Thursday, 5 May 2011

Capital Celluloid - Day 125: Friday May 6

The 1000 Eyes of Dr Mabuse (Lang, 1960): Riverside Studios Cinema, Hammersmith, 8.45pm

A very rare chance to see Fritz Lang's final movie as part of the cinema's Celluloid Curtain: Spy Films season. Here is an introuduction to that season from Sight & Sound magazine.

Here is Time out's review:

'Lang's last film. Resisting the producer's requests for a remake, sequel or Son of... Lang instead updated the setting to postwar Germany, and invented a new Mabuse-type character (Preiss). Set in a large hotel where the characters' every move is monitored by the mastermind's TV screens, 1000 Eyes is none the less distinctly and wilfully old-fashioned in a way that is all Lang's own. Lines like 'Don't leave town', exploding telephones, blind prophets, gadgets more quaint than modern, and a supremely elaborate thriller plot where no one and nothing are what they seem, give it an anti-realist ambience more reminiscent of the Hollywood serial than of contemporary film-making. And, of course, Lang's anti-Fascist sentiments are unmistakably as up-to-date as they were in the '20s. Great stuff.'

And here is Dave Kehr in Chicago Reader: 

'After a long and fruitful career in Hollywood, Fritz Lang returned to Germany in 1960 to make the final chapter in his trilogy about the criminal genius Dr. Mabuse. (The first two films in the series were released in 1922 and 1933.) The Thousand Eyes has the stripped-down, elemental feel of many late masterpieces: all the distractions have been cleared away, and Lang is able to present his concerns with a disarming directness. The comic-book story focuses on the psychopathology of power; around the edges lurk the shadows of paranoia, sexual displacement, and death. The director himself is finally equated with the omniscient Mabuse in one of the first overtly modernist flourishes in cinema.'

Look at this brilliant trailer. 

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