Author Topic: Max Ophüls  (Read 3163 times)

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The Silver Bullet

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Max Ophüls
« on: June 10, 2003, 08:59:21 AM »
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The best way for me to start a thread like this is probably with a list. I suck at starting a thread in which we are to discuss somebody in any other way.

01. La Ronde [1950 | A+++]
02. La Plaisir [1952 | A+++]
03. Madame de... [1953 | A+]
04. Letter From An Unknown Woman [1948 | A]
05. La Signora Di Tutti [1934 | B]

What strikes me personally about Ophüls' work is its consistency. The technical flourishes of La Ronde and Madame de... are just as prominent, refined and perfected in La Signora Di Tutti, a film made nearly twenty years earlier. It is as though his vision was so clear that he couldn't get any better if he tried.

What makes this even more interesting is how cutting edge his work was. The scene of Di Tutti in which two people [one in a car, one in a boat] have a conversation is astounding, especially when you consider when it was made. Other early talkies [I am reminded of Fritz Lang's M] come close to pushing as many boundaries as Ophüls was pushing at the same time.

Anyhoo, I love his work [not only in a technical sense, but also in terms of story], and would love to "engage in meaningful discussion" with anyone who has seen any of his work, and has an opinion...
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godardian

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Max Ophüls
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2003, 01:01:39 PM »
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I'm waiting for Ophuls films on DVD.

Is Reckless Moment on that list... that and Madame De... are the ones I've heard spoken of as exemplary.
""Money doesn't come into it. It never has. I do what I do because it's all that I am." - Morrissey

"Lacan stressed more and more in his work the power and organizing principle of the symbolic, understood as the networks, social, cultural, and linguistic, into which a child is born. These precede the birth of a child, which is why Lacan can say that language is there from before the actual moment of birth. It is there in the social structures which are at play in the family and, of course, in the ideals, goals, and histories of the parents. This world of language can hardly be grasped by the newborn and yet it will act on the whole of the child's existence."

Stay informed on protecting your freedom of speech and civil rights.

Gold Trumpet

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Max Ophüls
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2003, 01:26:27 PM »
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This is definitely the most important filmmaker who is missing from dvd. His name speaks just as highly as Orson Welles for influencing some of the most acclaimed filmmakers around. He is also definitely one of the hardest guys to get a movie of, even with vhs. I've ordered his movies countless times on vhs to always get nothing. I've only seen La Ronde and that was on TCM one sunday morning and the movie was amazing. The opening shot following the narrator introducing the story and then going off set and showing the audience that this was just a film set and nonchalantly walking right back on set to continue his introduction was shocking. So simple was the break, but it was done with confidence that even though it made it apparent that film was just a made up story, it still was confident because it knew the story would pull you in right away anyways and grab, which it did. The rest of the movie was stellar. A true classic. Every Ophuls film that gets released, I'm getting.

possibilities of Ophuls going to dvd really lie with Criterion. Word has it that Criterion is looking to release an Ophuls film or two in the next coming year or whenever but aren't committing on any specific schedule. At best, I hope to see two Ophuls films on dvd from Criterion sometime next year and it will likely be the most famous named ones like Lola Montes, La Ronde and Earrings of Madame De...... I've said it before though, but one of the biggest faults of Criterion is that it has taken so long to even release one Ophuls film considering how popular (for old foreign films) his movies are and how delightful they are to watch. When I think of this, I think of all the titles released by Criterion I could do without and feel they operate more on a cult level than anything worthy of what the collection is suppose to live up to.

Such a shame more people can't experience the excitement and magic of this director.

~rougerum

The Silver Bullet

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Max Ophüls
« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2003, 07:45:20 PM »
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Quote
Is Reckless Moment on that list...

Nope. I haven't seen it yet. I'll be sure to eventually though.

Quote
The opening shot following the narrator introducing the story and then going off set and showing the audience that this was just a film set and nonchalantly walking right back on set to continue his introduction was shocking.

The film is full of awesome "out-of-the-movie" moments like that.

I personally love it when the narrator uses a clapper board to begin one of the stories, and then later when he is seen cutting and splicing some film together, how he turns to the camera and says, "Censorship!"
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godardian

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Max Ophüls
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2003, 07:58:51 PM »
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I actually think Lola Montes IS available on DVD. In the States, anyway.
""Money doesn't come into it. It never has. I do what I do because it's all that I am." - Morrissey

"Lacan stressed more and more in his work the power and organizing principle of the symbolic, understood as the networks, social, cultural, and linguistic, into which a child is born. These precede the birth of a child, which is why Lacan can say that language is there from before the actual moment of birth. It is there in the social structures which are at play in the family and, of course, in the ideals, goals, and histories of the parents. This world of language can hardly be grasped by the newborn and yet it will act on the whole of the child's existence."

Stay informed on protecting your freedom of speech and civil rights.

Gold Trumpet

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Max Ophüls
« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2003, 09:38:25 AM »
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Lola Montes is on dvd in the states, but it is a dvd that is kinda unofficially out of print and in very shitty condition in way of showing the film.

~rougerum

SiliasRuby

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Re: Max Ophüls
« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2009, 03:55:15 AM »
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'The Earrings of Madame de...' is my first Max ophuls film and I believe I've fallen in love with it. There' something honest and innately quiet about the way the camera and the story progresses at the same time. I'm sure that makes no sense but there's certainly a unique synchenicity to what's happening on screen to what you're feeling while watching it. I guess that's how you're supposed to feel for more films but perhaps I've become extremely jaded lately. The film is organic in the truest sense of he word and the actors never stand out in a bad way. In some ways the camera really is the star of the film...

SEE THIS FILM.

La Ronde is next on my ophuls list.
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samsong

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Re: Max Ophüls
« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2009, 06:06:37 AM »
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did you watch/listen to p.t. anderson's "introduction"?  it convinced me that he's autistic.

SiliasRuby

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Re: Max Ophüls
« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2009, 08:07:38 AM »
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Yeah, I did. But autistic in a good way.
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children with angels

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Re: Max Ophüls
« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2010, 04:16:00 AM »
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When all the American Xixaxers have watched Letter From an Unknown Woman (on TCM, March 27, 10:15pm eastern), they can then read one of the better pieces of film criticism ever written, by Victor Perkins, which I've just realised is online:

http://www.16-9.dk/2003-09/side11_inenglish.htm
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Pas

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Re: Max Ophüls
« Reply #10 on: March 05, 2010, 05:44:50 AM »
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Is Le Chagrin et La Pitié any good? I think it's The Sorrow and the Pity in english... I am wondering if I should blind buy it

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Re: Max Ophüls
« Reply #11 on: March 05, 2010, 05:55:50 AM »
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Is Le Chagrin et La Pitié any good? I think it's The Sorrow and the Pity in english... I am wondering if I should blind buy it

Haha, that's Marcel Ophuls, not Max. It is his son. No worries, I made the same mistake once upon a time too. I haven't seen it, but I would blind buy it if I reasonably could.

Pas

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Re: Max Ophüls
« Reply #12 on: March 05, 2010, 07:10:57 AM »
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:oops: what a fool!

I'll get it then, I saw a weird looking but new copy of it for 6$ walking through Chinatown last night.

children with angels

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Re: Max Ophüls
« Reply #13 on: March 05, 2010, 07:26:39 AM »
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I'd definitely like to see it too, partly because of the fact that it has of course been made seminal thanks to Alvy Singer.
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