The Mystery of Oberwald (Il Mistero di Oberwald) (1981)
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One of director Michelangelo Antonioni's more obscure works from the 1980s, this psychological period piece reunites the filmmaker with one of his favorite performers, Monica Vitti. Shot on video and based upon the play The Eagle Has Two Heads (Jean Cocteau made his own film version of the work in 1947), the film casts Vitti as a queen who squares off against an anarchist poet who has come to her castle to kill her. Due to his remarkable resemblance to the long-dead king of the land, the queen falls in love with the dissident. … More
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Critic Reviews for The Mystery of Oberwald (Il Mistero di Oberwald)
The choice of the Cocteau play seems more arbitrary than inevitable, which raises the form-versus-content issue even more than in most Antonioni features.
The visual play is interesting, but it doesn't make the director's case that video is as viable as film for artful storytelling.
This opulent made-for-Italian-TV production is a must-see for both for fans of Italian director Michelangelo Antonioni and of legendary surrealist Jean Cocteau.
The Mystery of Oberwald marked a brave experiment from the great director.
An uneven, unusual work, not entirely successful as an experimental film or as a melodrama, but a must-see for film students and Antonioni buffs.
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