If feminist film theory in the wake of Laura Mulvey asserted (not incorrectly) that women are framed in dominant cinema according to a quality of "to-be-looked-at-ness," the (implicitly queer) early cinema of Werner Schroter reminds us that what we are looking at are not just neutered objects for aesthetic/sexual consideration, but volatile machines of expressivity. A supremely rich vision. Intoxicating.
This is probably one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen in my life. Schroeter makes me sad from being such a genius: he builds scenes like a poet - everything here is well executed, well placed and provoking: I just admire how he flerts with kitsch and tacky, and at the end he never actually is. In my opinion, this is what the art of cinema is made for.
Un filme-performance. Schroeter a través de un lenguaje hermético y poético condensa el amor y lo trágico a fin de exponer ciertos rasgos biográficos de la cantane Maria Malibran. Por tal vez eso es lo menos atractivo (y más enimágtico) del filme, pues en su lugar su estética de primeros planos, rostros y cuerpos que modelan y gestualizan entre las iuminaciones que traen a la memoria desde F.W.Murnau a Kenneth Anger.
Overripe, over-rich, and overwrought; and yet, and yet, and yet. I want to call this beautiful mutation an avant-kitsch extravaganza, but I regret the laziness of the appellation. At times, as so often with Schroeter, the film feels like an extended, ungainly music video in which the synching wanders in and out of true, enacting and inciting the delirium of desire always just under the surface of opera and artifice.