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|5 reviews in total|
First of all, this film is part of the short lived "Gaétan"-, and not of the "Max"-series, yet it's, as the title indicates, all about the appearance, shape and silhouette of Max Linder. When the main character, just released from an insane asylum, decides to "become" Max Linder, he uses some promotional photographs to introduce himself to the production company and eventually to real life director Roméo Bosetti. Bizarrely, those pictures show neither Jules Vial, who plays the impostor in this film, nor Max Linder, but André Séchan, who, around the same time, aspires to become yet another Max "doppelganger" in the film 'Comment il manqua son marriage'. On top of that, in the final scene in the bureau of Bosetti, hangs a poster of the yet unreleased Max Linder film "Le Sosie"(/Max's double), in which Max plays a dual role, thus imitating himself. For me this is a fascinating, although probably not very realistic, glance behind the scenes of the film industry of 100 years ago.
Max is doing the Tango with Miss Leonora in a Berlin night club. Being impressed by the performance a german Baron asks him to give his family a dancing lesson. In the course of the evening Max gets drunk and is still fighting his hangover when he arrives at the Baron's house the next morning. Before the lesson Max asks them to follow his every move. But because of his condition he is making the weirdest gestures and all ends up in a great turmoil. What makes this 'Max Linder' film special is the fact that it was filmed in Berlin, the city I live in. Max can be seen in familiar places, before the Brandenburg Gate, the Parliament Building, the Palace and on a busy Berlin street. These location shots were taken on Max's tour through Europe in July 1912. The final film was apparently not released until June 1914 and only a few weeks later France and Germany were fighting each other in the trenches of World War I.
A lot of misleading facts, most of them spread by Richter himself are surrounding this film as well as the subsequent Rhythmus 23. I've tried to sort them out: The first public screening was held on July 6th 1923 in France. The opening title 'Un film de Hans Richter' which still can be seen on surviving prints may have been for years the only title the film had. The first public screening held in Germany occurred on May 10th 1925. This time it's been called 'Film ist Rhythmus', but probably only in Ads. By then the film was roughly two minutes long. Over the next two years Richter must have worked on the film and extended it to almost seven minutes. Eventually before October 16th 1927 when the film(s) was(were) screened at the Film Society in London, he must have split it up and later on called it Rhythmus 21 and Rhythmus 23. By calling them Rhythmus 21 respectively 23 he apparently insinuated 21 meaning 'made in 1921'.He thereby tried to predate Walther Ruttmann who on April 27th 1921 screened the first 'absolut' film.
Conrad Veidt plays a famous musician who is blackmailed for being gay.
Eventually he stands trial and is convicted. At the end the Film pleads for
the abolition of § 175(The Paragraph which punishes homosexuality).
The making of such a film was only possible because after WWI there were no Censorship laws in Germany. After a wave of sexually explicit films they were reinstalled and 'Anders als die andern' was banned for the public in Aug.1920. Not until 1957 would homosexuality be a main topic in a film again (Anders als Du und Ich).
Sadly this historic film is lost. But Portions of it were incorporated into another film (Gesetze der Liebe/Laws of Love,1927) and survived. These have been restored to a length of 41 min..
This is one of the infamous Traveltalks, of which James A. FitzPatrick made more than 220 till well into the 50s. Since he was one of the first to use the newly perfected 3-strip Technicolor-Process, we get a chance to see what the 30s looked like in Color. After Holland and Switzerland this is the third Traveltalk in color and was released in Dec. 34. It is preserved in a stunningly beautiful Print. Look for it on TCM.