Friday, June 08, 2007

Coming: Effi Briest

About a week ago, I started watching this long Fassbinder film titled Effi Briest. It's a 19th Century story along the lines of Anna Karenina and Madame Bovary -- woman trapped in bourgeois culture, adultery, tragedy, etc. -- and somewhere about midway through the film suddenly seemed a little more foreign than average to me. Fassbinder's films don't always travel well. Or maybe it was just me. I wasn't that crazy about the black and white cinematography, either, although apparently a lot of people like it for that reason -- mostly people who praise all black and white photography in the same glowing terms. Anyway, I had this sense I was missing some vital sense of context, so I shut the film off and read reviews of it, all of which pointed out that it was an adaptation of a famous German novel of the same name.

Well, I thought, that makes sense, as the movie is rather heavily "literary" in a way that deliberately calls attention to itself, and it seemed to me a kind of critique of the book, which is quoted heavily thoughout (by Fassbinder himself). I started the movie over and found myself a little more drawn to it, in a cerebral if not emotional way, but I want to read the book and then watch the movie over again before saying much else.


Tre said...

Was the soundtrack done by the band effi briest? Really, the band is hilarious. Here's a write up about them.

RW said...

The film was released in 1977.