The Second Temptation or The Last Seduction of Europe
»Europa und der zweite Apfel', based on a novel written by Heinrich Von Kleist, is a real masterpiece and one of the rare films that I have seen twice in a two days.
I had to see this film several times because it has many different levels of meaning.
The first level is its high stylization and sophisticated aesthetic which attracts the educated film fan to stay in front of screen and enjoys the beauty of visual art itself. Something like in the movies of Peter Greenaway.
Second thing that can be found is brilliant acting (Brandauer, of course!) but also the art of space and movement ballet dancers versus the baroque-artificial blessing Marionettentheater which, helped by the ambient mechanical music, make hypnotic atmosphere and involve you into the multi medially made meditation that opens the senses and mind for the esoteric illumination.
Neuenfels intelligently plays with the Greek myth concerning the seduction of Europe, as the introduction to the political and philosophical themes which have their roots in the Christian and Pagan archetypes in European's collective conciseness.
The core of the movie is connection between Biblical motive of first sin and God's punishment (»the first apple«) with the second temptation (»der zweite Apfel') of making a new united Europe (and Germany, too: the year of film making is 1988) as a society without identity and soul, which is ruled by automats. The power of automats is presented by the metaphorical comparison between human dancers and the far more efficient mechanical ones (Marionettentheater). The Devil of our time is fascinated by the power of automatic dance.
Also, The Devil shows the better skill as the swordsman than humans, because he plays without conscience, base on pure instincts. But the bear is even better, as the introduction that the Europeans are entering into the age of turning people into automats or animals, but without the final answer: the fact is that the natural law rules, and the closer to the law, the more efficient one is. And the machines are made to strictly follow the mathematical and physical laws. As the animals do with the natural instincts. Is this the way to the perfect world? The future will tell.
So, the dilemma is here, but the final result is unknown and may be found somewhere between science, psychoanalysis and religion. Everyone can find its own point of view, initiated by the magical movie I am writing about.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?