Wednesday, October 26, 2011

SOS EIseberg (1933)

One of the last German US co-productions is a film that apparently is very different in the US and German Versions. I saw the German version and can only hope that the American version is better and more coherent than the German one.

The plot of the film has a a rescue mission consisting of three men, a dog and a dog sled going to Greenland to rescue an explorer who had been lost years before. After finding his diary they send back word that they believe he's alive which prompts his wife, Leni Riefenstahl to fly in and promptly crash her plane. Somewhere along the way some one else flies in and crashes.

With little dialog after a certain point the film is mostly scenes of men and awoman wandering on ice flows, looking stoic as polar bears wander, ice sheets crash and people try to survive. The survival thing makes me curious since much of it seems to involve leaping into frozen water and swimming from ice flow to ice flow. I'm also curious how three men were hoping to survive with just a single dog and dog sled. I'll not go into how arieal acrobatics is the best way to search for someone...If you did anything the characters did in this film you'd be dead in minutes.

To be honest much of this film makes me curious because it makes no sense whats so ever, more so because there is a credit about there being research done. Who did the research Shecky the backward soap dish? And sense of reality of anything other than the images of man in the wilderness isn't there.

One of the films done in the German genre of mountain film where men and women pitted themselves against nature. I only saw one of the films years ago but it didn't impress me much. This one impressed me even less on any level other than the visual. Honestly it it's stunning to look at.

I have the film in the edition put out by German War films, which had no English subtitles, but there is a special edition from Kino that has this version with subtitles along with the American one. Why would anyone think it was worth the effort? Okay yes it looks great but outside of this this film is laugher.

Why am I taking the effort to write up the film? because it's visuals are amazing. There are just some incredible vistas and eye popping images that are worth your time. Get it from Blockbuster or Netflicks, but don't buy it. If you can watch this with friends who can appreciate the beauty while picking on the story all the better.

This is a major head scratcher.

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