Reviews written by registered user
MartSander

Page 1 of 2:[1] [2] [Next]
15 reviews in total 
Index | Alphabetical | Chronological | Useful

5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
Convert me, and I'll be yours! Be mine, and I'll convert!, 16 February 2007
8/10

All four films made by Asta Nielsen in Denmark (in 1910, 1911 and 1919) , before she became an international superstar, have been released by the Danish Film Institute, which was created a hundred years ago and has taken care of Danish films ever since. Thus we usually get very good, clean and sharp copies of films almost 100 years old. The series is truly amazing, and the Asta Nielsen disk is one of the best. The four features (on one disk) are: Livets storme, Afrgrunden, Den sorte drøm, and Mod Lyset. I had only seen Asta Nielsen's later films, such as Hamlet, before, therefore I was astounded to see that she was a rather beautiful actress in her youth, with a figure of a Barbie doll which she isn't afraid to show. The films are remarkably good as well. In Afgrunden, we see Miss Nielsen as a shy piano teacher who abandons her fiancée in order to elope with a circus artist, who turns her into a harlot and a murderess; in Livets storme she is a dancer whose beauty brings along the ruin of her and of men; in Den sorte drom she is a circus star who does everything for the man she loves, and in Mod Lyset a reckless countess who has to destroy the lives of several men as well as her own before she learns the true values of life. The last tale is a bit moralizing for modern tastes, but the first three (from 1910-1911) are true gems. These films are naturalistic, strong portraits of life before the WW I. Miss Nielsen is a very good actress indeed, as well as a gorgeous clothes horse, wearing the trendiest models of the day around her nonexistent waist. The prints are very sharp, even though the first film shows some decomposition. They should have been released colour tinted and with somewhat more interesting musical accompaniment than the constantly meditating piano, but who cares? These films still were eye openers. When you thought the film wasn't a true art form back in 1910, think again: moving camera, panning camera, closeups, parallel editing, fluent narrative – it's all there, and years before these techniques became accepted in UK, US or Italy.

3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
An eye opener, 16 February 2007

All four films made by Asta Nielsen in Denmark (in 1910, 1911 and 1919) , before she became an international superstar, have been released by the Danish Film Institute, which was created a hundred years ago and has taken care of Danish films ever since. Thus we usually get very good, clean and sharp copies of films almost 100 years old. The series is truly amazing, and the Asta Nielsen disk is one of the best. The four features (on one disk) are: Livets storme, Afrgrunden, Den sorte drøm, and Mod Lyset. I had only seen Asta Nielsen's later films, such as Hamlet, before, therefore I was astounded to see that she was a rather beautiful actress in her youth, with a figure of a Barbie doll which she isn't afraid to show. The films are remarkably good as well. In Afgrunden, we see Miss Nielsen as a shy piano teacher who abandons her fiancée in order to elope with a circus artist, who turns her into a harlot and a murderess; in Livets storme she is a dancer whose beauty brings along the ruin of her and of men; in Den sorte drom she is a circus star who does everything for the man she loves, and in Mod Lyset a reckless countess who has to destroy the lives of several men as well as her own before she learns the true values of life. The last tale is a bit moralizing for modern tastes, but the first three (from 1910-1911) are true gems. These films are naturalistic, strong portraits of life before the WW I. Miss Nielsen is a very good actress indeed, as well as a gorgeous clothes horse, wearing the trendiest models of the day around her nonexistent waist. The prints are very sharp, even though the first film shows some decomposition. They should have been released colour tinted and with somewhat more interesting musical accompaniment than the constantly meditating piano, but who cares? These films still were eye openers. When you thought the film wasn't a true art form back in 1910, think again: moving camera, panning camera, closeups, parallel editing, fluent narrative – it's all there, and years before these techniques became accepted in UK, US or Italy.

7 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
First films of the first European superstar, 16 February 2007

All four films made by Asta Nielsen in Denmark (in 1910, 1911 and 1919) , before she became an international superstar, have been released by the Danish Film Institute, which was created a hundred years ago and has taken care of Danish films ever since. Thus we usually get very good, clean and sharp copies of films almost 100 years old. The series is truly amazing, and the Asta Nielsen disk is one of the best. The four features (on one disk) are: Livets storme, Afrgrunden, Den sorte drøm, and Mod Lyset. I had only seen Asta Nielsen's later films, such as Hamlet, before, therefore I was astounded to see that she was a rather beautiful actress in her youth, with a figure of a Barbie doll which she isn't afraid to show. The films are remarkably good as well. In Afgrunden, we see Miss Nielsen as a shy piano teacher who abandons her fiancée in order to elope with a circus artist, who turns her into a harlot and a murderess; in Livets storme she is a dancer whose beauty brings along the ruin of her and of men; in Den sorte drom she is a circus star who does everything for the man she loves, and in Mod Lyset a reckless countess who has to destroy the lives of several men as well as her own before she learns the true values of life. The last tale is a bit moralizing for modern tastes, but the first three (from 1910-1911) are true gems. These films are naturalistic, strong portraits of life before the WW I. Miss Nielsen is a very good actress indeed, as well as a gorgeous clothes horse, wearing the trendiest models of the day around her nonexistent waist. The prints are very sharp, even though the first film shows some decomposition. They should have been released colour tinted and with somewhat more interesting musical accompaniment than the constantly meditating piano, but who cares? These films still were eye openers. When you thought the film wasn't a true art form back in 1910, think again: moving camera, panning camera, closeups, parallel editing, fluent narrative – it's all there, and years before these techniques became accepted in UK, US or Italy.

2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
First films of the first European superstar, 16 February 2007
10/10

All four films made by Asta Nielsen in Denmark (in 1910, 1911 and 1919) , before she became an international superstar, have been released by the Danish Film Institute, which was created a hundred years ago and has taken care of Danish films ever since. Thus we usually get very good, clean and sharp copies of films almost 100 years old. The series is truly amazing, and the Asta Nielsen disk is one of the best. The four features (on one disk) are: Livets storme, Afrgrunden, Den sorte drøm, and Mod Lyset. I had only seen Asta Nielsen's later films, such as Hamlet, before, therefore I was astounded to see that she was a rather beautiful actress in her youth, with a figure of a Barbie doll which she isn't afraid to show. The films are remarkably good as well. In Afgrunden, we see Miss Nielsen as a shy piano teacher who abandons her fiancée in order to elope with a circus artist, who turns her into a harlot and a murderess; in Livets storme she is a dancer whose beauty brings along the ruin of her and of men; in Den sorte drom she is a circus star who does everything for the man she loves, and in Mod Lyset a reckless countess who has to destroy the lives of several men as well as her own before she learns the true values of life. The last tale is a bit moralizing for modern tastes, but the first three (from 1910-1911) are true gems. These films are naturalistic, strong portraits of life before the WW I. Miss Nielsen is a very good actress indeed, as well as a gorgeous clothes horse, wearing the trendiest models of the day around her nonexistent waist. The prints are very sharp, even though the first film shows some decomposition. They should have been released colour tinted and with somewhat more interesting musical accompaniment than the constantly meditating piano, but who cares? These films still were eye openers. When you thought the film wasn't a true art form back in 1910, think again: moving camera, panning camera, closeups, parallel editing, fluent narrative – it's all there, and years before these techniques became accepted in UK, US or Italy.

9 out of 10 people found the following review useful:
Filmed on location!, 16 February 2007

Sci-fi is a rapidly changing genre. It loses impact even more rapidly than horror. Therefore it's virtually impossible to see a sci-fi movie from the past (from the pre-space period, i.e. late 50s) that isn't laughable in some sense. First serious sci-fi epics appeared in the very early 50s, and bearing in mind the first space yarn was filmed by Melies in 1902, we get about 50 years of sci-fi without the very basic concepts of space travel. Where The Trip To The Moon can be dismissed as a funny experiment, The Trip To Mars cannot. This is a serious film. The makers didn't know about weightlessness or the absence of atmosphere in space, plus about a hundred more things we know today. That was the period, when everybody was raving about the channels on Mars, so they naturally assumed there was intelligent life on that planet. Melies shows frogmen and other strange creatures on the Moon; in 1924 there appears the still popular tinfoil dress for Martians in Russian film Aelita. So, in between, we get the Egypto-Greek fairy-tale world of this film: wise old priests being wise; and virgins prancing around, praising virtue in the world, where virtue obviously is as normal and unnoticeable as metabolism. Enter the Earthlings, introducing death and sin. Well, nothing spectacular follows: they soon are "cured" and learn the ways of the righteous. This film is a total orgy of enjoyment. The double feature released by the Danish Film Institute (together with a disaster film from 1916, The End Of The World) boosts their usual superior quality. The Danes began storing and archiving their films very early, so you get a very clean second generation copy from a period when most of US films withdrawn from circulation went to the glue or comb factory. It's a pity this film with so many different locations isn't color tinted. The rather uninspired piano accompaniment, another trade mark of the series from the DFI, tends to grow a bit tedious too. But nevertheless, a remarkable film and something you can show to your friends without being afraid that they'll think you're a weirdo.

Atlantis (1913)
12 out of 13 people found the following review useful:
Not really a Titanic story., 16 February 2007
8/10

This film is very well done according to every standard of film-making. The narrative runs smoothly, the cinematography is years ahead of the period and special effects run amok with imagination and quality. The DVD released by the Danish Film Institute is one of the very best copies of a pre-WW I film one can see nowadays. To be brief, its amazing, astonishing, mind blowing. The Danes began storing and archiving their films very early, so you get a clean second generation copy where most of US films of the period went to the glue or comb factory. It's a long film and tends to get a bit tedious; also the shipwreck scenes (done very well indeed) are rather brief and once they are over, the film turns back to mainstream melodrama. What makes this film rather hard on eyes, is the leading lady. I know it's an unkind thing to say, but the lady is really not beautiful. She is supposed to be a dancer, but her dance scene is atrocious and embarrassing. It's inconceivable why a handsome leading man should ever fall for that kind of middle aged hippie. All in all, a good pic, but to be viewed by intelligent spectators who can delve into history without expecting too much. There are some nice extras, even including an alternative ending, made for the Russian market!

Premiere (1937)
4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Well constructed entertainment, 16 October 2003
9/10

Leander came to the knowledge of the German speaking audience with this film - and stayed. Strangely enough this first film is much better than the others that followed: it's a witty comedy/thriller about a murder during an opening night at a revue theatre, and Leander's flirty, overtly sexy appearance suites her much better than the endless row of grand melodramas that were to follow instantly. If only the Viennese dance girls weren't so plump and Leander herself so stout and rigid in her big production numbers, this could easily be one of the best Austrian/German musicals from the thirties. The choreography is very good and copies Busby Berksley's Hollywood work quite openly.

4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
A good piece of musical comedy., 16 October 2003
9/10

This is the film that signaled WW II. Its opening night was on July 1, 1939, and you can see how it aims to be "international": the stars are from Holland (Heesters) and Hungary (Roekk), the action takes place in Paris. Der Fuehrer himself liked the film, and commented "Well acted". A few days before the war started, a secret cablegram reached the UFA studios: to provide a copy of "Hallo Janine" with Polish subtitles at once. German film prepared to march along with German soldiers into Europe. Nevertheless, this is a slice of purest escapism, as far from the designed reality as it can get. And a pretty good one at that.

0 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Jenny and the Gentleman in tails, 16 October 2003

This is one of the titles currently released on DVD by PTM Entertainment in a beautiful picture quality which is common to their series of Johannes Heesters movies - probably to celebrate his 100th (!) birthday, which will take place late in 2003. This particular mishmash, a comedy/triller about stolen jewels, is a pointless (and a songless) b-picture, which can not be redeemed even by glimpse of bare brests, owned by a very beautiful anonymous fan dancer. It fails to take off, and you shouldn't toy with it unless you are absolutely fluent in German - there are no subtitles.

2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Carneval of Love, 16 October 2003

This film, released in the series of Johannes Heesters movies - probably to celebrate his 100th (!) birthday, which will take place late in 2003 - could have been so much better. God only knows what went wrong. Perhaps it's too ambitious - it really tries to look like an American big budget musical, where showstopper chases showstopper and big production numbers seem to have swallowed a lot of money. But the storyline is weak, and Dora Komar, who might have been pretty good on the big stage, is incredibly tiresome to watch. The film stumbles under its own weight, and you won't miss much if you fail to see it - save some really good songs. But there are better entries in the series.


Page 1 of 2:[1] [2] [Next]