Lover Divine

Lover Divine ★★★★½

A favorite of Ozu and (as I just learned) Kurosawa, but, of course, completely neglected in stupid Germany. Hans Jaray is an inhibited, delicate Schubert, dreamily composing away on the school dashboard intended for clear-cut arithmetics. When he plays the piano a complete orchestra soundtrack sets in, but here, this is no cheesy stunt, but a magical trick that leaves the whole world transfixed. Caught between two blondes, pragmatic Luise Ullrich and irreverent Martha Eggerth, Jaray choses, unwittingly but without much resistance, the already proven Willi Forst path of self-denial. The cornfield scene Ozu quotes in HITORI MUSUKO is the first step toward another realm, a timeless space of pure, fleeting, disembodied affect, finally fully achieved in the shameless, but also absolutely marvelous Ave Maria ending.