Thursday, December 16, 2010

Shakhmatnaya goryachka / Chess Fever

Шахматная горячка / Shahmatnaja gorjatshka / Shakkikuume / Schackfebern. SU 1925. PC: Mezhrabpom-Rus. D: Vsevolod Pudovkin, Nikolai Shpikovski. SC: Shpikovski. DP: Anatoli Golovnja. CAST: Vladimir Fogel (man caught by chess fever), Anna Zemtsova (his fiancée), Jakov Protazanov (pharmacist), Juli Raizman (pharmacist's assistant), Fedor Ozep, Boris Barnet, Konstantin Eggert, J. Raoul Capablanca. A KAVA print with Finnish subtitles by Kirsi-Annele Tykkyläinen, 542 m /20 fps/ 24 min, viewed at Cinema Orion (Carte blanche à Kanerva Cederström), Helsinki, 16 Dec 2010

Revisited a funny comedy of monomania, obsession, and hyperbole. There is a gag in each scene, and each gag is related with chess fever. The hero is so obsessed with chess that he forgets his wedding date. (Yet another case of the cinema's obsession with the subject of "the cancelled wedding"!). The comedy proceeds to grand tragedy with plans of suicide via poisoning and drowning. "But, however, maybe love is stronger than chess, after all". "Let's have a round of the Sicilian". Beautifully shot in the winter, and there is a good definition of light in this used print.

No comments: