Movie. Das Blaue Licht (The Blue Light), 1932.

Posted by T on February 12, 2007
By Title, Movies

The setting is a dark but beautiful village in the Tirolian Alps, full of sad people. They are both drawn toward, and frightened by the sheer mountain nearby. When the moon is full, a light appears at the top that lures young men to seek it out; usually one of them dies. This is why they are so sad.

The young woman Junta lives in the village, but also spends a lot of time up in the mountain, where she draws her life. But she is hated by the villagers, who suspect her of being a witch, and being the cause of the young men’s deaths.

Meanwhile a youngish traveler has come to the village to explore. Hiking in the mountain, he encounters Junta, who coquetishly both draws him in further and withdraws. The traveler want to get to know Junta, but she only speaks Italian, while he only speaks German. So when he says he is obligated to go down to the village and tell the folks about the crystal stones that could be mined, she doesn’t understand him. This is symbolic — she wouldn’t understand him even if she did speak the language: why would anyone want to disturb the natural beauty of the mountain?

The villagers set out on a course that can only lead to a new level of conflict between themselves and Junta. In the end, they attain a kind of happiness — but is it worth it? The story could be developed into an agrarian critique of acquisitiveness, with added zing in that it is itself a rural story.

The ending is rather unexpected, especially for a chick flick (which this is, in the most literal sense of the word).

I like the movie. But, it contains uninterpreted henids. At times, you have to just let it happen, and take it as it comes. There are several reasons to see the movie in addition to its intrinsic merit.

1. From a film-historical point of view, this was one of the first movies to do on-location shooting in remote outdoor areas. There is a lot of quite stunning location work. Cameraman Hans Schneeberger probably deserves a lot of the credit.

2. The amazing Leni Riefenstahl wrote the script, and directed and starred in the movie. Not to mention, did a fair amount of hair-raising rock-climbing.

3. Rapellers should enjoy a lot of the footage.

4. There are mesmerizing scenes and sounds of flocks, bells, villages.

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