Martin Teller's Movie Reviews

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La caduta degli dei (The Damned)

Posted by martinteller on February 17, 2010

This was Fassbinder’s favorite film, and the influence is apparent.  Bright primary colors, homosexual content, heavy on melodrama, displays of decadence.  And much like Fassbinder, I find Visconti hard to get into.  His career is all over the map, from poor to mediocre to good, but never really wowing me.  And so I always approach his movies with some hesitation, but try to keep an open mind.  This one has its pluses and minuses.  It does make striking use of color, the acting is generally not that bad (I’d have to say not that great either, though) and it eventually builds to a somewhat compelling, operatic tale of corruption under the Third Reich.  But it does take some time to get going.  The first part is dreadfully confusing, as characters keep referring to other characters that the audience isn’t familiar enough with yet.  Eventually it gets sorted out, but surely there’s a better way to present all that information.  And the film is often quite hysterical, and occasionally absurd.  I guess the bottom line is that while I had some admiration for what Visconti was doing and how he was going about it, I didn’t much want to be watching it.  I kept vacillating between confused, impressed, bored, intrigued, and annoyed.  Rating: 6


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