Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The Resurrection of Dr. Mabuse

Norbert Jacques’ Weimar Republic criminal mastermind, Dr. Mabuse has proven a potent allegorical figure for communicating the chaos of socio-economic collapse. From the original Roaring Twenties figure of Jacques’ fiction and Fritz Lang’s epic two-part silent film and its Depression-era sequel to the character’s rebirth which bookended the rise and fall of the Berlin Wall and the beginning of the modern police state with its intricate and intrusive surveillance systems, Mabuse’s long cinematic history incorporates Expressionism, film noir, krimi, Euro-trash, and now modern independent film. Ansel Faraj is the ambitious young man who has brought Dr. Mabuse into the twenty-first century. A mere twenty-one years old, Faraj has already written and directed twenty-five independent films for his Hollinsworth Productions over the past seven years. Dr. Mabuse, newly released on DVD, shows a surprising polish and sense of artistry rarely found in the work of young filmmakers. Most surprising is how well Faraj makes use of his modest budget to the film’s overall advantage instead of its detriment. The Spartan production values assist in creating the dreamlike quality of the film. This can best be appreciated by watching the film in its entirety. Judging the results by the trailer fails to do justice to the neo-Expressionistic mood Faraj has managed to capture here. TO CONTINUE READING THIS ARTICLE, PLEASE VISIT THE BLACK GATE ON FRIDAY.

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