Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Legong - Dance of the Virgins|
Actors: Poetoe Aloes Goesti, Bagus Mara Goesti, Saplak Njoman, Njong Njong Njoman
Director: Henri de la Falaise
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
On the day of the temple feast of Tampaksiring, Poutou, a young maiden who performs the legong, the dance of the virgins at the sacred temple, meets Njong, a carefree youth from Northern Bali. As they gaze at each other, s... more »
Pleasantly different and delightfully exotic
Barbara (Burkowsky) Underwood | Manly, NSW Australia | 12/13/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This excellent information-packed DVD comprises 3 films altogether, each relating to the other and offering something special. The main feature, "Legong", stands out wonderfully for its lovely old two-colour Technicolor and realistic portrayal of Balinese village life; the second is a B&W film also directed by Henry de la Falaise, and the third is a 1952 B&W documentary about religious customs and festivities in Bali. Each is around 1 hour, and there are further in-depth bonus features on the disc, including a second soundtrack for "Legong" especially composed for the film and featuring a gentle blend of Western and Balinese instruments. Altogether, an educational and cultural experience as well as simply a pleasure to watch the two films set in exotic locations with native peoples playing the roles. "Legong" is a tragic love story set amidst Balinese village life and customs with emphasis on the magnificent, colourful costumes of the Balinese dancers (what good luck it's in Technicolor!). The second film by director Henry de la Falaise, "Kliou the Killer" was filmed in Vietnam and similarly revolves around simple village life, this time the problem being a man-eating tiger that stalks the villagers. Both films are among the last silent films to be made, but in the case of "Legong" especially, it would probably not be very different with sound because sub-titles would still be needed. For this reason, and for the very good documentary which explains and ties in well with dances and customs featured in "Legong", I would recommend this DVD to anyone interested in Balinese and Asian culture told in rare, old footage that is delightful and enjoyable, as well as quite an education."
A Major Discovery.
Chip Kaufmann | Asheville, N.C. United States | 11/24/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"As a silent film enthusiast, I am always on the lookout for quality silent film releases on DVD. Three sources you can always depend on are Kino International, Image Entertainment, and Milestone Films. From Milestone comes LEGONG: DANCE OF THE VIRGINS and it constitutes a major discovery. Although released in 1935 this movie was the final silent film release from a major studio (Paramount) and was one of the last films to feature two-strip Technicolor (red and green) which was replaced the same year by three-strip Technicolor (red, green, and blue) which is the one we are all familiar with. LEGONG was made by Henry de la Falaise, a French nobleman who was once married to Gloria Swanson and who was then married to Constance Bennett whose film company produced it. The film was beautifully photographed and featured an all Balinese cast. The native performers are so natural it's as if there were no camera there at all. The story is similar to F. W. Murnau's TABU (also available from Milestone) in that it deals with a tragic story of love thwarted by local tradition. What makes LEGONG different and so fascinating to watch is the incorporation of Balinese dancing and costumes into much of the film. It works as entertainment yet serves as a documentary on tribal customs and rituals. The film ran into major censorship problems upon its release due to the fact that the women characters were topless. It was chopped to pieces, went virtually unseen, and then was quickly forgotten. UCLA deserves high praise for the major restoration work done on this movie which included using 3 different prints to come up with the one used for this release. The two-strip Technicolor is superb and the original soundtrack was also restored and sounds great considering its age. There is also an additional modern soundtrack composed for the film featuring traditional gamelan music. Added bonuses include two other de la Falaise films (KILIOU, THE KILLER shot in Vietnam and THE GODS OF BALI) which have not been restored plus articles, interviews, and a press kit. If your taste runs to the exotic or you are looking for something different then look no further. LEGONG: DANCE OF THE VIRGINS is the movie for you. Yet another fine release from Milestone Films' Age of Exploration series which is devoted to native peoples and/or unusual or remote locales."
Great bit of Indonesian film history
Mr. Gelek | Bay Area, CA | 12/11/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a perfectly produced disk -- beautiful, clean print of Legong and two full-length film "extras" thrown in. The alternative gamelan soundtrack is alone worth the price. With Chang we now have two excellent DVDs filmed in Southeast Asia, and starring "natives," that give us a glimpse of Hollywood intrusions in the 20s and 30s.
a movie fan | Orangevale, CA USA | 06/06/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The other reviews nicely capture the value of this film. But since most people are probably only going to watch it once, I would STRONGLY recommend turning on the alternate soundtrack with the gamelan orchestra. It's beautifully integrated with the flow of the film, and gives it a timeless quality (the original soundtrack is westernized and dated)."