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Max von Sydow
Mabel, a wife and mother, is loved by her husband Nick but her madness proves to be a problem in the marriage. The film transpires to a positive role of madness in the family, challenging conventional representations of madness in cinema.
Thirteen years after WWII a concentration camp survivor (Rampling) and her tormentor, currently the night porter at a Vienna hotel, meet again and fall back into their sado-masochistic relationship. Written by
Ed Sutton <email@example.com>
A jaw-dropping study on love in the most obscure of circumstances. It's an intense and compelling study of these characters who flow in the most opposite of circles (one a Nazi, the other a Jewish prisoner in the concentration camp he works at) and a love that transcends anything I've imagined experiencing. I've heard the film called dull numerous times and I could see why one would think this, but I thought the haunting silences only made the film more engaging and had my eyes further glued to the screen. The structure of spasmodically switching from scenes in the concentration camp to when the two lovers see each other again in 1957 really helped put the viewer into the mind-set of the two main characters. It jars the mind and keeps us aware of this inordinate love and why these people are so confused and attracted to one another. A truly original technique that I really admired. Liliana Cavani uses angles and wide-shots that create a haunting sense of passion and really made the cinematography rank high among my all time favorites. Dick Bogarde and especially Charlotte Rampling are phenomenal. Their performances are passionate, intense and natural. The film certainly lived up to my expectations.
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