Wednesday, July 15, 2015
'Amour Fou' VOD: Suicide Poets
The recent VOD release (ahead of an October 2015 DVD release) of the 2014 Austrian docudrama "Amour Fou" from indie. foreign film god Film Movement hits another grand slam in the infinite innings all-star game regarding these movies. This real-life tale of a suicide plan of melancholy 19th century poet Heinrich von Kleist hits several relevant modern notes.
On a very broad level, the VOD release of "Amour" coming a few weeks before the VOD, DVD, and Blu-Ray releases of the (recently reviewed) recent docudrama "Woman in Gold" prompts thoughts of a comment by "Gold" director Simon Curtis in a recent interview (which is the subject of an upcoming post) with Unreal TV. In discussing his apparent preference for directing films and television series that are based on historical events, Curtis essentially states that notable real-life incidents provide better material for productions than superheros and other fictional characters.
On a more amusing level, von Kleist remarking that his deeper-than-average understanding of life makes him prefer death over the alternative is an great variation of a statement by dark and cynical MTV animated teen Daria Morgendorffer. This self-referentialobservation is that "I am too smart and too sensitive to live in the world like this, at a time like this, with a sister like mine." Anyone who is aware of what is below the surface of society and cares enough about that knowledge to be unhappy can relates to the states of mind of von Kleist and Morgendorffer.
The insight into the workings of the beautiful mind of von Kleist come in the context of his relationship with Harriet Vogel, the stereotypical wife of a wealthy man. The appreciation of Henrietta for a particular piece by von Kleist is the beginning of a beautiful friendship that leads the latter to believe that the former is a kindred spirit. This belief prompts von Kleist to invite Henrietta to enter a murder-suicide pact that is designed to put his soon-to-be external mind at ease.
The developments described above set the stage for awesome character studies of our leads, who experience separate traumas that further influence the course of the final solution that von Kleist proposes.
Both the high regard of Henrietta for the imagery that von Kleist creates and the personal challenges that these potentially kindred spirits face join the aspect of understanding the world too well to be happy as modern elements of this Merchant-Ivory quality period piece.
All of the above drama occurs in the context of the inter-related changing social and political climate of 1811 Germany. The shifting power structure and efforts to reallocate income are very relevant to a 2015 audience.
The best part of all the awesome "ingredients" described above is that director Jessica Hausener artfully combines them into a tasty and healthy pastry,
Anyone with questions or comments regarding "Amour" is encouraged to email me; you can also connect on Twitter via @tvdvdguy.