Max Ophuls is the man!!! When your heros (Paul Thomas Anderson&Wes Anderson) mention him as an influence, you are obliged to check it out. Now i want to watch everything directed by him. And this film has everything i like about art - its aware of the fact that it is a spectacle thanks to the witty omniscient narrator who informs us from the beginning that he know it all but still sustains our interest.
Omniscient master of a carousel leads us through a romantic relay race where characters fall in love with each other. Based on Arthur Schnitzler's 1897 play "Merry-Go-Round", an elegant, ironic, sexy and quietly desperate poem about the sublime futility of life and beauty. An absolute masterpiece that shouldn't be missed by anyone who fancies himself a film lover.
The carousel is a great metaphor to begin with but the mechanical failure moment just makes it hilarious. Great film about promiscuous sex within the bounds of 1950's censorship, Ophuls really pushes the envelope.If you like this one, also see THE EARRINGS OF MADAME DE...
A strange Ophuls. In a sense, this is as pure a representation of the Ophulsian metaphysic as any film he ever made. The director is clearly fully engaged w/ the material. But there is something quite unpleasant about Walbrook's authorial position, his intrusions. Even more, the theme of the persistence of transient passion becomes tiresome, redundant. Still, the prostitute/count scene is Ophuls at his very best.
For witty high-concept movies with absolute control of visual delight embedded with melancholic musings on social class and the silly boundaries we put between us and our heart, this movie comes with full endorsement! I was surprised how 97 minutes could feel like thirty. Its breezy, full of artifice and yet captures an emotional reality that I seriously need to return to as soon as possible!
One of the most unique films to address the playful nature of love. Romantic films that try to invoke nostalgia are a dime a dozen but films that examine it as a part of human nature that's both sometimes frail and essential (after all it literally makes the world 'go round' here) part of humanity, well there's something special.