Young Queen Margot finds herself trapped in an arranged marriage amidst a religious war between Catholics and Protestants. She hopes to escape with a new lover, but finds herself imprisoned by her powerful and ruthless family.
Biography of Camille Claudel. Sister of writer Paul Claudel, her enthusiasm impresses already-famous sculptor Auguste Rodin. He hires her as an assistant, but soon Camille begins to sculpt ... See full summary »
Queen Victoria is deeply depressed after the death of her husband, disappearing from public. Her servant Brown, who adores her, through caress and admiration brings her back to life, but ... See full summary »
A Victorian surgeon rescues a heavily disfigured man who is mistreated while scraping a living as a side-show freak. Behind his monstrous facade, there is revealed a person of intelligence and sensitivity.
Historical evocation of Ludwig, king of Bavaria, from his crowning in 1864 until his death in 1886, as a romantic hero. Fan of Richard Wagner, betrayed by him, in love with his cousin ... See full summary »
Herzog's film is based upon the true and mysterious story of Kaspar Hauser, a young man who suddenly appeared in Nuremberg in 1828, barely able to speak or walk, and bearing a strange note;... See full summary »
Fellini thought that Casanova was an evil character because "he did not love." The original script was very brutal on the historical figure. It wasn't until Fellini shot the scene of Casanova and the nun that he began to sympathize with Casanova's inability to love, giving him the character of the mechanical doll and the dream ending. See more »
A man who never speaks ill of women does not love them. For to understand them and to love them one must suffer at their hands. Then and only then can you find happiness at the lips of your beloved.
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Without a doubt Fellini's best, and, ironically, most depressing film.
I totally disagree with the critical trend of discrediting Fellini's later films as symptomatic of his decline. Instead, I believe that Fellini's last films were actually his best. And Casanova, by far Fellin's worst reviewed film, is Fellin's masterpiece-- a sad, funny, wistful, grotesque, Rabelisian epic of a film.
In a way, Casanova is a foil to Fellini's earlier classic La Dolce Vita-- the main difference being that the former is more pessimistic in tone, while the latter is enfused with a youthful optimism. In a way, that's how the films of Fellini have progressed; his earlier films were filled with an almost child-like love for life (albeit with some very dark edges), while his later films became increasingly darker and more depressing. Strangely enough, Fellini's later films were also his best, both on a technical level, and in terms of thematic depth.
Casanova is not only the story of a man, it is also about a whole era-- an era of grand opulence and grand waste. Like in many of Fellini's other films, the protagonist of Casanova serves as a guide for us through a phantasmagoric carnival-like world. Casanova is depicted as a sexually-ravenuous, and deeply cynical man. He is constantly searching for some kind of image of the perfect woman-- an ideal which eventually leads to his own destruction.
Casanova is not a film for everyone-- despite having the usual Fellinisque scenes of ribaldry, Casanova is for the most part slowly paced (it reminds me of Kubrick's Barry Lyndon). Ultimately, Casanova, like Fellini's And the Ship Sails On, is about the passing of a golden age into oblivion. One leaves Casanova feeling both depressed, and yet somehow hopeful. Why?
Perhaps because like all great artists, Fellini realizes that in our darkest hours, we still can hold on to our memories of happier times.
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