5.0/10
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3 user

For aabent Tæppe (1912)

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A husband and wife play the roles of Othello and Desdemona on stage, and find themselves in a similar situation in their own lives.

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Cast

Credited cast:
... Einar Lowe / Othello
Thyra Reimann ... Maria Lowe / Desdemona
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Svend Bille
Nikolai Brechling ... Preben Winge - Actor
Otto Detlefsen
Julie Henriksen
Frederik Jacobsen
Otto Lagoni
Doris Langkilde
Henny Lauritzen
Aage Lorentzen
Zanny Petersen
Franz Skondrup
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Storyline

A husband and wife are preparing to act the roles of Othello and Desdemona in a play. While the wife is in her dressing room, she has to fight off unwelcome advances from one of the other actors. She also receives flowers from another admirer, and after rehearsal, she meets this man for a romantic interlude. The rejected actor follows her, and then proceeds to tell the already anxious husband what he has seen. Written by Snow Leopard

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Short

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Release Date:

12 May 1912 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

Desdemona  »

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Very Interesting Story Idea, But Doesn't Make the Best Use of the Possibilities
6 March 2006 | by See all my reviews

This Danish short feature has a very interesting story idea that offers all kinds of possibilities, but then it does not make use of the best of those opportunities. It ends up being at about the level of the many routine melodramas of the era, but it's still interesting for the imagination of the film-makers in trying to combine the story and themes in a different way.

The setup has a husband and wife acting team preparing to play the roles of Othello and Desdemona, while in 'real life' the wife pursues an extra-marital romance. The actor playing Iago has his own advances to the wife refused, so he decides to take revenge accordingly. From there, the story follows the characters both on-stage and off-stage as events develop further, with the occasional use of props and other details to develop some of the parallels.

The parallel between play and reality was an imaginative and ambitious idea for the time, and even though it does not work as well as it could have, they deserve credit for trying to make what would have been something like a more serious counterpart to the "Kiss Me Kate" plot. The stage sequences also preserve a brief record of the kind of costumes that the characters would have worn in a stage production at the time.

In Shakespeare's plot, Desdemona is completely innocent and sympathetic, but here the audience's identification with the wife is dissipated by her deceitfulness and coldness. Likewise, in Shakespeare, you can admire Iago's evil brilliance even as you are repulsed by the character, but here he's just a mean-spirited tattle-tale. So, unfortunately, the way it is set up limits or prevents much of the tension and suspense that could have been developed. In the end, it's more interesting for what it could have been, rather than for what it is.


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