Dir. Max Ophüls, 1940, France. 95 min. B&W 35mm
With Edwige Feuillère, John Lodge, Aimé Clariond
In French with English subtitles
Banned during the German occupation of France in WWII and the direct cause of director Max Ophüls’s exile, this opulent yet intimate film looks inside the vicissitudes of European court life in the 30 years leading up to the dual assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his lover Czech Countess Sophie Chotek—the event that sparked World War I.
In great detail, Ophüls describes the minuscule events in the lives of the powerful that can shake both nations and the world.
“Ophüls contrasts the authentic grandeur of inner nobility with the crushing formalities of royal presumption.” — Richard Brody, The New Yorker
Video: Introduction by Richard Brody
About Richard Brody
Richard Brody is a film critic and writer at The New Yorker magazine.
Richard Brody began writing for The New Yorker in 1999 and has contributed articles about the directors François Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard, Claude Lanzmann, and Wes Anderson. Since 2005, he has been the movie-listings editor at the magazine; he writes film reviews and a blog about movies. He is the author of the book Everything Is Cinema: The Working Life of Jean-Luc Godard.