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The Kidnapping More at IMDbPro »Rapt (original title)

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9 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Between the two mountains

Author: dbdumonteil
23 March 2008

Except for Dita Parlo ("La Grande Illusion" "Au Bonheur des Dames" "L'Atalante" )all the cast has sunk into oblivion.The film itself was restored in 1995 to excellent results.The pictures are splendid ,depicting mountains landscapes and cloudy skies and colorful villages with an exceptional talent.This is one of the most underrated films of the thirties;few people know it.I remember watching it about a decade ago and at the time I did not realize how much this was new,unusual,in a word ,ground-breaking.

Two villages ,on the two sides of the mountain.Because they have killed his dog ,but because he desires the pretty Elsi , Firmin abducts her ,a girl from the "other" village.

The film is extremely erotic,from Firmin crawling on the ground to catch the girl to Elsi taking the crucifix down and replacing it by a mirror which will reflect her topless body.Never Parlo was so sensual and so attractive than here .She is not the damsel in distress the audience expects.Her kid brother died when he was desperately searching her and though Firmin is not really responsible for this death ,she wants to take revenge on him.The scene when she reads the letter and she learns the tragic event with the one-legged hawker shouting " presents for your fiancée! ribbons! scissors!needles!threads!" is unforgettable.

Sexual symbols abound;sometimes we think of Luis Bunuel:this director would have loved the scene of the crucifix.Presence of the water flowing where Jeanne ,the former fiancée of Firmin is praying while her village is on fire where her ex-fiancé and Elsi are both caught in their own trap (the room where the boy locked up the girl;the village idiot Elsi wanted to manipulate);the bees pollinating the flowers;the idiot trying to caress Elsi's legs .One should note that the whole village attends the service on Sunday but Elsi seems to be a pagan and to contaminate her abductor.

The village idiot has got something of Luis Bunuel:crazy about Elsi,he would do anything to sleep with her.But as a half-wit he is an outcast in his own village and he is not part of the people who love or are loved .He 's got to content himself with watching the puppets the hawker brings to the inhabitants .

"Rapt" is a Russian-French production;in spite of the peaceful nature ,it's a story of love and hate ,full of sound and fury.The soundtrack is exceptional,and the film itself can be looked upon as the missing link between the silent era (Jeanne running on the road recalls the pre-talkie era ;so do the wonderful depictions of the meadows ,of the people themselves)and the talkies .On the other hand,the sound is astonishing,like,for instance ,during the storm where the winds raging outside the house are given an unconventional unrealistic treatment.

Like this?try these.....

"The collector" William Wyler 1965

"La Drôlesse" Jacques Doillon 1979

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