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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Two Nitrate Copies Served as the basis for this reconstruction: one color tinted elements for the Bundesarchive/Filmarchive, Berlin, and one in black and white from Fondazion Ceneteca Italiana, Milan.

All the shots taken outdoors were actually made in the Alps over the course of six years.

This is the story of a girl dancer from the Grand Hôtel Diotima (Leni Riefenstahl) loves nature and the sea "she seems almost holy!" She is lured to the mountains by Karl (Luis Trenker) and his young buddy Vigo (Ernst Petersen). Karl plans to marry Diotima and is shocked to find her stroking the head of a stranger. How could this happen? The there is a strange turn of events as Karl invites Vigo the do a little climbing on a dangerous mountain in bad weather. He has to get her out of his system somehow. Karl" You're my best friend. Come with me. We'll be mad together." Meantime Mother (Frida Richard) knows it all. Will Karl suspect it was Vigo that was being stroked? If so what will happen up there just the tow of them in isolation?

Mother confronts Diotima, "Was one man not enough for you?"

This is one of Lini's mountain series of films. Notice that the mountains and the clouds (shot in elapse time) are not filler or backdrop, but the main character in the film.

Storm Over Mont Blanc
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37 of 41 people found the following review helpful
on 20 December 2005
I have to confess, this is an extraordinarily difficult film and DVD combination to review and rate. In the first place, it is undoubtedly a classic of the silent cinema, and warrants five stars on that basis. Director Arnold Fanck made an early name for himself promoting the healthy and invigorating life of mountaineering and skiing. He pioneered new techniques, not simply in overcoming the technological difficulties of filming at altitude, in intense cold, and in the white of thick snow, but he also filmed dynamically - he doesn't offer static calendar shots of mountains, he fills each frame with movement, plays with lighting and slow motion, makes the picture come alive with rushing water, cascading snow, and the vitality of the human actors climbing and skiing.
In "The Holy Mountain" ("Der heilige Berg"), Fanck introduces Leni Riefenstahl in her first starring role. She had been a successful dancer until a knee injury ended that career. Fanck, here, uses her dancing as the opening and the theme for his film - two mountaineers fall in love with her and compete for her hand. Riefenstahl, of course, would go on to become famous for her own film making, celebrating the early triumphs of the Nazi regime, and winning many directorial plaudits.
"The Holy Mountain", indeed, is highly stylised in its presentation of characters and action. There is much which could be described as National Socialist Realism in its portrayal of its characters - proud, Aryan actors, posing heroically, caught in roles which emphasise their strength, health, courage, and vitality. The picturing of the countryside and nature again offers up this sort of symbolism, glorifying the role of Germanic peoples. Stylistically, it's very dated. Technically, the filming is superb.
Fanck does not appear to have been a supporter of the Nazis - he was a geologist by training, he climbed, he skied, and he made films about his passion. His early filming of ski jumping and downhill racing is a singular technical and artistic achievement. "The Holy Mountain" is beautifully shot - for its time the mountain and ice scenes are outstanding - with the camera flirting with 'natural' images of sea, mountain torrents, sheep in the fields, wild flowers blossoming, etc. But it gets a bit tedious. The narrative romance is, frankly, boring - it is melodramatic, and it shows its age. The subtitles, meanwhile, are a bit twee, the music grates - twenty minutes in and you do want to shot the piano player.
There are excellent extras - not least a film looking at the highs and lows of Leni Riefenstahl's career. It's a substantial package, and for anyone interested in the history of film-making, particularly in silent movies or the German cinema of the inter-war years, this is essential viewing. "The Silent Mountain" is undoubtedly a classic, and this is an excellent transfer of the film to DVD, the black and white images appearing crisp and the vitality of the original production being captured faithfully. But it's not a film which is going to hold the attention of anything but a very specialised audience. Very interesting, definitely worth watching if you're a keen cinema fan, but!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 18 March 2013
Got this from Amazon Marketplace: always wanted to see one of these Bergfilms, interested to see Leni Riefensthal's first starring role. As an actress, she makes a great director (she's rubbish!), but the film itself is astonishing in visual quality for its time - all location shot, editing in-camera, fabulous frame composition. I can see why the film is respected rather than loved, but it's well worth seeing. Also includes the three hour documentary on Riefensthal which is superb. Arrived very promptly and no issues at all with the discs.
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on 13 April 2015
The film was interesting but even more interesting was the documentary disc included about Leni Riefenstahl. The film is not a great story but the photography is unusual and fascinating. The documentary disc about Riefenstahl gives considerable insight into her, her life, her times and her great contribution to art and the film industry.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 2 January 2012
An interesting starting point (excluding her long denied bare-breasted very minor part in an earlier film) for an exploration of LR's career in films/filming. Certain sections seem to foreshadow those found in her own later productions. e.g. dream sequence with "olympic" bowl & torchlight skiers' procession. Are these just co-incidence?
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9 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on 2 April 2006
This was breathtaking early German cinema at its best.
Despite the fact that the film is a silent one this did not detract from my enjoyment of it.
Leni Riefenstahl was perfectly cast in the role of the heroine and the film was a suitable vehicle to demonstrate both her acting and dancing skills.
I found the last scenes of the film in particular to be very spiritual and inspiring.Ancient Aryo-Germanic concepts of honour and loyalty shone through the end part of the film.
It has to be seen to be appreciated.
The second disc was a very informative 180 minutes documentary of the star`s incredible life from the early days of being a dancer,actress and film-maker to her later years as a photographer and observer of isolated African tribes.
Altogether the package represents 286 minutes of viewing pleasure.
Buy this rare treasure while you still can!
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3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 20 December 2005
I have to confess, this is an extraordinarily difficult film and DVD combination to review and rate. In the first place, it is undoubtedly a classic of the silent cinema, and warrants five stars on that basis. Director Arnold Fanck made an early name for himself promoting the healthy and invigorating life of mountaineering and skiing. He pioneered new techniques, not simply in overcoming the technological difficulties of filming at altitude, in intense cold, and in the white of thick snow, but he also filmed dynamically - he doesn't offer static calendar shots of mountains, he fills each frame with movement, plays with lighting and slow motion, makes the picture come alive with rushing water, cascading snow, and the vitality of the human actors climbing and skiing.
In "The Holy Mountain" ("Der heilige Berg"), Fanck introduces Leni Riefenstahl in her first starring role. She had been a successful dancer until a knee injury ended that career. Fanck, here, uses her dancing as the opening and the theme for his film - two mountaineers fall in love with her and compete for her hand. Riefenstahl, of course, would go on to become famous for her own film making, celebrating the early triumphs of the Nazi regime, and winning many directorial plaudits.
"The Holy Mountain", indeed, is highly stylised in its presentation of characters and action. There is much which could be described as National Socialist Realism in its portrayal of its characters - proud, Aryan actors, posing heroically, caught in roles which emphasise their strength, health, courage, and vitality. The picturing of the countryside and nature again offers up this sort of symbolism, glorifying the role of Germanic peoples. Stylistically, it's very dated. Technically, the filming is superb.
Fanck does not appear to have been a supporter of the Nazis - he was a geologist by training, he climbed, he skied, and he made films about his passion. His early filming of ski jumping and downhill racing is a singular technical and artistic achievement. "The Holy Mountain" is beautifully shot - for its time the mountain and ice scenes are outstanding - with the camera flirting with 'natural' images of sea, mountain torrents, sheep in the fields, wild flowers blossoming, etc. But it gets a bit tedious. The narrative romance is, frankly, boring - it is melodramatic, and it shows its age. The subtitles, meanwhile, are a bit twee, the music grates - twenty minutes in and you do want to shot the piano player.
There are excellent extras - not least a film looking at the highs and lows of Leni Riefenstahl's career. It's a substantial package, and for anyone interested in the history of film-making, particularly in silent movies or the German cinema of the inter-war years, this is essential viewing. "The Silent Mountain" is undoubtedly a classic, and this is an excellent transfer of the film to DVD, the black and white images appearing crisp and the vitality of the original production being captured faithfully. But it's not a film which is going to hold the attention of anything but a very specialised audience. Very interesting, definitely worth watching if you're a keen cinema fan, but!
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 8 February 2014
THINKING ABOUT ARNOLD AND LENI'S RELATIONSHIP AND THE HISTORIAL CONTROVERSIES AROUND LENI'S LIFE, THIS IS NOT A SMART CHOICE TO RELEASE AS "A LITTLE NOTORIOUS MASTERWORK", EVEN THE CINEMATOGRAPHY AND SCENE DESIGN ARE TERRIFIC ENOUGH.
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24 of 47 people found the following review helpful
on 26 July 2004
The reviews for this DVD seem to be for Alejandro Jodorowsky's psycadelic masterpiece of the same name, whereas this as a 20's film about mountaineering, not at all the same thing!!!
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