Eva has just gotten married to an older gentleman, but discovers that he is obsessed with order in his life and doesn't have much room for passion. She becomes despondent and leaves him, ... See full summary »
This art film has no conventional dialog between the main characters. This tells a strangely compelling story of two women in a suburban home who are listening to radio news broadcasts about a missing child in their area.
In Werner Schroeter's very free interpretation of Ingeborg Bachmann's novel "Malina" (1971), the main character has no name, but appears in four reflections, two of them are the male main characters Malina and Ivan. Moreover, Schroeder used even two light-doubles for a famous mirror scene in which the female character appears in a "chiastic" and thus non-Aristotelian relation. We already see: Schroeder's movie is a movie about the splitting of individuality, but not simply by creating Doppelgängers, as, e.g. R.W. Fassbinder did in the characters of Hermann Hermann and Felix Weber in "Despair" (1978), but so that every time one of the two male reflections and one of the two female reflections stand in an over-cross relation to one another. This had been done before in such a splendid manner only once: by E.T.A. Hoffmann in his "Princess Brambilla" (1820). A comparison of the time of Schroeter and that of Hoffmann is made here not merely by the coincidence of some motives, but by the fact that Schroeter very often uses Pre-Illumination procedures instead of telling a story in the rationalist way. Very often, this happens by the use of mythological movies or specific themes out of operas. We remember the famous Paphnutius episode in which the former fairy Rosabelverde appears as Fräulein Von Rosenschöngrün and the puzzled narrator explains that by order of the ruler all non-rationalist concepts have been banned out of the state. However, we are also told that certain relics of thought have survived, and in the modern time of film we mostly meet them in the fascinating oeuvre of Schroeter where causality appears together with magical series, the subject is subject to a topic taken from association rather than logic and so on. In a certain, no less fascinating, way one could say that Schroeter uses for deconstruction of our reality, based on two-valued logic, not the famous procedures prepared by Derrida and already by Heidegger, but by dissolving rational structures in the streams of Pre-Enlightenment pictures. When the female main character, who doubtlessly bears the signs of writer Ingeborg Bachmann herself, talks about her constant pains and her impossibility to live under the premises of her work and the two men who are her projections, we realize that Bachmann's writing (including her PhD dissertation about fundamental ontology) are interpreted by Schroeter from the standpoint of deconstructing femininity. After having destroyed her femininity up to a certain measure by construction of her different mirror images ("I exist only in the mirror", she says in the movie), she tries to construct it newly by means of what one would call language criticism methodology based on the fundamental ontology of her own work. To see that and how she fails leads in Schroeter's movie to a spectacular last scene - and also in Bachmann's 47-years-old-life in "reality". In reality?
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