Lem goes to Chicago to sell the wheat his family has grown on their farm in Minnesota. There he meets the waitress Kate. They fall in love and get married before going back to the farm. ... See full summary »
Mikaël is an artist who rises as his teacher, the aging Zoret, falls. Zoret gives Mikaël his start, and their relationship is sexual as well. Then Mikaël takes up with the Princess Zamikoff, selling gifts from Zoret and even stealing from the master to pay for his carnal and luxurious life with her. He abandons Zoret, whose health begins to fail but who also discovers spirituality in his solitude. In a subplot, Alice Adelsskjold cuckolds her husband and takes a lover, the Duke of Monthieu; their relationship, infused with the eroticism of art, also gives way to religion as the duke becomes ill. Written by
It is sometimes fascinating the subject matter for films before the infamous Code was put in Hollywood. Of course this is a German silent film and in those days when movies didn't talk all one had to do was change the subtitles and film was really universal. Such is the case with Michael, a romantic triangle the apex of which was Walter Slezak in his salad days. He was beloved by both an aristocratic artist and one carnal princess.
In less than a decade when the Nazis took over and made the UFA Studio their personal propaganda reserve such homoerotic work like Michael would not see the light of day for years. I'm really surprised that a print existed and that TCM obtained one. I would have thought Josef Goebbels would have burned all he could find.
Without a kiss, without an embrace, but with a look of love that tells all, we know exactly what the relationship Benjamin Christiansen has with Slezak. Slezak plays the title role, a callow youth a willing user of the affections of all in the same manner Murray Head was in Sunday Bloody Sunday. Slezak was quite the hunk in his youth to those of us who remember him from Hollywood in the Forties.
Nora Gregor plays the princess who eyes Slezak like a side of beef on the meat rack at the Playgirl Club. He's getting tired of Christiansen anyway so he's hot to trot as his she.
Christiansen is a sad and lonely old man and his performance really drives the film. His and Slezak's relationship also reminds me a bit of the famous relationship played out in the tabloids of Scott Thorson and Liberace. Another young cutie who was showered with everything, but just wanted his own space.
It's a good thing this gay themed story did survive and is available now for home viewing on DVD. A great piece of gay cinematic history.
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