May 12, 2009
obscure movie pick of the week: The Testament of Dr. Mabuse
Perhaps Das Testament des Dr. Mabuse (The Testament of Dr. Mabuse) has gotten lost a bit among the likes of Fritz Lang's other (more obviously) historically significant masterpieces such as M or Metropolis, but it in no way deserves less attention. However, it is the best known in a series of Dr. Mabuse films and (along with M) was banned in Nazi Germany due to much of the content making various negative references to the rise of Hitler and the Nazi regime.
The first time I saw it I wasn't expecting much and it really took me by surprise. It excited me throughout in ways Lang's previous film, M, only accomplished at its climax; with a more socially relevant screenplay (then and now) as well as a more intensely original and metaphorically charged use of sound (it was only his SECOND sound film). A fantastic piece of cinema, definitely my favorite of Lang's films (for now).