Das Eitle Stubenmädchen (1907)

“Das Eitle Stubenmädchen” (1907)

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Another Schwarzer’s adventure in trying to explore sexuality through film. This is the most complex in construction of the 3 i’ve seen.

Start with a studio, a place where a sculptor works. We have, central to that set, a ‘statue’, which in fact is a real woman performing a statue. This is interesting. Than we have a housemaid, who comes to clean the studio; she sees the ‘statue’ and mimics it. Since it is a nude statue, she starts to compare her body with that of the statue, which means she explores her body. Now, the way she does this is really erotic, and i imagine it probably had a huge impact on those days audiences. First, she acknowledges the breasts in the statue, she even touches one of them (!!) and she shows one of her own. And them she strips, little by little, until complete nudity. Though her character is alone in that room, she understands the presence of the camera, and does it for it. She does it relatively slowly, to the pace of these short films, allowing us to only see parts of the body until she’s over. The moment when she feels the statue’s body is made also with an apparent unawareness of the character, but clearly aims at provoking the audience. So it’s a level forward regarding the previous films i had seen from this director (Das Sandbad, Bad verboten)

Like in Bad verboten, the man exists as an anti-climax, with moral issues and who kills the erotic environment. In this case, he gives the woman’s clothes back so she can get dressed. Nevertheless, he stares at her naked body…

My opinion: 4/5 nicely structured

This comment on IMDb

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