Three Scottish officers, including Sir Archi, murder Sir Arne and his household for a coffin filled with gold. The only survivor is Elsalill, who moves to relatives in Marstrand. There she ... See full summary »
Flashback story of an escape from the lonely, high-security Dartmoor Prison. A jealous barber's assistant is enraged by the attentions that his manicurist girlfriend pays to a customer. He ... See full summary »
Hans Adalbert Schlettow,
A young man is elected by a small village to be its parson. As part of his duties, he is required to marry the widow of the parson before him. This poses two problems--first, the widow is ... See full summary »
In the Crimea, the Reds and the Whites aren't done fighting, and Jeanne discovers that the man she loves is a Bolshevik (when he kills her father). Penniless, she returns to Paris where she... See full summary »
Terje Vigen, a sailor, suffers the loss of his family through the cruelty of another man. Years later, when his enemy's family finds itself dependent on Terje's beneficence, Terje must ... See full summary »
Mána is a young secretary. One evening she and her roommate accompany two wealthy older gentlemen to dinner. After one of them offers money to her she realizes his intentions and flees from... See full summary »
Ladislav H. Struna,
The wife of an alcoholic writer must take a job as a taxi driver to make ends meet. A young man she picks up as a fare befriends her, but when her husband is found murdered, the police suspect she and her new "friend" committed the murder.
Mary, a poor farm girl, meets Tim just as word comes that war has been declared. Tim enlists in the army and goes to the battlefields of Europe, where he is wounded and loses the use of his... See full summary »
Guinn 'Big Boy' Williams
A naïve young man is working on a logging camp beside a turbulent river. When it closes for winter, he opts to stay for the experience. He meets a woman who was the girlfriend to the boss ... See full summary »
'Erotikon (1929)' was released just as the arrival of "talkies" was stifling (at least temporarily) the artistry out of cinema, and it's one of the most lusciously-photographed films of its era. Czech director Gustav Machatý blends melodrama with unexpectedly graceful visual flourishes that communicate emotions as well as actions. In moments of stress, and particularly when photographing the vigorous movement of trains (symbolising a fast-paced society that values fleeting sexual encounters over long-term commitments), he uses a frenetic hand-held camera to marvellous effect. Just watch how Machatý contrasts the slow, sensual bliss of the heroine's first sexual encounter with the grotesque prolonged agony of child-birth. In both sequences, the camera is moving, capturing the numbing euphoria of the moment, but the overall emotional mood of each scene is quite disparate.
Following this beautifully-emotive opening act, 'Erotikon' begins to more closely resemble a romantic melodrama in the vein of, say, Milestone's 'The Garden of Eden (1928).' There's not only a romantic triangle, but a veritable polygon of competing affections: Andrea (Ita Rina) shuns a noble gentleman in favour of the man who (presumably) took her virginity, who himself is juggling a married mistress. Machatý, like F.W. Murnau, places particular emphasis on the human face, beautifully capturing the subtle inflections of suspicion, anger and desire that so unmistakably speak louder than words. Andrea finds herself in the upper- class social scene, which carries the faint stench of sleaze; it's an environment that encourages disloyalty by its own shallowness and superficiality. The corruptive sexual indiscretion of Machatý's upper- class reminded me of Jean Renoir, particularly 'The Rules of the Game (1939)' and 'Elena and Her Men (1956).'
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