The Phantom of the Opera

The Phantom of the Opera ★★★

Deeply retro, in many ways a throwback to the first-gen of Gothic novels, 1780-1820 or so... and all the better for it. History is rendered in vertical layers here, and so is human consciousness; the deeper strata are evidence of the history of oppressions that shaped today's culture and never really disappeared... and at the same time, those strata are the home of all the creepy-crawly, under-a-rock impulses buried in our unconscious.

Once you've teased out the ideas, though, the movie's a bit of a slog; the last half was considerably less interesting to me than the first.

INTERTEXTUAL FOOTNOTE: Svengali, Hands Of Orlac/Mad Love and Bimbo's Initiation are all more meaningful to me after thinking about this.

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