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L'Atlantide (1932)

Antinea. the Queen of Atlantis, rules her secret kingdom hidden beneath the Sahara Desert. One day two lost explorers stumble into her kingdom, and soon realize that they haven't really ... See full summary »

Director:

(as G.W. Pabst)

Writers:

(novel), (adaptation) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Tela Tchaï ...
Georges Tourreil ...
Lt. Ferrières
...
L'hetman de Jitomir (as Vl. Sokoloff)
Mathias Wieman ...
Ivar Torstenson (as M. Wieman)
...
...
Clémentine
Gertrude Pabst ...
Journaliste
Rositta Severus-Liedernit ...
Herself
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Martha von Konssatzki
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Storyline

Antinea. the Queen of Atlantis, rules her secret kingdom hidden beneath the Sahara Desert. One day two lost explorers stumble into her kingdom, and soon realize that they haven't really been saved--Antinea has a habit of taking men as lovers, then when she's done with them, she kills them and keeps them mummified. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

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Genres:

Drama | Fantasy

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Details

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Release Date:

10 June 1932 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Atlântida  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Connections

Remade as Siren of Atlantis (1949) See more »

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User Reviews

Sand-particles of truth
21 September 2012 | by (Greece) – See all my reviews

This is beautiful and strange but comes to us from so far back it doesn't register for what it really is. The novel it was based on is apparently a piece of exoticist fluff, popular then - a time of archaeology and excavations in faraway places promising original truth.

We get fantastical story of Saharan intrigue and adventure at first sight. There are hooded Tuareg figures, a pet leopard, a binge- drinking impresario, lots of feverish wandering about in rooms, a prophecy of death, and a memory inside memory that flashes back to Paris and the Folies Bergeres. All this is worthy of Sternberg and Dietrich in their their own escapades into sensual , opiate dreaming.

But it's all what an unreliable narrator presents to us of his supposed discovery of the lost city of Atlantis, elusive sand-particles of a story.

Your first clue is that there is a woman in the early stages of the lost expedition who writes an account - a script - of the narrative. The film is from that French tradition of layered fiction most notably expressed later in Rivette and Ruiz, but predates them all with the exception of Epstein, that mage of fluid dreaming.

It is not immensely effective. Sternberg made similar things work because he was madly in love with Dietrich with the kind of love that bends reality. Pabst lacks his own muse this time, Louise Brooks, so there are no strong currents around his woman. His brilliance is that he doesn't film big and gaudy, it's a piece of erotic fantasy after all, in an exotic place. And it's a story being recalled, a piece of sunbaked imagination.

The magic is not in the sets and costumes the way Lang did for Metropolis, though some of them impress the overall feel is earthy and makeshift, like something the narrator and listener may have walked through in their patrols and have the images for.

No, Pabst sustains the fantasy in the uncanny drafts of desert wind between something resembling reality and feverish dream, with fragile (for the time) borders between memory and fiction, the mind captive in its own world of stories. The pursuit of myth is only the opportunity to travel out in search of fictions spun from such fabrics of the imaginative mind.

What Pabst does here finds its continuation in Celine and Julie Go Boating (not Indiana Jones).

Eventually it is all swallowed up by the sands and time, every answer we had hoped for. There was a woman desired, possibly a cabaret dancer and that's all we can glean - consider the subplot in Rivette's film about a vaudeville tour in the middle east. The rest is gauzy and half-glimpsed.

And the prospect that Pabst has modeled the Queen after Leni Riefenstahl is tantalizing; cold beauty, a dancer, surrounded with mystical pageantry, plus the actress looks like her.


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