Plot summary [wikipedia.org]The narrative opens in the decade before World War I. We are introduced to the central protagonist of the story, Hans Castorp, a young German. We encounter him when he is in his early 20s, about to take up a shipbuilding career in Hamburg, his home town. Just before beginning this professional career he undertakes a journey to visit his tubercular cousin, Joachim Ziemssen, who is seeking a cure in a sanatorium in Davos, high up in the Swiss Alps. In the opening chapter, Hans is symbolically transported away from the familiar life and mundane obligations he has known, in what he later learns to call the flatlands , to the rarefied mountain air and introspective little world of the sanatorium. Read More »
Hans W. Geissendörfer
Noteworthy crime movie
A rather forgotten but very interesting adaptation of a novel by Patricia Highsmith. The plot is simple: A man, unjustly convicted for criminal negligence to 5 years imprisonment, gets released from jail and is being increasingly entrapped to a web of jealously regarding his beautiful wife’s activities while he was locked-up. The film adroitly examines the corrosive effects of jealously that gradually generate a form of mental confinement which effectively proves to be equally unbearable with the physical one. It unfolds with almost clinical precision, its use of location is inspired and the performances sharp and convincing (avoid the dubbed English version). The climax could have been stronger but it generally captures the amoralism of Highsmith’s work as well as some other more well-known adaptations of her work. Read More »
Consul Werle holds a reception in honour of the homecoming of his son Gregers. At the
reception, Gregers meets his childhood friend, Hjalmar Ekdal, who is married to Gina, a former maid of the Werle family. Hjalmar is unaware that Werle had an affair with Gina and that their 14-year-old daughter Hedwig is not his child. Gregers moves in with the Ekdals with the intention of allowing unsuspecting Hjalmar and his family to share in the “happiness of truth”.
Hedwig is entirely devoted to a wild duck, which lives on a pond outside their house.
When Hjalmar learns the truth about his daughter, he wants to leave his family. Gregers advises Hedwig to kill the wild duck so that her father, impressed by this sacrifice, will return home. On the following day, Hedwig’s birthday, she doesn’t shoot the duck, but shoots herself instead. Read More »