Reviews of The Magic Mountain
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Der Zauberberg 1982 The Magic Mountain. Hans W. Geissendörfer’s splendid realization of the celebrated novel by Thomas Mann, all 329 minutes of it, is a rewarding immersion in early 20th century European thought as played out within the pricints of a mountain top sanatorium for the tubercular. The novel began as a short comic play on Mann’s Death in Venice but grew over a lengthy gestation period to the sprawling work that undertook a consideration of contemporary society and its destructive attitudes. Those having had the memory of the work long since fled, might recognize much of the basis of Death in Venice in the film, namely the obsession of Hans (Christoph Eichhorn) with the beautiful Russian Clawdia (Marie-France Pisier) which he confuses initially with the boy that attracted him in grade school and who appears in her place as well as the hallucinatory dream sequence featuring a naked boy as a guide leading him to a mythological sacrifice of a child. Further the venue of a pestilence ridden Venice is transferred to the equally deathly sanatorium with its frequent disgorging of the dead. 5 of 5 : Every cineliterate person should experience this.
Herr Mann would doubtless approve of young Eichhorn in the central roll.