07/02/2015  
Goodbye to All That on DVD Jul 14My Little Pony - Friendship Is Magic: Cutie Mark Quests on DVD Jun 30First Peoples on DVD Jul 7Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 on Digital Jun 30 & Blu-ray Combo Jul 14Tough Being Loved By Jerks on DVD Jun 9Turbo Fast: Season One on DVD June 2Inside the Court of Henry VIII on DVD Jun 16

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

'Star Trek 3' Title Revealed by Director Justin Lin: Ta...
Mexico Won't Be Sending Anyone To Miss Universe Pageant...
Goodbye to All That on DVD Jul 14...
Cosby lawyer: Unsealing court docs 'terribly embarrassi...
Disney bans selfie sticks at all theme parks, including...
Jimmy Fallon hospitalized after hand injury...
Photos From New Episodes of "The X-Files"...
Apple's decision to pay artists a win for indies, Taylo...
My Little Pony - Friendship Is Magic: Cutie Mark Quests...
Watch The Stars of 'True Detective' Make Shocking Confe...



Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif



Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

Kino on Video presents
Michael (Mikael) (1924)

"You owe him a lot, Michael. But the Master owes you a lot, too. Only the paintings for which you modeled finally sealed his fame."
- Stitt (Robert Garrison)

Review By: Mark Zimmer   
Published: December 09, 2004

Stars: Walter Slezak, Benjamin Christensen, Nora Gregor, Robert Garrison
Other Stars: Max Auzinger, Karl Freund, Didier Aslan, Grete Mosheim
Director: Carl Theodor Dreyer

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (some thematic material)
Run Time: 01h:25m:58s
Release Date: December 14, 2004
UPC: 738329038922
Genre: drama


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
B+ A-BB+ B

DVD Review

Although Kino on Video is marketing this early feature by Carl Theodor Dreyer as part of its Gay-Themed Films of the German Silent Era series, it is not so much about sexual orientation as about the nature of art, creativity and the complex interactions between the artist and inspiration. The homosexuality implicit in the story is really quite secondary.

The older and successful artist Claude Zoret, referred to as The Master most of the time (Benjamin Christensen) has taken on as his son (and impliedly his lover) young Michael (Walter Slezak), who has acted as his muse for four years. The relationship has produced several masterpieces, but Michael, a failed artist himself, is chafing at his subordinate role. Destitute Russian countess Lucia Zamikow (Nora Gregor) asks Zoret to paint her portrait. Reluctant at first to do so, the artist agrees, but before long Michael has begun romancing the countess himself, while stealing and selling the Master's art to support his own increasingly decadent lifestyle.

Although there's something similar to the relationship in Death in Venice here, this picture also demonstrates a combination of paternal affection and concern mixed with the obsession with attractive youth. In response, Michael, the callow youth, moves into an adolescent rebellion, acting out in ways that will be familiar to those who have spent time around teenage boys: tantrums, self-centeredness, and a proclivity for theft all in the service of overactive hormones.

Yet the love of Zoret continues, disappointed though it may be, whether romantic or parental. The Master's suffering at the hands of his protégé/model is accepted due to the symbiosis between the two men, as they shift in the power relationships between them. This is most powerfully symbolized when the Master is having difficulty with the portrait's eyes, and Michael touches them up; when the critics single out the eyes for particular praise, the role reversal is complete. Not only does Zoret's ability come into question (at least in his own mind and Michael's), but it gives an indication as to exactly how much Michael has transferred his affections to Zamikow. Love is also problematic in other relationships in the film; the young Duc de Manthieu (Didier Aslan) falls in love with a married woman, Alice Adelsskjold (Grete Mosheim), which comes to an inevitably bad end. There is little at all happy about love in this bleak picture.

Slezak does a fine job as the unappreciative and frequently vile title character, while Danish director Christensen is particularly fine in portraying the sensitivities of the artist. Great cinematographer Karl Freund makes his one onscreen appearance as an art dealer; not insignificantly, he uses a paper prominently marked "L'Art" as a dustpan as the relationship between Zoret and Michael disintegrates and distracts the artist from his creative work.

Dreyer uses fairly languid pacing in this picture, eschewing the tableaux style that had reigned in Scandinavia. Instead, he uses lengthy close-ups (though not yet to the extent he would in 1928's Passion of Joan of Arc) and exchanges of looks to tell his story; very little dialogue is necessary in the intertitles. The script by Dreyer and Thea von Harbou (Fritz Lang's wife and frequent collaborator during the 1920s) faithfully adapts the novel by the same name of Hermann Bang. The result is a compelling look at the creative urge and the often-difficult call of the muse, especially when the muse is unfaithful in turn.

Rating for Style: B+
Rating for Substance: A-

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicno


Image Transfer Review: There are obvious limitations inherent in film that is 80 years old (especially one thought lost for years), but on the whole this is a very nice transfer of an attractive source print restored by the Murnau-Stiftung. Modest speckling is visible throughout, but other than a few briefly splicey bits there's not any serious damage. Greyscale is reasonably good, with few instances of blown-out whites. Unlike some other recent Kino European silent films on DVD, this doesn't appear to be a PAL-NTSC transfer; at any rate there are no conversion artifacts that I noticed.

Image Transfer Grade: B

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0(music only)yes


Audio Transfer Review: Neal Kurz's piano score sounds fine, with a mild amount of hiss audible but not to an annoying extent. The range and presence are quite acceptable for a modern score recording.

Audio Transfer Grade: B+

 

Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 12 cues and remote access
Cast and Crew Filmographies
1 Feature/Episode commentary by film scholar Casper Tybjerg
Packaging: generic plastic keepcase
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: As befits a film by an important director such as Dreyer, Kino provides a substantial commentary by a Danish film scholar. His English is good, though the accent is a bit thick. He has plenty of information to relate on the background of the film and the book, their reception, and interpretations of the film. There's seldom an empty moment and once one adjusts to the accent it's quite accessible. The only other extra is a single screen filmography for Dreyer, which purports to be complete but is missing such items as The Parson's Widow.

Extras Grade: B

 

Final Comments

An intriguing look at creativity and artistic inspiration, with a very good commentary and a nice transfer.

 


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search

DVD REVIEW ARCHIVE


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90

 



Microsoft Store

Keywords

movie, sci-fy, star trek, justin lin, j.j. abrams, star trek beyond, zoe soldana, chris pine, celebrity, donald trump, republican presidential candidate, nbc, televisa, ora tv, lupita jones, carlos slim, larry king, drama, bill cosby, sex-assault lawsuit, associated press, george m. gowen iii, disneyland, disney california adventure, selfie sticks banned, california screaming, coachella, lollapalooza, television, jimmy fallon, tonight show, hand injury, x files, david duchovny, gillian anderson, fox, january 24, 2016, music, apple music, allen kovac, motley crue, taylor swift, elvis costello, calvin harris, animation, kids, the tonight show, colin ferrell, vince vaughn, true detective, hbo, nbc nightly news, brian williams, anchor, matt lauer, today, msnbc, lester holt, mark feldstein, inside out, pixar, mindy-disgust, amy poehler-joy, phyllis smith-sadness, fear-bill hader, anger-lewis black., nbc evening news, cnn, robert barnett, daytime soap oprah, general hospital, genie francis, anthony geary, foo fighters, cancellations, wembley stadium, murrayfield, dave grohl, sci-fi, adventure action, avengers: age of ultron, spectre, star wars, cbs, big brother, julie chen, wwe wrestler, professional poker player, a poker dealer, a dentist, and a few college students, documentary, mission: impossible - rogue nation, tom cruise, pixels, adam sandler, ted 2, mark wahlberg, terminator genisys, arnold schwarzenegger, doctor strange, chiwetel ejiofor, benedict cumberbatch, tilda swinton, nightly news, the today show, dateline nbc, duck dynasty, jep robertson, jessica, the good, the bad, and the grace of god: what honesty and pain taught us about faith, family, and forgiveness, good morning america, beyonce, marco gorges, comedy, bridge of spies, tom hanks, steven spielberg, matt carman, coen brothers, spy thriller, true events, mission:impossible rogue nation, christopher mcquarrie, kirk krack, rebecca ferguson, lifetime, deadly adoption, kristen wiig, will ferrell, fantastic beasts and where to find them, eddie redmayne. the theory of everything, louis xiii genius award, critics choice television award, seth mcfarlane, a&e networkfa, family guy

On Kindle!
On Facbook!
digitallyOBSESSED!
digitallyOBSESSED!
Promote Your Page Too

Visit:

Zarabesque.com

Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact
Microsoft Store