Jump to content
 
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...

For The Red Shoes, I Will Use This Word


Recommended Posts

Masterpiece.  It is a word used and misused too much.  But for this movie of such surpassing craftsmanship, humanity, and pathos, it is entirely appropriate.  If filmmaking is considered as an equal of other artistic endeavors of the human race, then this must be considered on the same footing as works by Titian, Conrad, or Moore.

 

It is rare to find a movie that you can unreservedly praise, because there is nothing in it you can find lacking.  The Red Shoes, far from lacking, is superabundant.  Everly element of the film, from the cinematography, to the score, the choreography, the costumes, the art direction, the writing, of course the direction, and the acting, is supremely crafted, and executed, and integrated into the whole.

 

The music, alive, liquid, energetic, is modern without being sterile, or inaccessibly abstract.  It evokes the emotions, wonder, enthusiasm, awe, aspiration, despair.

 

To speak of the acting, notwithstanding Anton Wallbrook, and Robert Helpmann, is to speak of Moira Shearer.  One of the great actresses.  I rank her with Olivia de Havilland, Ingrid Bergman, Setsuko Hara, and Giulietta Masina.  And all from this one performance.  She shows on the screen great poise and reserve, powerful determination, and wrenching agony.  Her depiction of how Victoria Page is torn apart by her love for her husband, and her fierce hunger for dancing is among the best on screen.  She made other movies, most notably The Tales of Hoffman, but really this is the only one of significance for her acting.  Unfortunately, for movies, she preferred dancing, being one of the great ballerinas.  Alas, I don't think there are any films of her performances, either.  All in all, a great loss.  But at least we have this film.

 

An entire book could be written on Michael Powell's direction.  But to focus on one aspect, a great director must, among other things, be a great portraitist.  He must be able to capture the spirit or thoughts of a character at a moment, and present them on the screen.  There was no better film portraitist than Michael Powell:

 

2r45q44.png

 

2dtd6s5.jpg

 

nyh65u.jpg

 

29vzd5j.png

 

On The Essentials tomorrow.  No more essential a movie.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

If I don't have to compete with the couch and TV this evening, I will watch this in its entirety.

 

For some reason, over the years, I have seen/watched bits and pieces of The Red Shoes - and it has all been enjoyable.  It believe this is because it is so pretty to watch - any part of it.

 

The last time, I saw almost the entire movie, and it was still enjoyable.  I never do this with other films, I always have to watch from opening credits to closing credits.

 

But this one has caught my eye, many times.  Thanks, Slayton.

 

Also, Marius Goring - another chameleon like actor.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with everything written in the original post, however I have two things to add:

 

Anton Walbrook is utterly magnificent in his role, really deserving of an Oscar nomination for Best Actor that he sadly did not get.... his final scene is what stays with me about the movie the most, and I think the richest subtext of "Thee Red Shoes" is the fact that on the surface Boris the Svengalie is the heartless villain and the composer Julian is the hero: when in fact, its the other way around.

Link to post
Share on other sites

...oh and it does bug me a touch did they use editing and trick photography in some of the dance scenes when the film is all about the incredible feats of foot dancers make and the sacrifices and commitments they must make to do them. It seems like something of a cheat to me.

 

but other than that: yes the film is pretty much without fault.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with everything written in the original post, however I have two things to add:

 

Anton Walbrook is utterly magnificent in his role, really deserving of an Oscar nomination for Best Actor that he sadly did not get.... his final scene is what stays with me about the movie the most, and I think the richest subtext of "Thee Red Shoes" is the fact that on the surface Boris the Svengalie is the heartless villain and the composer Julian is the hero: when in fact, its the other way around.

Anton Walbrook is great, isn't he.  I really liked him in Gaslight (1940) and I Accuse (1948) as well as Red Shoes.

I would very much like to see some of his German work, like Viktor and Viktoria (1933).

I remember my mother telling me that she once had a crush on him.  I guess this would have been early 40's when he was making films in Britain.  I think he was gay, was he not?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Whew! Glad the OP called it a masterpiece. At first I was afraid this was going to be a sarcastic thread finding fault with Powell's great film.

 

Yeah, I guess it was a poor choice of title.

 

...oh and it does bug me a touch did they use editing and trick photography in some of the dance scenes when the film is all about the incredible feats of foot dancers make and the sacrifices and commitments they must make to do them. It seems like something of a cheat to me.

 

but other than that: yes the film is pretty much without fault.

 

Never thought of it that way.  Let me suggest it is an expression of the psychology of Victoria Page as she is dancing.  She enters something of a trance state.  Images of clouds, flowers, and birds appear, in wry contrast to the hard-headed assessment of a dancer's state Miss Page gives earlier.  We see here the beginning of the conflict in her mind between Lermontov and Craster.  Wether they, Miss Page and Julian Craster, are in love yet isn't known, but he looms large, along with Lermontov (a stern authority figure) in her mind.

 

  I think he was gay, was he not?

 

No, he was Austrian.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

No, he was Austrian.

 

 

LOL

 

Yes Bogie, Walbrook was gay...AND was absolutely great as "the good German" Theo Kretschmar-Schuldorff in Michael Powell's THE LIFE AND DEATH OF COLONEL BLIMP.

 

The scene in this film where as a broken man without a country he recounts why he's made his way to England is a wonder to behold and very heartbreaking.

 

(...love that Powell film too!)

Link to post
Share on other sites

LOL

 

Yes Bogie, Walbrook was gay...AND was absolutely great as "the good German" Theo Kretschmar-Schuldorff in Michael Powell's THE LIFE AND DEATH OF COLONEL BLIMP.

 

The scene in this film where as a broken man without a country he recounts why he's made his way to England is a wonder to behold and very heartbreaking.

 

(...love that Powell film too!)

Anton Walbrook is one of my favourites.  As I said, I would dearly love to see some of his earlier work from Germany before he fled to England.  He might not have survived Nazism.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Masterpiece.  It is a word used and misused too much.  But for this movie of such surpassing craftsmanship, humanity, and pathos, it is entirely appropriate.  If filmmaking is considered as an equal of other artistic endeavors of the human race, then this must be considered on the same footing as works by Titian, Conrad, or Moore.

 

It is rare to find a movie that you can unreservedly praise, because there is nothing in it you can find lacking.  The Red Shoes, far from lacking, is superabundant.  Everly element of the film, from the cinematography, to the score, the choreography, the costumes, the art direction, the writing, of course the direction, and the acting, is supremely crafted, and executed, and integrated into the whole.

 

 

Argh! The Maltin review gave this movie 4 stars so I figured it was likely not good.

 

I see the movie is scheduled to play again in July.

I'll try to catch it then..

Link to post
Share on other sites

Argh! The Maltin review gave this movie 4 stars so I figured it was likely not good.

 

I see the movie is scheduled to play again in July.

I'll try to catch it then..

:o

Normally, the ol' Maltin Review works exactly as you predicted.. This is one of those rare instances where it's right on the money.. I'd go so far as to give it 4-1/2 Stars. Moira Shearer's expressiveness captivates me with each viewing - her physical beauty; her facial expressions; her body language.. Perfection.

 

This scene in particular: To see her relish each word spoken to her.. so much is going on beneath..

29vzd5j.png

 

Not to mention the rest of the cast..

:P

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Beautiful photo, Kid. 

 

I was disappointed that both RO and Sally Field mispronounced Marius Goring's first name.

They both said Marcus Goring.  (Unless I heard incorrectly).

 

This is unfortunate, because he doesn't seem to be well known today as it is, and correctly saying an actor's name is pretty basic.  Especially if you are going to say it on air in a prime time program.

 

Although Goring was thoroughly British, he was cast often as evil Germans or Nazis in later films.  He could speak fluent German, and his name and blond looks helped with this type of casting.  He spent most of his career as a stage actor.

 

Here he is in A Matter of Life and Death with David Niven.

 

bfi-00m-f0p.jpg?itok=4loUoZqY

Link to post
Share on other sites

...

 

Although Goring was thoroughly British, he was cast often as evil Germans or Nazis in later films.  He could speak fluent German, and his name and blond looks helped with this type of casting.  He spent most of his career as a stage actor.

 

Here he is in A Matter of Life and Death with David Niven.

 

bfi-00m-f0p.jpg?itok=4loUoZqY

 

As many times as I have seen this film, your photo has made me realize, for the first time, David Niven is barefoot. Never noticed this before. See.. even after (mumblemumble) years, I can still make new discoveries in film.

:)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Anton Walbrook is one of my favourites.  As I said, I would dearly love to see some of his earlier work from Germany before he fled to England.  He might not have survived Nazism.

 

Go to YouTube and watch the 5 minute clip titled:

 

Viktor und Viktoria (1933) At the tavern

 

In German films, Anton went by the name of Adolf Wohlbrück

Link to post
Share on other sites

The story is a little complex, but interesting.

It's a love story. Several love stories on several levels and about more than the love between individuals.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The story is a little complex, but interesting.

 

 

The story is a little complex, but interesting.

DAMN!  Keeps "double quoting"!

 

Well Fred, I didn't find the story TOO complex, just didn't interest me.

 

 

Sepiatone

Link to post
Share on other sites

slayton, you may want to view this:

 

http://forums.tcm.com/index.php?/topic/29892-20th-century-vole-presents/

 

Actually, all silliness aside, it is a good movie.

But I can't stand the way it ends, and I don't think it was necessary (won't say more for fear of "spoiing".)

 

I agree with you about the end being unnecessary. It’s not that I’m particularly irritated about the happy vs. sad, or sad vs. happy aspect of the end, but, to me, the writing left too many holes in the logic to support the outcome. I also think there were other outcomes – perhaps better outcomes – that would not have diminished the rest of the film in any way.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Lermontov:  The ballet of The Red Shoes is from a fairy tale by Hans Anderson.  It is the story of a girl that is devoured by an ambition to attend a dance in a pair of red--shoes.  She gets the shoes, goes to the dance, and at first, all is well, and she is very happy.  At the end of the evening she gets tired. . . and wants to go home.  But, the red shoes are not tired.  In fact the red shoes are never tired.  They dance her out into the streets.  They dance her over the mountains and valleys, through fields and forests, through night and day.  Time rushes by.  Love rushes by.  Life--rushes by.  But the red shoes. . . dance on.

 

Julian Craster:  What happens in the end?

 

Lermontov:  Oh, in the end, she dies.

 

Craster:  Yes, I remember.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Slayton, I like your defense of Powell's using camera trickery during the elaborate "Red Shoes" number. I guess I've never thought of it that way.

 

at least Moira Shearer won't pullin' no Natalie Portman in BLACK SWAN body double b*******.

 

"Oh I was hardcore. I trained for months. I danced the part. I was killing the entrechants. Meat is murder."

 

Shut up Natalie.

 

Sorry. Sidetracked.

 

I will also toss in that as much as I love Charles Boyer, I LOVE Anton Walbrook in the 1940 version of GASLIGHT and his performance is at least equal to Boyers. And as a whole the 1940 version is head and shoulders a better film than the 1944 version.

 

I did not know that Walbrook was gay. I can see that though. He has a refreshing bitchiness to his screen persona, not entirely unlike Clifton Webb.

 

That moment in "the red shoes" when the prima ballerina who is departing the company stops to say goodbye to Boris, and from behind this fabulous pair of sunglasses, he is just all "bye Felicia" without uttering one. single. word.

 

I'm not saying only gay men can throw that kind of shade.

 

I am, however, saying we're very good at it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

As a feminist, I was disappointed that Sally Field dismissed Moira Shearer as being an unliberated woman for choosing not to pursue a movie career, when Ms. Shearer's passion lay with dancing.

 

This was my 1st time viewing the Red Shoes & Ms. Shearer & I loved both. So, I googled them. I found an interview with her in the 1990s: http://www.powell-pressburger.org/Reviews/48_TRS/TRS01.html 

 

It seems that Ms. Shearer did not enjoy making movies, especially with Michael Powell. She found him cold & aloof. Plus, she wanted to dance & the waiting around for takes & the concrete floors messed w/ her ability to dance. And she danced on stage until it was time for her to retire & then she did acting on stage.

 

I'll bet Sally Field would never criticize someone who was great at both accounting & acting, but chose to be a minor actor in movies, instead of a stellar, well-paid career as a comptroller. She should dismiss Ms. Shearer's choice of dance, stage & family as being less than being a movie actress. Women should be able to chose any life THEY CHOSE to lead. 

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
© 2021 Turner Classic Movies Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Cookie Settings
×
×
  • Create New...