1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
24 September 2009
I don't care for opera; regardless, opera is undeniably worse when
adapted to the silent screen. (Two adaptations of "Carmen" and one of
"Assunta Spina" (1915) come to mind, as well.) Mostly, we're just left
with whatever the ludicrous plot was. In this three-reeler,
"Tannhäuser", there is, of course, a tragic, melodramatic romance.
There's also some Catholic moralizing. It also doesn't help that the
filmmakers use the tableau style wherein title cards describe
proceeding actions. The camera-work and staging is very static; there's
one match on action close-up that stands out as otherwise an example of
too advanced film techniques for these filmmakers to use. There's
double-exposure photography with dissolves for appearances and
disappearances during the Venus episodes.
The Venus episode is the best partthe film really suffers after it.
There's an awfully enacted and confusing sword fight, and the rest of
the film, as aforementioned, is just bad romantic tragedy and Catholic
morals. There are better early films available to see, and I suppose
there are superior means to view this opera.
(Note: The DVD print features reconstructed tinting based on those
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