Student Raskolnikow, who has written an article about laws and crime, proposing the thesis, that un-ordinary people can commit crimes if their actions are necessary for the benifit of ... See full summary »
Extremely rare work of Robert Wiene. From the director and year of excellent "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" this work was eventually overshadowed by the success of Caligari. It has a dreamy atmosphere, like another world or something.
Hans Heinrich von Twardowski,
Grandiose German Costume film And Teutonic Film Operetta
From the beginning, silent film showings were not silent; depending on
the status of the theatre, different melodies accompanied always those
film showings. Coughing or marital discussions together with children
howling were the music accompaniment in small theatres of towns without
resources; improvised or popular songs were played at the piano in
medium theatres in provincial towns; orchestras provided the music in
elegant theatres in reputable and important capital cities.
Some important European composers were seduced by the possibilities and
importance of the cinema and composed or adapted their own compositions
to be played live in those important theatres. This happened with the
German composer Herr Richard Strauss who recomposed and adapted his
famous and successful opera "Der Rosenkavalier" ( The Knight Of The
Rose ) for the screen, capturing the spirit of that musical comedy of
three acts, not to mention that the screenplay was written by Herr Hugo
von Hofmannsthal, the opera's librettist, and last but not least, the
great German director Herr Robert Wiene, directed the film version for
the silent screen, three German aces in the same silent project,
Obviously the German aristocrats prefer to watch ( while catching up on
their sleep ) opera at the Opera House and not in a coarse theatre but
it must be admitted that this silent film adaptation provides a good
vehicle for lazy and modern youngsters to acquaint themselves with such
an elegant musical spectacle.
The story: While her husband is becoming famous in the war, the marshal
of Werdenberg's wife consoles herself in the arms of the youngster
Octavian and tries to arrange the love affairs of her cousin, the baron
Ochs, by presenting him to young Sophie. This baron is taken with her
and the Marschallin proposes Octavian to be his "Rosenkavalier" in
order to present the traditional silver rose to his fiancée. But
youngsters are youngsters and sex hormones hold sway over the whole
world so for that reason immediately Octavian and Sophie fall in love
with each other
This film adaptation of "Der Rosenkavalier" is one of the better of
"grandiose" German costume films and Teutonic film operetta. It's an
elegant and romantic film beautifully made in artistic terms (
excellent and varied set design, not to mention, obvious soigné
costumes ) , technically excellent and wittily made ( flashbacks and a
Sibylline use of the ellipsis ) in order to condense and adapt Herr
Strauss' opera original story for the screen. This hard task is very
well accomplished, summarizing successfully three aristocratic love
stories full of love conspiracies and maintaining intact the spirit of
the opera on which it was based ( it combines the theatrical and cinema
virtues very well ). It does not depend exclusively on its musical
spectacle merits but works as an independent and original film
production. The many classic court ceremonies and the elegant
atmosphere makes for one of those delicious and decadent German
exaggerated operettas that the aristocracy likes so much.
"Der Rosenkavalier" was excellently and recently restored by the
German-French TV. Channel "ARTE" which reconstructed the missing end of
the film with some stills and obviously includes the original Herr
Strauss film score. The restored silent film was premiered at Dresden (
that German city that some bad-mannered youngsters blew into pieces
sometime ago ) in the "Semperoper", that magnificent Semper Opera House
in which in the year 1925 Herr Strauss' "Der Rosenkavalier" made its
first stage appearance.
And now, if you'll allow me, I must temporarily take my leave because
this German Count must dance a waltz and sing an aria at the same time.
Herr Graf Ferdinand Von Galitzien
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