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The Tales of Hoffmann

2h 13m Musical, Comedy, Opera 1951

AroView: A boldly visual imagining of Offenbach’s 1880 opera which takes three tales of magic and deception by E.T. Hoffmann and weaves them into a disquieting fantasia on the nature of “true love” for the German poet (here portrayed by Robert Rounseville).

Advancing from their experiments with filmed ballet in “The Red Shoes”, eminent directors Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger conjure up soundstage versions of 19th century Nurnberg, Paris, Venice and Greece in an attractive riot of colour, light operatic music and dance with which to enrichen the broad (even frivolous) source material. Although overly drawn out, this nonetheless stands as one of the most extreme experiments in non-realistic mainstream cinema ever made.

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