Sunday, October 10, 2004
|7:50 p.m.||La Ronde|
Max Ophuls (France, 1950)
Introduced by Guy Maddin
I haven't seen this film in twenty years but it has really stayed with me. Dolly-track fetishist Ophuls constructs a wonderfully circular narrative in a wistful tribute to syphilis. Set in the director's beloved Vienna in the even more beloved year of 1900, the same time and setting as his awesome Letter from an Unknown Woman, the movie lets its camera roll in sweeping merry-go-round arcs past trysts, liaisons, double-crossings, and heady plunges, until it comes back to its beginnings. Anton Walbrook is the story's dapper ringmaster and narrator. Simone Signoret, Simone Simon, Danielle Darrieux, and Jean-Louis Barrault are just some of the lovely infectees, if memory serves me correctly.
• Written by Ophuls, Jacques Natanson, from the play Der Reigen by Arthur Schnitzler. Photographed by Christian Matras. With Anton Walbrook, Simone Signoret, Serge Reggiani, Simone Simon, Daniel Gélin, Danielle Darrieux, Jean-Louis Barrault, Isa Miranda, Gérard Philippe. (97 mins, In French with English subtitles, B&W, 35mm, PFA Collection)