Thanks! A very interesting article, but it only serves to make my confusion about this film even greater. I like the way in which Daney talks about Visconti's camera as the hand of the painter, and it is indeed this painterly approach (much more evident here than even in "The Leopard") which makes the film so fascinating for me. But it is precisely what creates what Daney calls Visconti's 'clinical treatment' of the person of Ludwig. There is an enormous distance, little to help the viewer to empathize with the character; this is something that goes for all the post-"Rocco" Viscontis I've seen - not enough of them, I have to admit - and which often makes it difficult for me to really get 'into' the characters (as opposed to simply admiring the performance, which I absolutely do with this film). But perhaps with such a half-mythical, half-monstrous character as Ludwig, Visconti's coldness is paradoxically probably the best and perhaps the only possible way to get near his personality.accatone wrote:The great Serge Daney on LUDWIG (Its in German language only!)Tommaso wrote:Now I have to think about whether I actually liked the film or only admired it...
While watching the film, I couldn't help reading the character of Ludwig as a chiffre for Visconti himself (certainly not a highly original idea...): looking at Visconti's career, I can't help finding that he himself more and more drifted away into a self-contained universe of art, though -unlike Ludwig - still fully knowing what he was doing and thus, while creating the wonderful worlds of "The Leopard" or indeed this film, at the same time deconstructing them; but always with a tone of lamentation and celebration. And like Ludwig's castles, the results can sometimes be marvellous, but somtimes also empty ("Morte a Venezia", which I find a big disappointment despite its visual magnificence).
Well, to answer my musings above: The more I think about it, I think I really liked "Ludwig", if only as a perfect expression of the rift between the artist or aesthetically minded person and the world outside, which never allows such a person to fully indulge in his 'mad' vision. Thus the film might be read not only as celebration, but also as a sort of warning (even to those who follow this vision, as it might end up in solipsisms a la current Greenaway).
And the prominence of these themes saves the film from being just another bio-pic, a genre which I normally rather abhor.