A young man who grew up in Argentina comes to stay at a French boy’s school. He becomes enamored with a beauty who is staying in a mansion across the lake… a mansion that is supposed to empty and haunted.
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As pointed by another reviewer this is replete with German romanticism: beyond the settings and the gorgeously photographed landscapes, it is the search for the ideal which springs from the deepest and darkest corners of the human soul that becomes the central motif here. Yet, Duvivier invests atmosphere with a characteristically French poetic realism, mostly evident in the shining aura around the captive Marianne.
Julien Duvivier plays with nearly all the themes of German Romanticism in Marianne of My Youth:: a castle in the Bavarian Alps, a foggy lake, forests with friendly wild animals, a haunted mansion inhabited by a knight and a beautiful woman who could be (-or not) mad and a hero coming from the South and playing guitar. And it worked for me. Highly recommended.
Les prises de vue sont splendides dans leur limpide poésie, et la vision romanesque de l'adolescence particulièrement bien abordée, avec ses déchirantes rêveries et ses platoniques élans personnels...