Thursday, February 19, 2009

Der Heilige Berg (The Holy Mountain)

(1926, Ger, 106m, b/w)
d/sc/ed Arthur Franck p Harry R. Sokal ph Sepp Allgeier, Albert Benitz, Helmar Lerski, Hans Schneeberger pd Leopold Blonder cast Leni Riefenstahl, Luis Trenker, Ernst Petersen, Frida Richard, Friedrich Schneider, Hannes Schneider

Riefenstahl is Diotima the Dancer, unquestioningly worshiped by mountain sportsman Karl. She loves him for his sensitivity and for his implacable cliff-face beauty, but her attentions are distracted by his pal Vigo, victorious in an exhilarating long-distance ski-ing race, and off the two men must go to scale the “dreadful Santo-north face”. Loyalty is the greatest attribute for the mountain sportsmen; its betrayal can end only in tragedy. The plot is as old as the mountains themselves but given that Riefenstahl cited Franck as her cinematographic mentor, it is no surprise that the photography is wonderful in this “dream-poem with scenes from nature” (a prologue has her offering her art to the sea). The bergfilms of the 1920’s were the natural inheritors of that gloomy German romanticism, focused on the sublime in nature, best typified by Friedrich in the nineteenth century and Kant in the eighteenth, and the film’s aim – and success – resides in its use of consciously archetypal narrative and characterisation as vehicles through which to reach for the ineffable.

© Time Out Film Guide

Tweet This ! (Click On It For Url Shortening) Share On Facebook ! Share On Google Buzz ! Add To ! Share On Digg ! Share On Reddit ! Share On LinkedIn ! Post To Blogger ! Share On StumbleUpon ! Share On Friend Feed ! Share On MySpace ! Share On Yahoo Buzz ! Share On Google Reader ! Google Bookmark ! Send An Email !


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home

Newer›  ‹Older