Ludwig

Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released from Arrow and the films on them.

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R0lf
Joined: Tue May 19, 2009 7:25 am

Re: Ludwig

#76 Post by R0lf » Wed May 24, 2017 10:09 pm

If you like the idea of a gay director casting his male lover as the lead in a movie where the themes of homosexual expression in a prohibitive society (Helmut Griem is offered as the alternative gay dialogue to Berger) while using the historical background as the thinnest of veneers for the directors autobiographical themes of gay shame and middle age hag complex to rival THE BOYS IN THE BAND then LUDWIG may be the movie for you!

Werewolf by Night

Re: Ludwig

#77 Post by Werewolf by Night » Wed May 24, 2017 11:22 pm

That's my brand.

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R0lf
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Re: Ludwig

#78 Post by R0lf » Thu May 25, 2017 6:04 am

Me too.

Honestly. I wish I was watching the same movies as the other people in this thread so I could be that blasé about a bone breakingly gay four hour historical spectacle.

As it is I can't even think of a single one!

Jonathan S
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Re: Ludwig

#79 Post by Jonathan S » Thu May 25, 2017 7:22 am

Visconti's tentative treatment of Ludwig's sexuality is for me one of the most disappointing aspects of the film, especially given its date and chronological position in his filmography. I honestly find Ossessione and La terra trema much more homo-erotic, not so much for interaction between male characters - though there are elements of that - but in the way Visconti's camera "makes love" to and displays them. But then I'd take the young Girotti over Berger any day! (And rough over royalty...)

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knives
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Re: Ludwig

#80 Post by knives » Thu May 25, 2017 10:59 pm

I'd throw Roco and The Leopard as other films of his that are more successful and sex positive in their homo-eroticism. The problem I have with the later films in general is how self loathing they come across as if he wanted to crawl back into the closet.

ethel
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Re: Ludwig

#81 Post by ethel » Fri May 26, 2017 6:35 am

I guess MGM's funding roster of progressive gay historical dramas was already full in 1972 when LUDWIG came along. :roll: I would remind younger board members that the industry was not always a riot of QUEER AS FOLK, LOOKING, or ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK.

ROlf is right to point out that this is "a bone breakingly gay four hour historical spectacle". You may not appreciate the result, but it was extraordinary achievement to get this arcane subject matter on the screen and internationally distributed forty-five years ago in such a personal work.

I'd hate to think anyone would be put off investigating this remarkable film because of its supposed political shortcomings.

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knives
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Re: Ludwig

#82 Post by knives » Fri May 26, 2017 9:28 am

No one is comparing it to those, but Visconti's own work.

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R0lf
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Re: Ludwig

#83 Post by R0lf » Sat May 27, 2017 1:11 am

Gay sexuality is more than just homoeroticism and includes a different lived experience as well as an individual history and culture. LUDWIG is structured in an extremely specific way to explore that experience which includes how we try to express ourselves and contribute to society while society at the same time restricts, traps, and punishes us.

The movie is indeed a mediocre historical biopic because that is only the set dressing and isn't the actual narrative thrust of the movie.

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knives
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Re: Ludwig

#84 Post by knives » Sat May 27, 2017 11:16 am

Again, no one is seriously talking about it being poor just because of it being a poor historical biopic. It's goals are obvious, but not compelling dealt with for the reasons mentioned above. If I remember correctly Jonathan S is gay and I am bi, so a lecture on homosexual experience in relation to this movie seems presumptuous at best.

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Rayon Vert
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Re: Ludwig

#85 Post by Rayon Vert » Sat May 27, 2017 1:15 pm

A little unenthused at times, but on the other hand not entirely displeased with this rewatch through the Arrow presentation. It's like a merging of the Viscontian historical drama/epic (which also happens to center around the same years of Italian & German & aristocratic-to-bourgeois world transformation, 1860s, as Senso and The Leopard) with the decadence and sickliness of the later films. There's definitely a parallel between Ludwig and Aschenbach (Death in Venice) in these figures decaying/dying in their pursuit of otherworldly dreams/ideals (although there's something more profound and interesting - and moving - in Death in Venice where the film can be read as a mystical confrontation with the Platonic Form of Beauty - see this analysis for example. I think Visconti was very aware of the Platonic influence on the Mann novella and it moves that film beyond merely a homoerotic meditation, though that can be read in there as well). And while the latter films is awash in Mahler, the former is in Wagner.

Not among Visconti's greatest works, and I agree the images aren't always up there with his best, but there are some interesting bits throughout, some good mise-en-scène, and I found myself liking the last parts where the incurably romantic and deluded king refuses to let go and goes all out.

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Rayon Vert
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Re: Ludwig

#86 Post by Rayon Vert » Sat May 27, 2017 4:50 pm

I watched the same version as on the Koch, which is to say the theatrical version. Did anyone watch the TV version and can say what the extra scenes are about?

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Ribs
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Re: Ludwig

#87 Post by Ribs » Sat May 27, 2017 5:20 pm

There are no extra scenes, the added time is just adjusting for lengthy titles and credits.

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Rayon Vert
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Re: Ludwig

#88 Post by Rayon Vert » Sat May 27, 2017 5:28 pm

OK, thanks Ribs.

kompromiss
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Re: Ludwig

#89 Post by kompromiss » Fri Jun 02, 2017 3:51 pm

It is said "2K restoration" on my box (and on multiple sites which list this edition), not the advertised on the first page of this thread "4K restoration from the original film negative". What is the correct information?

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Rayon Vert
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Re: Ludwig

#90 Post by Rayon Vert » Fri Jun 02, 2017 10:04 pm

It's 2K. That's what the link to the Arrow page says.

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Ribs
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Re: Ludwig

#91 Post by Ribs » Fri Jun 02, 2017 10:54 pm

Everything in a first post is just a copy/paste of the specs as they were when Arrow first listed them; details are often inaccurate and change

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matrixschmatrix
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Re: Ludwig

#92 Post by matrixschmatrix » Sat Jul 01, 2017 2:06 am

knives wrote:I'd throw Roco and The Leopard as other films of his that are more successful and sex positive in their homo-eroticism. The problem I have with the later films in general is how self loathing they come across as if he wanted to crawl back into the closet.
I've just watched the first half, so forgive me if the second half changes this, but the vibe I got from this part certainly had a self loathing vibe- it's difficult not to see the repeated insistence that Ludwig ignore his feelings and force himself to live in a way that's societally acceptable as having a lot of Visconti talking to himself in it, even while it's also obviously about Ludwig's conflict between his Romantic and Platonic desire for something ineffable, as opposed to material- but I think the loathing felt like it was as much for the strictures of aristocracy, which felt far more straightjacketing here than they did in something like The Leopard, as for same-sex attraction. Like, the logic is not that same sex attraction is morally or socially wrong, but that a.) it was unacceptable to the people who were already out for Ludwig's blood- which is true, but feels like part of the movie's consistent attack on the more bourgeois forms of morality that the ministers and other unlikable characters kept insisting upon, and b.) that it was inconsistent with the particular duties impressed on one by being part of a hereditary monarchy, an institution that seems obviously like it has no business to exist.

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hearthesilence
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Re: Ludwig

#93 Post by hearthesilence » Sun Jun 24, 2018 12:02 am

domino harvey wrote:
Mon May 22, 2017 12:41 am
Well, I didn't like this at all...four hours about someone who has maybe four minutes of interesting life details. Visconti really locked into a groove in his later years on the same thing over and over, and this is just too much of too little. Visually uninteresting, thematically familiar and tired, and so on. While I didn't hate anything here, the film and everything in it is immediately forgettable, and at four hours, too costly. Props to Arrow as usual for going their extra mile here, but this turned out to be another film that didn't really merit it
I just saw a 35mm print of presumably the same restoration (albeit with Italian dubbing), and I have to say I was disappointed as well. FWIW, the Visconti retrospective at Lincoln Center is reportedly the most successful one in their entire history, and I'm certain MoviePass is the reason (they've even posted signs at the box office on how to use it properly - from the looks of it, more than a few people weren't). Having a packed house at every screening certainly amplified the enjoyment - I was already a huge fan of The Leopard and Senso, and after seeing a trio of unfamiliar films that couldn't be more different touched with greatness, I was anticipating more great discoveries. It wasn't to be and Ludwig was all the more disappointing due to high expectations. It did have its hilariously campy moments, particularly...
SpoilerShow
the one shot showing Ludwig listening to his fiancée Sophie singing out-of-tune, which left the audience howling with laughter. It's bad enough that a gay man like Ludwig is now engaged to a woman, but for a Wagner fan like him, the prospect of spending the rest of his life listening to her tone-deaf wailing is even worse.
And Romy Schneider (plus the actress dubbing her voice) is magnificent, another great "dubbed" performance up there with Lancaster's in The Leopard, but it wasn't enough.

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All the Best People
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Re: Ludwig

#94 Post by All the Best People » Sun Jun 24, 2018 5:17 am

I watched this on FilmStruck before it expired roughly a month ago and found it a masterpiece. Now, in fairness, I may have some bias as I visited Linderhof as a child, and have always found Ludwig an interesting figure. I think the film captures his childlike nature, his just having so much love to give and having so few people who want to return it. The movie portrays a character who truly believes in the ennobling power of "beauty" and wants only to spread that as widely as he can. It struck me as a very felt film from Visconti -- and who can disparage a film that takes the time to so faithfully re-create the debut of Wagner's "Siegfried Idyll"?

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StevenJ0001
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Re: Ludwig

#95 Post by StevenJ0001 » Sun Jun 24, 2018 9:57 am

All the Best People wrote:
Sun Jun 24, 2018 5:17 am
and who can disparage a film that takes the time to so faithfully re-create the debut of Wagner's "Siegfried Idyll"?
You seriously just shifted this film out of my "maybe" column and into my "must buy" column with this one statement! Thank you! :)

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movielocke
Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2008 12:44 am

Ludwig

#96 Post by movielocke » Mon Jun 25, 2018 2:11 am

I too watched it on film struck before it expired and found it a disappointing and colossal bore, a poor rehash of better, previous Visconti, and not very effective at handling the most interesting things about Ludwig. But! The film did prompt me to do about an hour of reading on Ludwig elsewhere and that was a very satisfying and interesting experience much more than a film with all the interesting bits removed.

I did like the talking head interviews to bridge time, though. The idea of them at least, unfortunately, they don’t pay off or really integrate into the film in any diagetic or thematic way.

Also, the teeth were a hoot.

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John Cope
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Re: Ludwig

#97 Post by John Cope » Mon Jun 25, 2018 3:56 am

A great piece on a great film. Bilge's last paragraph here nails the exact reaction I have to that same scene he mentions. One of Visconti's very best films and that's saying something. Would love to see this on the biggest screen possible but I'll happily settle for the excellent Arrow Blu.

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