27 May 2011
The Briefest of Reviews from 1973
There is one sequence in Ludwig that I liked and that has real emotional impact: there is an extended sequence (every sequence is an extended sequence in Visconti) where Romy Schneider takes a tour of all the castles that Ludwig has built. The castles are all empty and unbelievably sumptuous. At the end of the sequence, Schneider throws her head back and laughs. I loved this sequence, but for me that was the film's only scene of merit.
Also. I do not understand what it was with the Italians from this time – Fellini and Visconti in particular. Why are all their films dubbed? I fail to understand it. Helmut Berger, as far as I can tell, was speaking English in the film. But instead of listening to him speak in English, I listen to someone else speak over him in Italian and then read an English translation of that Italian in the subtitles. I am sure there must be an explanation for this, but whatever Visconti's reasoning (and Fellini's and René Clément's) the dubbing works to distance me from the emotional impact of the film.