With an international chess tournament in progress, a young man becomes completely obsessed with the game. His fiancée has no interest in it, and becomes frustrated and depressed by his ... See full summary »
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Rainer Werner Fassbinder
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With an international chess tournament in progress, a young man becomes completely obsessed with the game. His fiancée has no interest in it, and becomes frustrated and depressed by his neglect of her, but wherever she goes she finds that she cannot escape chess. On the brink of giving up, she meets the world champion, Capablanca himself, with interesting results. Written by
I just overdosed on heavy German determinism, a four hour shot of Lang and needed some lightening up.
If you are similarly in a silent movie frame of mind and just want something that is impossible to fall too deeply into, I can recommend this. The same year that Eisenstein was making his mark. Four years before "Man with a Camera," this silly little piece was made.
The setup is simple: a young man and his fiancé. He is besotted by chess and cannot think of anything else, even setting up a board in mid-proposal. But he is not alone; every male in the world is similarly captured. We have a cop who stops in midarrest to play with his captive. It goes on a bit too long, but the humor is unexpected in a part of the world between two huge wars and two equally destructive rules.
But the message is good Soviet doctrine, since the woman comes around in the end and accepts this "fascinating game."
In old movies, part of the fun is in how fashions have changed and in particular what attractive young girls look like. This is a stocky, rude girl with a faint beard and a beginning dowager's hump. But makeup, of course.
Ted's Evaluation -- 2 of 3: Has some interesting elements.
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