A Midsummer's Play (1979 TV Movie)
Leth's television production of Sanct Hansaften-Spil by the Danish playwright Adam Oehlenshläger is an attempt to take the poetic play at face value and bring it to life in a series of tableaux with settings by Per Kirkeby and acted by a large number of celebrated actors and actresses. In other words, just as in the theatre, the attempt means making the words burst out of the narrow framework of the stage or tableau. Apart from the central romance between Maria and Ludvig, several of the images and tableaux from this TV production deserve praise for giving body and soul to Oehlenschäger's words in an enjoyable, moving way: Ghita Nørby and Per Pallesen as puppets, Ove Sprogøe as the blind man longing for his fiddle, and Erik Mørk as Death. The visuals are kept in warm colours or as bluish, murky sets emphasising the mystery of the woods. This is a multi-camera production typical of television with extensive use of dissolves. Within this technological framework at one point Leth does produce a scene more experimentally, suing two cameras that take turns to make long zooms onto Frits Helmuth, who is seated beside a spring, talking. Whenever the zoom reaches half close-up it dissolves to a new, almost identical zoom from a wide shot. A similar game with the possibilities allowed by television production is to be found in Eddy Merckx i nærheden af en kop kaffe.- Written by Anonymous
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