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As a young couple stops and rests in a small village inn, the man is abducted by Death and is sequestered behind a huge doorless, windowless wall. The woman finds a mystic entrance and is met by Death, who tells her three separate stories set in exotic locales, all involving circumstances similar to hers. In each story, a woman, trying to save her lover from his ultimate tragic fate, fails. The young lady realizes the meaning of the tales and takes the only step she can to reunite herself with her lover.Written by
Doug Sederberg <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Contemporary audiences must have been awed by the spectacle of the three exotic adventure episodes within `Der Mude Tod', but the imagery Fritz Lang employs in the bookends is the most fascinating aspect of the film today. Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton had already occasionally used clever camera tricks, but Fritz Lang's film revels in special effects. Through editing and double exposure, he makes it look even now as though ghosts are disappearing through a garden wall, or that two lovers' souls are exiting their bodies. The most exciting thing about Lang's magic, of course, is that his images act as a foundation for beautiful, poetic ideas. His unusually sympathetic portrayal of Death is just one example of why the outer story resonates so much more than the obvious melodrama in its middle. Lang seems to argue that, while love cannot overcome death, it retains a power which even death would respect and envy.
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