Marco Bellochio's version of Heinrich von Kleist's venerable "The Prince
of Homburg" is also politically suspect, albeit in more interesting
ways. Kleist's play is basically a profascist poem suggesting that a person's
greatest triumph may be victory over one's own humanity in service to a
greater good, i.e. that old favorite, law and order as represented by the
State and the Wise Old Man who runs it. Bellochio underscores the elements
of hallucinatory expressionism in Kleist's original conception, but this
isn't enough to outweigh the drama's authoritarian tendencies. Still, the
picture is magnificently photographed by Giuseppe Lanci in rich low-light
tones, and Carlo Crivelli's atmospherically dissonant music suits the mood
of the picture nicely. In all, disappointing but far from a total loss.
And what a cinematographers' festival this has turned out to be so far!
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