Franz Seitz, who collaborated with Volker Schlondorff on the script of 'Die Blechtrommel' (The Tin Drum), scripted and directed this brilliant adaptation of Thomas Mann's novel.Narrated by Adrian Leverkuhn's lifelong friend (who is also secretly in love with him) it sets off his pact with Satan to become a brilliant composer. He has to sacrifice ever falling in love with a woman. Therefore he willingly contracts syphilis. In the process of rising to the heights of his artistry, he destroys all those round him. The film, like the novel, is both a reflection on and a metaphor for the rise of Nazism in Germany. It is however devoid of all politics, with the exception of some black & white war footage. Told in three episodes and spanning the composer's lifetime, Seitz's film is still (2018) a masterpiece. When a work of art satisfies and stimulates one emotionally, visually, sensually and intellectually, it is a masterpiece. Within minutes one forgets that Jon Finch (who starred in the title role of Polanski's 'Macbeth') is dubbed into German. I have now been given the DVD as a present. Apparently there are only a few copies in the world.This is a pity, because it belongs on the shelf of every lover of art cinema.
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