Thursday, September 25, 2008

Letter from an Unknown Woman

Kirje tuntemattomalta naiselta / Brevet från en okänd kvinna. US (c) 1948 Rampart Productions. EX: William Dozier. P: John Houseman. D: Max Ophuls. SC: Howard Koch, Ophuls - based on the short story "Brief einer Unbekannten" (1922) by Stefan Zweig. DP: Frank Planer. COST: Travis Banton. M: Daniele Amfitheatrof. Liszt: "Un sospiro". Mozart: Die Zauberflöte. Starring Joan Fontaine (Lisa Berndle), Louis Jourdan (Stefan Brand). 88 min. A 16mm print viewed at Cinema Orion, Helsinki, 24 September 2008. - Every time this film is different. - This time I paid attention to significant repetitions such as "two weeks", uttered by both Stefan senior and Stefan junior, the latter repetition the more fatal. The theme of the foster parent is repeated, and Lisa, herself having experienced it, can handle the situation tenderly with her own son. - "If only". - "By the time you read this letter I may be dead". - Narrated by a dead woman from beyond the grave. The man who reads her letter has lost his sense of identity, even lost his talent. He has lost himself, and he finds himself one last time as he reads her letter. He can then face death with a smile on his face. - The moment of recognition. - "Tell me more about your father." - "There is always a higher one". -

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