Taking influence from Rohmer's essential Kleist adaptation The Marquis of O & filtering it through the stilted deadpan of early Kaurismäki, every shot & gesture here becomes a rigid, carefully directed marvel of colour, composition & control. Hausner uses the film to break apart German Romanticism from a feminist perspective; mocking the selfish, petty entitlement often motivating such supposedly earnest expressions.
3.7 stars. 'Morrissey: The Early Years'. Elicited a strange kind of silent laughter which felt like being on the edge of sneezing. Very effective as a critique of the self-absorbed, self-pitying, emotionally abusive Male Artist, structured around the female gaze, which felt all the more timely watched on day I read about a man who is playing piano on Bristol Green until his ex-girlfriend returns to him.
There is a reason we seek quality audio and video equipment. We want a beautiful picture, good, clear audio and sharp resolution. This would be wasted upon a blurry film that meanders its way through landscapes of half forgotten streets. Amour Fou is like a cat waiting to spring upon its prey - it is a vivid, beautiful, sonorant light out of darkness that returns to the dark almost as a fly by - a window into love.
This film is satirizing the likes of things like Jane Austen's works and other classic costume drama. It seems to misunderstand some of the key traits that make those pieces successful. Though scathing, Amour Fou seems to lack the awareness of the satirical nature of other pieces in its genre. Though it contains a clever absurdist streak that fooled me for a while, it ultimately fell short of being that clever.
One of the better framed films I've seen in recent years. So much is going on by watching the sides and background of the shots, even while onscreen dialogue is minimal and pacing is slow. Hausner's drama subtly contradicts the idea of sacrificial love by suicide (the Crazy Love, or Amour Fou) by showing the folly in thinking one can share death with another. We go it alone and death is not a romantic conceit.
Gorgeous cinematography and attention to detail. The sets, costumes, colours, and framing make this interior world of stifling social constraint a visually stunning and mesmerising place to spend time looking around. The film resembles a Vermeer painting, having had much research put into the production design. Sadly the acting and narrative pace do not live up to those high levels.
Perfectly formed, the lighting and frame composition suggesting Vermeer, atmospherically conjuring up a world in transition against the backdrop of the Enlightenment and the French Revolution. Hausner brings a corrective feminist sensibility, exposing the sexual politics and showing how the great Romantic hero could just as well be a dangerous imbecile. Funny and disturbing with good use of Beethoven as a motif.