It's Germany in 1930, and neither Caligari nor Hitler are anywhere in sight. A beautiful, sun-dappled idyll that manages to effortlessly be so many things at once: a city symphony (less mechanical than Vertov), proto-neorealism (more cohesive than Rossellini), and proto-New Wave (more generous than Godard). The best moments of the film spill over with off-hand life and cinematic beauty. Essential.
I feel like this might be one of those instances where a famous film owes more to the later-famous people who worked on it than to its own comparative merit as cinema of its time. Maybe I'm being ungenerous though, because I just find stories of women competing over a man (and the casual assumption that this is what naturally happens) to be incredibly boring. Honestly though, for 1930 this is just... a good film.
This film was done by amateurs but nevertheless caused a bustle. It represents pure creativity and vigour. Considering this film became extremely influential as the first independent film ever made, it is interesting in this aspect and maybe just extremely important to consider what is possible with very little when making films.
A treasure. Light and breezy - but also inventive enough that even today it is fresh and stimulating. No surprise that so many future Hollywood icons (Billy Wilder! Robert Siodmak! Edward G. Ulmer!) were involved in this experiment. As Richard Brody put it, "the first mumble core film, seventy-five years ahead of it's time."
Stunning groundbreaking film; precursor to French New Wave and Neorealism, the freewheeling style also anticipates such future classics as A Hard Day's Night and Wings of Desire, and in its sexual subplot it also is a precursor to Knife In The Water. It's a romantic, entertaining, inventive, and still fresh film in its own right, lovingly restored on Criterion Blu_Ray
I was really surprised by this film! It came across almost like a Cassavetes film made in the silent era. Part documentary, part fiction, it really makes it seem like real life unfolding. The story is told through flirting, glances, jealous anger and through other, almost purely physical means.