19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Sensational early cinema,
This review is from: Mad Love  [DVD] (DVD)
I picked this up on the cheap because I like silent cinema and have an interest in Russia, despite never having heard of Bauer before. Having watched the three films included on this DVD, it's a mystery to me why Bauer is so unknow. These films are absolutely beautiful - both in their subject matter and in the way Bauer shot them. His use of colour and tints; his mis-en-scene; his pace of storytelling - everything is almost perfect. Of the three, I'd pick the final film, 'The Dying Swan' as the standout work. It seems to mark a culmination of all the things Bauer was striving for in the other two films: tragic love; inventive cinema and camerawork (which he possibly overdoes a little bit in the second film, 'After Death' - there are possibly too many special effects, and this detracts from the story a little, making it a little kitsch from today's perspective). Considering his film career spanned only four years, he clearly learnt quickly. After watching these three, I'm eager to hunt down the other 17 films of his that survive. This is essential watching for any film fan, but particularly anyone interested in the beginnings of cinema. It's better than Dr Caligari; it's better than Metropolis; it's better than most of the hailed works of genius from the period.