Final films by great filmmakers. I won't be including works by directors who are still alive, even if they've announced…
The youngsters Matahi and Reri are in love with each other. The old warrior Hitu announces that Reri is to be the new chosen virgin for the gods. This means she must stay untouched, otherwise she and her lover will be killed. But Matahi abducts and escapes with her to an island ruled by the white man, where their gods would be harmless and powerless. Tabu is the last film from director F.W. Murnau; he died before the film’s premiere in a car accident.
How the hell do you go from an ethnographic documentary showing an island paradise, men and women wooing each other, joyous prolonged tribalistic dancing, and men rowing boats with the tunes of Smetana to such a menacing and deranged tale of pure misery and paranoia? Murnau’s latter films in his life seem to deal strongly with societal and cultural friction. Even though Robert J. Flaherty (of Nanook of the North fame) tried to initiate the film as a likeminded documentary capturing an indigenous people, Murnau's intense passion and cynicism breaks through at full-force.
It must be noted that the film's photographic beauty is a treat to feast on, especially with the palm tree canopies casting such gorgeous spectacles of light…
Whereupon Murnau ceases speaking the language of dreams, & masters the language of cinema for us all.......another one of these final works where by some mysterious series of coincidences the director strips down their formal sensibilities to the most essential parts. No lighting, shadows of grass yes - but it is mostly bodies in composition. Bodies always posing, expressing.
At the same time, it is Murnau's most fatalistic work - therefore his most philosophical. Aquarium meets aquarium - like this film is set in the middle of time, where one social system collides with another.
It is fatalistic because the lovers are doomed from the start - infact
Murnau can be seen as postulating that love can only authentically survive **outside**…
TABU's story is as melodramatic and simple as it is tragic and beautiful. An island couple lives in, as the title card denotes it, paradise. They play in waterfalls and hide from each other beneath gigantic leaves. The Man, Matahi, is the island's greatest hunter; the woman, Reri, its greatest beauty. One day a ship comes bestowing a great honor upon the island, Reri has been chosen as the new sacred maiden of the gods. To love her is Tabu. As she is sailing towards her new fate, Matahi kidnaps her and they flee to a colonized island rich in pearls. Matahi becomes a great and respected pearl diver, but the broken tabu continues to haunt them.
TABU began as…
A tale of forbidden love amongst a mythical island community untouched by civilisation. F.W. Murnau tells a beautiful tale of two islanders fighting against island traditions, God's will and the breaking of a Tabu that risks their lives. Is love they share worth it? The film also explores the two lovers fleeing to a more civilised community, fighting to survive in an alien environment. Murnau makes this tale beautifully simple, the touching film with a sense of inevitability to it that makes it an ultimately tragic doomed love. Murnau really was a master of the silent film art form, the almost documentary approach to filming the island and islanders only adds to the places untouched beauty, along with what could be perceived as more primitive ideals.
Mistakenly some believe that this film is co directed by Robert J. Flaherty. The original plan was that Murnau and Flaherty would direct it together but Murnau took over the project quite early on. Flaherty did however give Murnau the idea and he did start the whole process. The two men were however way too different to be able to work together. Murnau, used to planing everything down to the smallest detail and Flaherty who made the films (and the story) up as he filmed it.
This was Murnaus last film. Sadly he passed away in a car accident shortly after finishing the film, when his lover (who did not know how to drive a car) asked for permission to…
While I am certainly not qualified to judge if it's inaccurate or exploitative, Murnau and Flaherty certainly seem to be trying a lot harder than their contemporaries (See: King Kong, Mutiny on the Bounty) to give Pacific Islanders a respectful portrayal. That aside, the film is wonderful, with the cinematography, editing and score all coming together to create a beautiful piece of audiovisual poetry. I'm now convinced Murnau was a genius who was taken from us too soon. I can't even imagine what amazing masterpieces he could've made if his career lasted another 20 years.
Why we watch movies
Tabu er en film, som er blevet filmet 'on location', hvilket er en sjældenhed for film fra denne era. Og samtidig er de fleste skuespillere i filmen indfødte. Så det giver bare en realisme og troværdighed til filmen, som ellers kan være svær at fange. Den virker til tider som en dokumentar. Så selvom de til tider laver ting, som egentlig er lidt irrelevant for historien (fx mange danse scener, bade scener osv.), så er du hele tiden fascineret af det, da det på en måde virker naturligt.
Historien er simpel, men fængende. Du er altid med.
Filmen tager mange spændende aspekter op. Fattigdom, brud på tradition og normer, kolonialisering og paranoia.
Tabu er også meget speciel rent visuelt. Den…
The camera neglects almost every opportunity to remind you that this is about persons; it prefers to tell a story about people(s), in a visual style not at all unlike Sunrise. We hardly get any closeups of the main couple, particularly not in the first half, and most of them in the second half consist of her sleeping and him guarding her, or of him sleeping while she ruminates over her dilemma. (These scenes are quite drawn out.) It's of course fraught with problems of colonialism, old-school. Flaherty's opening sequence (apparently the only part he actually directed) feels quintessentially "Flaherty," like he simply shifted locations from watching Nanook fishing in the arctic to a handful of natives in the tropics.…
"The Tabu is upon us."
Is the first act's deliberate dullness an act of genius to make the second act stand out more? Inclined to say yes.
Ein großartiges Melodram. Eine hinreißende Liebesgeschichte aus der Südsee. Der letzte Film von F.W. Murnau. Ein Stummfilm. 81 Minuten, die wie im Flug vergehen.
F.W. Murnau ist einer der großen Klassiker der Filmgeschichte. Bei vielen Klassikern der Filmgeschichte besteht das einzige Vergnügen darin, den Film als gesehen abzuhaken und sich an einem kurzen Gefühl der intellektuellen Überheblichkeit zu erfreuen. Nicht so bei Murnau. Man kann vermutlich viel Schlaues über Murnaus letzte Filme TABU, CITY GIRL, und SUNRISE schreiben. Das beste an ihnen ist aber: Sie sind auch heute noch verdammt unterhaltend und kurzweilig und bewegend. Murnau ist ein großartiger Erzähler. Gesprochene Sprache braucht er dafür nicht. Dass seine Filme stumm sind, vergisst man nach den ersten paar Minuten. Es spielt einfach keine Rolle. Im Rückblick kann man nicht mehr sagen, ob sie nun stumm oder mit Ton waren.
"Across the great waters I will come to you in your dreams when the moon spreads its path on the sea farewell."
Splendid work. How can you go from such innocence and liberty to such sadness and fatality against the undefeatable burden of tradition? What a striking difference between the early shots bathed in the sparkling sunlight and the dark (almost supernatural) closing shots.
I wish I could've fallen in love in the 1930s Tahiti, what a wonderful people <3
one per and alphabetical
i'll try to keep this one up :^)
in flux and some placements may be ephemeral…
All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1177. An easy way of seeing how…