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Dame Yvette ( Dame Catherine Hessling more Hessling than ever ) is a dissipated girl, who lives accordingly a dissipated life together with her mother ( Dame Ica von Lenkeffy ). It's a kind of false bourgeois life in which economic interests ,undertaken to achieve a social position, are the principal subject, especially for Yvette's mother who will try to make her daughter understand those particular principles when Yvette begin questioning that way of life when she finds true love.
"Yvette" was one of the first silent films directed by Herr Alberto Cavalcanti in his French period and is based on a Herr Guy de Maupassant story. This film adaptation is uneven; basically nothing much happens and the story seems very padded out. The original story by Herr Maupassant is a satire full of incisive social criticism but Herr Cavalcanti doesn't know how to take advantage of its richness. Herr Cavalcanti chooses to ignore the story's more profound aspects and concentrates instead on a rather superficial love story that doesn't even seem to interest the lovers themselves. Nevertheless the film can be appreciated for its minor criticism of the hedonist life, stressing the prejudices of the main characters and even the dubious origins of the social position that Dame Yvette and her mother enjoy ( in the original Herr Maupasant story, Yvette is an illegitimate daughter ).
Bypassing the more original aspects of the story, the film goes forward in a narrative void, showing the boring and unimportant soirées ( both words are synonymous ) that Dame Yvette attends, not to mention her unrequited love, a bore itself.
Only at the end of the film is there a little interest and some inventiveness with the sequence of Dame Yvette 's suicide attempt; once our desperate heroine gets the poison there is an image trick that turns the poison label with the classic human skull into a strange and tropical ball mask (politically incorrect in these modern days). This bizarre moment is the best part of the film but then the mood is ruined with a clumsy ending.
And now, if you'll allow me, I must temporarily take my leave because this German Count must resume his exhilarating aristocratic life.
Herr Graf Ferdinand Von Galitzien http://ferdinandvongalitzien.blogspot.com/
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