Saturday, October 1, 2011

#411: The Night Porter

1973, TSPDT Rank #905

Now, this film I feel is very much underrated. I'm glad to see it on this list, even though it's not a masterpiece, and it will most likely be off the list within the next year or two, given its ranking and the inevitability of other films replacing it. To me, The Night Porter seemed like an intriguing blend of Bertolucci's The Conformist and Last Tango in Paris - with some moody Fassbinder style thrown into the mix. It conveys a wide and highly complex spectrum of emotion, while seeming much more shocking and explicit than it actually is. It is however, a flawed film in many respects - inexperienced director, pretty drab visually, and with a tendency to move along rather languidly at times. But the film plays with the whole Stockholm Syndrome idea quite ambiguously - suggesting a number of things but never really stating anything outright about the submission-based relationship between the Holocaust victim and Nazi officer. It is definitely worth watching for those who can read between the lines and enjoy looking upon twisted, disturbing relationships presented in a candid manner. The opera scene is probably the highlight of the movie - it's the scene where the film's consistently used but haphazard flashback device works the best, to highly chilling and profound effect.

(Rating: 7/10)

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