Country: Italy, France, West Germany
Language: Italian, German
Genre: Biography, Drama, History
Director: Luchino Visconti
Writers: Luchino Visconti, Enrico Mediolo
Cinematogrphy: Armando Nannuzzi
John Moulder Brown
After “Death Of Venice” , this is the second Time I have Encountered Visconti, again its Self-obsessed protagonist captured me. I need more background information about Ludwig II, the mad king of Bavaria. But as far as this film, it solidify Visconti’s status of a unique director, a master of gilded resplendence.
The film has extravagant settings which could easily amaze everyone in spite of different backgrounds. I have to say only Visconti has this privilege as he has “blue blood” running inside his veins.
Ludwig is a proud black swan, noble and pure, maybe reflects the image of Visconti himself. His tragedy is that he is not suitable to be a king, he pursues art more than politics, and his homosexuality does offend some people. At his position his demise is destined and nothing he could do to avoid it, it’s so cruel to see how he suffers all the way, the ultimate death is the best way to save his dignity as a human being.
The film is almost 4 hours, I have to watch it separately, which helps a lot to digest it. And Helmut Berger is so vulnerable and convincing in his role as Ludwig, plus at that time he was also Visconti’s muse. I wonder how come he hasn’t become more famous as he unfurls a unisex fascination from this film even could defeat Alain Delon at his peak youth.
Watching Visconti’s film is a totally different experience from watching Antonioni’s. They both excel over each other in their own ways, by far I still can not figure out I like whose films more, need to see more films from both of them.