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Nigel De Brulier
Longhaired youngsters tend to believe that the aristocratic life is dissipated, eccentric and decadent and although that usual thinking is almost true, this German count finds life very hard, especially when it comes to combining his love of silents and his fondness for drinking. Such complications!
However, sometimes, among the nitrates settled at the Schloss cellar, a superb silent film comes along that gives the chance for this German count to enjoy, finally and the same time, both his beloved hobbies. One such film is "L'Atlantide", directed by Herr Jacques Feyder ( the perfect reason to enjoy this silent film ). The film tells the story of two French officers, Captain Morhange ( Herr Jean Angelo ) and Lieutenant Saint-Avit ( Herr Georges Melchior ) who get lost in the Sahara desert ( giving this German count the excuse to drink cocktails nonstop because of the dry setting ) and become the prisoners of the mysterious Queen of Atlantis, Dame Antinea ( Dame Stacia Napierkowska ).
This excellent film, directed by one of the most important silent French directors of his time, is full of mystery, comradeship, unrequited loves and jealousies, not to mention that it is a superb adventure film based on the successful novel by Herr Pierre Benoît and mixes all the ingredients successfully.
The story of the film is related as a long flashback ( as long as the oeuvre, almost 3 hours but the audience doesn't notice ) in which strange happenings and mysterious adventures will be suffered by our heroes in the desert ( Herr Feyder filmed in the Sahara desert itself, an audacious move for those early times ) and in the mysterious Atlantis.
Besides the enthralling Sahara scenery ( a main character in itself ) the film also had lavish settings that give the kingdom of Atlantis a fascinating and at the same time a dangerous feeling . And of course there is the cruel Queen Antinea, a kind of mantis whose charms no man can resist ( well, Herr Morhange seems more interested in his companion that in the exuberant Queen ). Some compelling moments, such as the death of Captain Morhange and the inevitable disappearance of the city of Gôa, give the film a lyrical and disturbing atmosphere of misfortune that fits perfectly. "L'Atlantide" emerges as a film about earthly but lost paradises, especially with that evocative and magnificent scene that closes the film.
And now, if you'll allow me, I must temporarily take my leave because this German Count must fall into the arms of that wicked Queen.
Herr Graf Ferdinand Von Galitzien http://ferdinandvongalitzien.blogspot.com/
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