previous arrow
next arrow
previous arrownext arrow
His life his work



Chapter 3



Photography of film set, Ludwig of Luchino Visconti

This way, things are hardly satisfactorier with in particular two big movies, and two others in the sharply more reduced means, but on the other hand much more interesting on the documentary plan.

Ludwig II of Helmut Käutner, with OW Fischer, on 1954.

This movie, of very well-kept aspect, has the merit to be relatively respectful of the history, even if the director is sometimes tried to show the king under a delirious light. The shooting took place for the greater part in natural decorations. If it is to be recommended, this movie is not nevertheless a model of loyalty in the real history. It is always planned regularly in the cinemas of the region of castles.

Ludwig of Luchino Visconti, with Helmut Berger, on 1972.

If on the aesthetic plan this movie is an indisputable success, the historic plan is as for him catastrophic: the king is represented as a decadent, tortured by his homosexuality, debauched, carnal lover of Sissi, corrupted politically and betrothed to Sophie, a model of disappointed love. The liberties taken by the film-maker are doubtless explained by a constant in all its movies of aesthetics of the decadentism and the Marxist vision of the society. To tackle with caution and cautiousness.

Ludwig 1881 of Donatello and Fosco Dubini, with Helmut Berger, on 1993.

Much less ambitious than the previous movie, but much more honest and more respectful of the history, this full-length film redraws the Swiss epic of Ludwig II with the actor Joseph Kainz. Its manner is nevertheless difficult if we possess no knowledge on the subject, this movie distinguishes itself by a differentiating play and a big poetry.

Memoirs of a cook of the king, Théodore Hierneis of Hans Jürgen Syberberg, on 1973.

At once, this movie addresses above all initiated, redrawing the narrative of the life of the most famous cook of Ludwig II. This one wrote his memoirs which constitute a precious testimony on the lifestyle of the king today. The character leads us throughout the movie on the scene where he worked for the Bavarian monarch by telling numerous anecdotes.

Ludwig II. of Peter Sehr and Marie-Noëlle, 2012.

One of the biggest flops of the history of the German cinema and maybe even all countries mixed up. It is necessary to say that the slap is deserved: everything is inept, since the (pathetic) scenario, including decorations and costumes just taken from an publicity for the soap, until the interpretation. It would even be necessary to find another term to define the “play”of the actors (?). In brief, to forget immediately, for those who will have had the courage to go up to the end (it is my job, it is necessary to know how to sacrifice itself).

© Copyright 2015 Elisabeth Fontaine-Bachelier

1,743 Responses to Cinema