We get the sense that she accepted Max's advances so quickly so that she could get his protection, which she receives in that biblical dance scene. There's no reason at all why the couple can't be killed straightaway except that then, of course, the movie would be over. It is I know how obscene this sounds Nazi chic. Unfortunately, that doesn't affect my reading of the film any, but it is interesting. When Lucia enters the lobby with her husband, there is a tense exchange of looks whose significance is fleshed out in flashbacks: she was a concentration camp inmate. In this unsettling drama from Italian filmmaker Liliana Cavani, a concentration camp survivor Charlotte Rampling discovers her former torturer and lover Dirk Bogarde working as a porter at a hotel in postwar Vienna.
It's possibly one of the greatest. The Rampling character, alas, is the last surviving witness against Bogarde and so the Nazis want to kill her. A lot of this stuff seems silly. It's also unclear what exactly the trials are that are always being brought up. Some years after the end of Second World War, a woman meets in a hotel her jailer during her concentration camp period. What I like about this film is, first and foremost, the performance by Dirk Bogarde.
The famous nude cabaret song, the one depicted on the Criterion cover, is also exquisite. I still believe that, but I'm getting awfully weary of the violence I have to witness week after week as a critic. Even worse, the movie is now being marketed as a controversial audience-grabber. He really builds a three dimensional character, and mostly without dialogue. The film contains several scenes that could be called masterpieces in the midst of a lesser work. The director, , describes her film as a love story, praises the honesty between her two leading characters, and sees the story as a straightforward handling of one aspect of the concentration camp experience.
Sometimes it seems on the money, other times it seems forced, or blank. The musical score is also gorgeous. The cinematography is beautiful, as I've mentioned. Seefeld Jacob Ugo Cardea Mario Credits Director Liliana Cavani Produced by Robert Gordon Edwards Produced by Esa De Simone Screenplay Liliana Cavani Screenplay Italo Moscati Director of photography Alfio Contini Music Daniele Paris Film editing Franco Arcalli Art directors Jean-Marie Simon Art directors Nedo Azzini Costumes Piero Tosi. Advertisement Meanwhile, there's a subplot so ridiculous it must be intended as fantasy.
I would have also liked Lucia's character better developed. With Max so well developed, Lucia feels somewhat like an object for the plot. My favorite in the entire film is the one where Lucia locks herself in the bathroom, breaks a bottle in front of the door, and then allows Max to run in after her. The biggest failure of the film is definitely its script. Charlotte Rampling, his captive, gives a very uneven performance. It's easy to dismiss a film like this or Salo or In the Realm of the Senses as garbage.
Made in 1974 by Italian director Liliana Cavani, it can be seen as an exercise in perversion and exploitation of the Holocaust for the sake of sensationalism. With him she re-starts a relationship made of attraction and sadomasochism. Operatic and disturbing, The Night Porter deftly examines the lasting social and psychological effects of the Nazi regime. And I'm not sure what they are afraid of, what they originally plan to do with Lucia, or anything like that. For a long time I've defended the belief that what we see in the movies doesn't direct our behavior, if we're more or less normal; that there are infinitely greater influences all around us in society to explain deviant and violent behavior, and that the movies are just a convenient whipping boy. Among the ranks of what I'll call the Artsploitation flick, The Night Porter is rather tame. But now here's a movie that's not intended for the action-and-escapism crowd, a movie presumably intended for more intelligent and venturesome audiences, who don't laugh at it although maybe it would be better if they did.
The Bogarde character is a member of a sort of Nazi encounter group that specializes in expiating past guilt and destroying evidence against itself. In most of the violent exploitation movies I see, the killings and hurtings are just there, a way to get through a few minutes of screen time. These films are all very interesting, if you can take them. The film is shocking because it describes an insane situation, led by two insane people. This scene is so marvelously directed, it would work particularly well when seen as a separate entity.
This definitely seemed like a male project. Charlotte Rampling and Dirk Bogarde are extraordinary. That may be an aspect of the times or it may just be that such movies reach areas of the personality that weren't widely admitted before; she's not sure. He and Lucia are finally reunited in a scene of violent passion, all the more steamy for their accumulated repression. Amid the growing tension of their mutual anxiety over being alone together, Max eliminates a former prisoner who had been his friend. I see it as a shallow exploitation of that theme, containing no real insight or understanding.
They experience paranoia because they are being pursued; they no longer go out; finally, hunger and lack of air make them regress to an animal level. Advertisement Fascism and its favorite sexual taste, sadomasochism, have come into a certain degree of fashion in the movies recently, and that's the subject of a scary essay by Susan Sontag in the last issue of The New York Review of Books. Or why they can't break into Max's apartment again. The atmosphere has something very icy and miserable. The story is very difficult to follow. It's never clear exactly what has happened since the war, and what these former Nazis are doing in Vienna. There are only a couple of hardcore sex scenes, and there are really only two scenes with nudity.
An intelligent movie, full of provocation. The subtle guilt and shame he projects is simply amazing. And, if you can't stand the heat, hey, stay out of the kitchen. None of the others are really worth mentioning, except for that one actor's ballet dancing, which is quite remarkable. She stays behind when her husband leaves, then moves into his apartment and the fun and games start again: Chains and broken glass and slaps on the face are their aphrodisiacs, and they make love mostly on the floor. She's the wife of an American conductor, and he's the quiet little night porter. I saw this film for the second time today, and I had failed to notice before that it was directed by a woman.