Saturday, October 15, 2011
The Red Shoes
I feel really bad because I"ve wanted to see this movie forever. It's been on my queue for like, over a year at this point, but I never watched it. Today I watched The Red Shoes, which was directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger in 1948. It's always talked about as being incredibly good, and now I understand why. It's got everything going on for it - great acting, great cinematography, cool visuals, unique and interesting story. I really loved it, and I wish I had the energy to write more about it, but I really need to get some sleep so I'm not going to be able to babble on for too much longer. I'm surprised I even had time to watch it today - I didn't get home from work until after 10pm.
The plot, quickly: "Under the authoritarian rule of charismatic ballet impressario Boris Lermontov, his proteges realize the full promise of their talents, but at a price: utter devotion to their art and complete loyalty to Lermontov himself. Under his near-obsessive guidance, young ballerina Victoria Page is poised for superstardom, but earns Lermontov's scorn when she falls in love with Julian Craster, composer of "The Red Shoes," the ballet Lermontov is staging to showcase her talents. Vicky leaves the company and marries Craster, but still finds herself torn between Lermontov's demands and those of her heart." (IMDB).
The ballet is an adaptation of the Hans Christian Anderson fairytale, where a ballerina puts on red shoes and cannot stop dancing, until she dies. I wasn't too familiar with this story but man that sounds a little morbid. It makes for a great film though, with some really cool psychological goings-on. The movie tells multiple stories - the story of Victoria and Craster, which is the most normal of them all, and the story of Victoria and Lermontov, which is darker and more disturbing. There's also the ballet itself, which sort of lingers under everything and creates a sense of foreboding. Well, for me, at least.
I can't really write much else, because I've got to get up early and it's 2:20am right now (my posts are always tagged with the wrong time and I don't know why!!). I loved this movie - the casting was perfect (how could anyone else have played Victoria?). The stories were so cool and totally engaging. I was exhausted watching this but I still couldn't look away, because it was worth my attention. The film looks awesome, too - so much rich color and luxury. I really like it - I'd buy it and watch it again. The only issue here is that I really don't have time to write tonight! Sorry guys, I hope you understand. Regardless of my issues, I really recommend checking this movie out - it's not short, but it's so worth your time. It's not like anything else I've ever seen, especially from that time period. So much good stuff in one movie. Let me know if you see it!
Have any thoughts on The Red Shoes? Share them in the comments!
Ebert's Great Movie Essay on The Red Shoes
Buy it on Amazon