In the Paris of the late 19th century, Louise, wife of a general, sells the earrings her husband gave her as a wedding gift: she needs money to cover her debts. The general secretly buys ... See full summary »
Three stories about the pleasure. The first one is about a man hiding his age behind a mask to keep going to balls and fancying women - pleasure and youth. Then comes the long tale of Mme ... See full summary »
An all-knowing interlocutor guides us through a series of affairs in Vienna, 1900. A soldier meets an eager young lady of the evening. Later he has an affair with a young lady, who becomes ... See full summary »
In the Paris of the late 19th century, Louise, wife of a general, sells the earrings her husband gave her as a wedding gift: she needs money to cover her debts. The general secretly buys the earrings again and gives them to his mistress, Lola, leaving to go to Constantinople. Where an Italian diplomat, Baron Donati, buys them. Back to Paris, Donati meets Louise... So now Louise discovers love and becomes much less frivolous. Written by
Louise de Vilmorin chose to keep her characters nameless in order to match the style of Belle Époque authors, who employed the technique in order to make it seem as if their characters were based on real people. Max Ophüls decided to keep the characters surnames a secret in the film adaptation, because he felt that it created the suggestion that his characters could represent anybody from the story's milieu. See more »
When the general gives the earrings to Lola on the train, she is crying and has her little bag on her lap. In the next cut, the bag is on the table. See more »
It strains the imagination and saddens the heart to wonder at the existence of those people, long past, who would strive for such a sublime accomplishment.
"It's when we've the most to say that we're silent"
The dramatic situations develop so that we feel every word the characters leave unsaid. The situation speaks, and then the characters comment cleverly, explain themselves to their best advantage in that momentary sparkle that is "life"
The relationship of the director to his characters: they are allowed to be witty, to be beautiful, profound, and deeply human, yet in this humanity is their futility, a charming futility. As in the classics, The passions rule all humans. The characters are as puppets, not to the director, but to the passions.
The camera moves, yes, and you may have heard of Ophuls' flowing camera. It is not empty style, but dynamism, concision, and, more importantly, the flow of life that is his moving camera. It is the flowing movement of Ovid's Metamorphoses, the inexorable flow of life. The camera doesn't so much follow the actors, but that the flow of life is happening, and the characters are swimming in that stream of happening.
Why does he persistenly show the characters through a pain of glass? These are the boundaries of social propriety, the confines of their situation. Ophuls knew it best: life is a movie
Vladimir Nabokov wrote a short story entitled "La Veneziana"... Have I strayed from the subject? But, aren't all things sublime closely related?
I have learned, through persistent trial, that '98 is a fine year for Rhone. I suggest that you open a bottle, pour a glass, and push "Play" on "The Earrings Of Madame De..."
"unhappiness is an invented thing"
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