream" remains the only work directly his own that many can see today.
Anyhow, this film by Reinhardt and Arthur Kahane (some sources say he directed) probably isn't worth much effort to find. It's clearly an adaptation of a play, and since I know nothing about the play from which it's based, the film often left me guessing. It's easy to get the gist of what's going on, but not the meaning or significance of it. It's fantasy, with something to say about love, involving Roman mythology. The god Amor (the Roman cupid) plays matchmaker with the assortment of characters. It reminds me of Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream", which Reinhardt directed several productions of, including the film. In any case, it seems that the good stuff is lost in the adaptation. It also seems that the filmmakers assumed their audience to have knowledge of the play, and so cheated in the film. Additionally, the static camera and poor placement of it doesn't help, nor does the poor quality of the print I saw. Perhaps, missing intertitles or poorly translated ones are to blame, as well.
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