It wouldn't do to see "the Lubitsch touch" as purely a matter of comedy. His films are keenly aware of sadness and happiness—who gets to have fun, and on what terms—established with both immediacy and delicacy. This non-fairy tale is a move to melancholia, not without some melodramatic dopiness. But it should resonate with anyone who's starting to feel time. Cheers to FilmStruck, where it was the last film I watched.
35mm, rewatched. A prodigy of mise-en-scène, which, like the great filmmakers, parallels the way the Human is observed, which in Lubisch's case, as someone lucid and cynical, is simultaneously endowed with an affectionate perspective undermined by the clear notion of society's repetitive mediocrity: none can be happy because they are just puppets. But Cinema can be great, and it is, because it's a construction upon.
Lubitsch was one of the directors who better explored the classical forms of cinema. With the ellipsis we have narrative economy or sexual innuendo, with subjective shots we have deep access to character psychology, with the omniscient narration (either by metonymic shots or by independent camera movements) we have irony and distance, with visual motifs we have powerful logic associations producing a closed meaning.
Le doigté et la maîtrise de Lubitsch ont fait de cette histoire hyper-romantique, une superbe étude sur le thème de la fragilité du bonheur et la constante présence de la mort. Entièrement reconstitué en studio par la M.G.M., le film devint rapidement un estimable succès international et pour le spectateur une rare occasion de redécouvrir la période muette de l'oeuvre d'un génial cinéaste.