Hans Castorp, fresh from university and about to become a civil engineer, comes to the Sanatorium Berghof in the Swiss Alps to visit his cousin Joachim, an army officer, who is recovering ...
See full summary »
In the form of an animated docu-drama, the biography of Adam Jacek Winkler wonders through nearly half a century of history. A Polish refugee in Paris, Adam lived a boundless life, wanting ... See full summary »
A German stage actor finds unexpected success and mixed blessings in the popularity of his performance in a Faustian play as the Nazis take power in pre-WWII Germany. As his associates and ... See full summary »
Klaus Maria Brandauer,
Walter Faber has survived a crash with an airplane. His next trip is by ship. On board this ship he meets the enchanting Sabeth and they have a passionate love affair. Together they travel ... See full summary »
In the 1840s, Lübeck is a dominating commercial town on the Baltic coast, and the Buddenbrooks are among the town's first families. Consul Jean Buddenbrook has two sons, Thomas and ... See full summary »
In the bourgeois circles of Europe after the Great War, can anything save the modern man? Harry Haller, a solitary intellectual, has all his life feared his dual nature of being human and ... See full summary »
Max von Sydow,
The Twenties: The German Fuhrmann family spend their holidays in Italy again. The country is full of mysteries in that time. The Fuhrmann's have to realize the upcoming and growing fascism ... See full summary »
Hans Castorp, fresh from university and about to become a civil engineer, comes to the Sanatorium Berghof in the Swiss Alps to visit his cousin Joachim, an army officer, who is recovering there from tuberculosis. Intending to remain at the Berghof for three weeks, Hans is gradually contaminated by the morbid atmosphere pervading the place. Wishing very much to be considered a patient like the others, he achieves his ends and stays in the sanatorium for ...seven years. During this time, he has enough time to take part in the furious philosophical debates pitting against each other Settembrini, a secular humanist, and Naphta, a totalitarian Jesuit. And to fall in love with the beautiful but enigmatic Clawdia Chauchat. When he is finally discharged in 1914 - along with all the other patients - it is only to plunge into the horrors of World War I. Written by
I saw the long version of five hours plus on two DVD's, and was impressed by the acting, the sets, Geissendorfer's conscientious direction and Michael Ballhaus's elegant camera-work (the snow scenes especially). It was hard to write a script that would bring out all the elements of Mann's novel, but I think they succeeded for the most part. The torpor of life in a TB sanatorium was well captured--Castorp is never quite sure just how long he has spent at the facility--and the genial brutality and occasional incompetence of the staff too.
The actors impressed me, with one exception. Christian Eichhorn was young and ardent as Castorp, Flavio Bucci extravagant and impassioned as Settembrini (just as I imagined him from the novel), and Rod Steiger tore a couple of scenes to tatters in an enjoyable way in the third and final episode. Marie-France Pisier is hardly a "listless, worm-eaten Kirghiz-eyed" woman as Mann describes her, but is always striking and lovely to look at. Only Charles Aznavour, badly miscast as Naphta, fails to impress the viewer. What were they thinking of, casting the hapless hero of Truffaut's Shoot the Pianist as a callous totalitarian philosopher?
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?