Rudolf, Crown Prince of Austria, is fettered on all sides. He's bored; his father, the emperor, is domineering; his politics are more liberal than his father's, but he knows his views carry... See full summary »
A young man of society wants to make an expedition to Africa, but his fiancée asks him for help about one of her fathers guests shortly before his planed departure. Her suspects about that ... 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
Silent drama about gay painter Claude Zoret (Benjamin Christensen) and his model/lover Mikael (Walter Slezak). A beautiful countess (Nora Gregor) commissions Zoret to paint her. He does but Mikael starts to fall in love with her. He drifts farther apart from Zoret and their relationship begins to crumble...
Being a gay man and a film addict I was surprised I had never heard of this film! It just popped up unannounced on TCM and I'm glad I taped it. A 1924 film dealing with gay men was way ahead of its time. Their relationship is not made explicit--it's mostly communicated by looks, gestures, dialogue and (in one instance) hand holding. Still that was groundbreaking for that day. It does have the predictable tragic ending...but that was the way it would have to end. It was refreshing to see that their relationship was portrayed as no big deal and no one makes a fuss over it. Very well done.
The acting is just great. It's astonishing to see Slezak so young and handsome and THIN. Christensen was just great too. Gregor isn't that good--but she's not given much to work with. Also this was beautifully directed by Carl Theodor Dreyer. The version I saw also had a very good music score given to in by Kino International in 2004.
A very good, groundbreaking movie. It really deserves a wider audience. I give it an 8 because it IS a little slow at times.
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