Das Blaue Licht (1932)

“Das Blaue Licht” (1932)

blaue licht

IMDb

sensuous, illuminating, prophetic

How astonishing can it be to see how a fictional story can metaphorically translate the life of someone? Even more when it is that very person the one who invents the story of her destiny? This film has to be the answer.

Here we have a genius of composition and visual rhythm, in her first attempt, which guesses everything that would come.

What would this goddess (in several meanings) be thinking, when she embraced this adventure? Lenni was a student of the human body, and therefore, of her own. Student of the Hellenic harmonic dynamics, who understood the power of movement, applied to cinema. She understood it so well she would pay for her whole life for that. In this film she is, simultaneously, observer and observed object. She, the body, is one of the reasons for this film to be. At the same time, we have a story about a “special” woman. She is special because she has access to a secret, she knows a path. That secret has a geographical identity, there is a division between sacred and mundane, mountain and city. The preciousness, surrounded by an aura of inaccessibility, to reach it is a privilege of beauty, of commitment and in the end, of love. And Lenni is at the centre of that sacredness, and there at the moment when it breaks. And she is doomed to be rejected forever for keeping such a secret. That’s Junta, as it is Lenni. That’s the prophecy, this story, written by Riefenstahl, which is a story even inside the film, a book with her photo on the cover!

This woman changed more than the history of cinema, she did more than to enlarge the possibilities of visual contemplation and, consequently, beauty concepts. In her coursed work (coursed because it is good!) she helped to change the face of the world, having her as the ambiguous element, always. In this film we have her, linking the sacred mountain and the city, linking two worlds. Now check the geography of the place. The mountain, the power of its various sequences, the strength of that geographical object. The woman, climbing the mountain, the power of contrast. Junta, under the effect of the full moon, exhales sensuality, which works still today (when we are totally addicted to images that aim at sensuality). It works because it’s genuine, a woman who is more that it seems. Note how the sweater reveals the shoulder, a provocation no doubt, a desire to place the body at the centre, and to enhance Man in relation with Nature.

In this metaphorical mythology, Germanic and Nordic, see how the symbols are materialized, and shot. The composition of the shots of mountain climbing and specially, of Vigo getting into the sacred crystal area is genius, the set of a potential Valhala, and the expression of Junta as she finds out about the intrusion reveals everything.

This film still obeys too much to the codes of silent film. I saw the sound version, but apparently there is a silent one, since in those days the transition was still being made. Anyway, the sound in this film is uncomfortably placed, and dialogue does little more than directly replace the inter titles of the silent. And the montage still doesn’t exist with the supreme sense that Lenni would give it, years later, and that affects rhythm, because the work of the montage masters (Eisenstein, Kalatzov, Vertov…) totally depends on the rhythm images themselves can give, for what happens inside every shot, and for the cut between shots. That dynamic does not exist here, and the codes are dated, and i suppose they might already be dated than. But Riefenstahl is body, face, she is expression. She is movement, dynamic, rhythm. But is all that both as an observer, sensitive and visual, and as an interpreter, sensual (sexual!) and intense. That’s her genius, here.

My opinion: 4/5 see this, several times.

This comment on IMDb

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