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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Die Bergkatze (aka The Wild Cat) (1921)

On his way to a remote fortress, a Lieutenant (Paul Heidemann) is waylaid by a group of mountain bandits under the leadership of a feisty mountain girl (Pola Negri). They find themselves attracted to each other and she lets him go after stripping him of his clothes. The fort's commander (Victor Janson), however, has plans for the Lieutenant to marry his daughter (Edith Meller). This comedic farce courtesy of Ernst Lubitsch was difficult for me to get into. Not because of the film itself which seemed rather charming and I found Negri quite appealing. But for some reason, Lubitsch decided to shoot the film in various frame formats. Thus we watch the film square shaped, round shaped, eye shaped, road shaped, goblet shaped, egg shaped, even in the shape of a four leaf clover! It's a gimmick that doesn't enhance the viewing experience at all and indeed detracts from it! It was a frustrating watch. That aside, it had its moments and I liked the film's "unfairytale" conclusion. 

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