Georg Wilhelm Pabst’s The Last Ten Days is the chronicle of the end of an era that would nevertheless have many consequences, even after many years. Sporadic ironic moments serve to soften the dramatic nature of the events. Particular care and elegance in the mise-en-scene make the film extraordinarily full of pathos.
The Story of Vickie is not intended to faithfully depict the early years of Queen Victoria’s reign. Marischka’s main aim – and that of Sil-Vara before him – is to entertain the audience, to move them and to make them dream with a classic love story.
Tales from the Vienna Woods is set in the early 1930s, but tells a story that could happen today, as well as tomorrow. Two stage actors introduce the audience to the stories of the protagonists at the Belvedere Gardens. Maximilian Schell’s camera immediately shows us a man from the back as the sun sets. An image that will recur frequently throughout the feature film along with numerous totals and pan shots necessary to maintain a certain detachment.
Minderjärige klagen an, while partly retaining the original intentions of Harald Röbbeling’s excellent Asphalt (since it is in fact a much more softened reworking of it), is much weaker, much less incisive than the original and decidedly uncohesive, with a frame story that seems almost artificial, to the point of making it scarcely credible.
Asphalt takes its cue from some real-life stories and adopts a mise-en-scene that closely resembles Neorealism. And so, the result is a film divided into five episodes, incredibly rational in its irrationality. A film that openly speaks out against the war and – although the war has been over for many years now – points the finger directly at a hypocritical and conservative society.
An Alibi for Death, directed by Alfred Vohrer, is a striking thriller, shot entirely in Vienna, with a hybrid mise-en-scène, a welcome international touch and a (not too) subtle feminist character, although it also includes a certain (not always) understandable basic naivety.