Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Storm Over Mont Blanc|
Actors: Leni Riefenstahl, Sepp Rist, Ernst Udet, Mathias Wieman, Friedrich Kay▀ler
Director: Arnold Fanck
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Drama, Television
Great acting by clouds
Susan Trexel | Near the great state of Idaho | 11/15/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"No, seriously...this is another German Mountain Film by Joseph Fanck, the director Leni Riefenstahl worked for as an actress and learned so much from. Fanck's filming technique clearly influenced Riefenstahl's own directorial work; one can especially see this in Olympia, her film of the 1934 Berlin Olympics.
This film was mostly silent but had some speaking parts and sound effects. Mostly silent because this film focuses on the elements of nature...hence my title "Great acting by clouds"...Fanck really focuses on the beauty of the mountains, the cloud formations as they drift by the jagged mountain peaks, the deep snow and the crevasses, the avalanches, etc. It is a visually beautiful film, and the cloud action is quite stunning.
The basic story is about a sturdy rugged German man who monitors a weather station in a fragile hut precariously perched on a precipitous peak in the Pyrenees. His is a lonely life, spent gazing at the clouds drifting by, having a nice soapy sponge bath from his enamel bowl, smoking his pipe, listening to his organist friend play on the radio, and taking daily jaunts to his anemometer to check the current wind speed.
In the evenings, he gazes at stars through his telescope, a hobby he shares from a distance with a beautiful young friend (Leni Riefenstahl) who works with the professor at the local observatory. Later these two meet in his hut, for her father is a good friend of his. During this visit, tragedy happens, and the sturdy German weatherman sends Leni to visit his organist friend down in the village in case she gets lonely. The organist happens to be sick with a fever and Leni nurses him back to health. In her mind she is only a good friend to him, but he has fallen hard for his "nurse" and sends word to his weatherman friend up on the mountain they are soon to be engaged, before he even has asked Leni for her hand in marriage. This misunderstanding causes another tragedy to occur involving the weatherman...which begins when his gloves blow away when he visits the anemometer on a rather blustery day. All ends well though, and Leni comes to the rescue of her weatherman, and builds a fire for him in his little stove in the hut, and he now knows she loves him and not the organ player after all.
This film gives us an interesting glimpse of a weather station of long ago ( I worked in a weather station on the island of Bermuda, and so seeing the anemometer spinning brought back a lot of memories for me!) in a very dangerous place. I am surprised a man would live alone in such a place where danger could happen anytime. It was interesting to see the people skiing in just woolen knickers, shirts and sweater vests (there are some great skiing sequences in this film too), and to see men climbing mountains and leaping from peak to peak with very little safety equipment. This film is very good if you take it for what it is, a German MOUNTAIN film. It is about the mountains, the story is secondary. I must say I thought THE HOLY MOUNTAIN, another Fanck film also starring Leni Riefenstahl, was much better because the story had a bit more depth. It is good to see what the Germans were doing with film as compared to Hollywood at the time...Fanck gave beautiful imagery of nature more than imagery of the actors. It is good that Kino has made these films available for those who want to see some German Mountain films. Also, there are English subtitles for the few speaking parts in the film."
Historic film with innovative filming techniques
bernie | Arlington, Texas | 10/11/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Sturme uber dem Mont Blanc
Hella Armstrong (Leni Riefenstahl) is introduced to a rugged recluse meteorologist, Hannes (Sepp Rist), who lives alone at the top of a mountain. Both Hannes and his friend, pilot Ernst Udet (as himself), are vying for Hella. Hannes who thinks he has lost, unknown to Hella, forgoes his vacation form the cabin to find his self caught in a storm without gloves. Moreover, things are about to get worse. Will Hella find out in time to save him? Is Ernst still his friend and be able to fly to his aid? Or will this end with a Hannes-cycle?
At first I thought that this film was not too sophisticated even for the time with its stilted dialog and frivolous story. Later the film the story started to come together to be more intriguing. And when the storm struck it became downright fascinating.
The stars of the film are the mountains and the clouds (shot in elapse time.) This is one of the earliest of the series of German Mountain Movies. While Leni Riefenstahl was acting in this film, she learned the fundamentals of filming techniques that she expanded on in the films that she directed.
The version I watched has the option of English subtitles, which helped when Leni mumbled. However occasionally you could hear the words and the subtitles were a very lose paraphrase.
The Wonderful, Horrible Life of Leni Riefenstahl