Geheimnisse einer Seele [Secrets of a Soul] (1926) + Bl!ndman

Secrets of a Soul is a movie by Georg Wilhelm Pabst starring Werner Krauss. I saw it with a performance by Bl!ndman, a percussion group who played the soundtrack live.

After a murder happens next door, Martin Fellmann (Werner Krauss) cuts himself shaving and subsequently develops a knife phobia, coupled with the urge to kill his wife (Ruth Weyher). By chance he meets a psychoanalyst (Pavel Pavlov) who offers to treat and subsequently heal him.

The movie – made shortly after psychoanalysis was developed – has large chunks of information it dumps on the viewer to explain what psychoanalysis actually is. This often makes it seem comic nowadays. But the special effects are surprisingly good.
The percussion by Bl!ndman unfortunately was at best forgettable, at worst completely annoying.

The movie delves deeply into the dreams of Martin Fellmann and those scenes are really fantastic and part of the German expressionistic movement.

Unfortunately, more time is spent on the “real life” and Fellmann’s analysis – which, as I said before, is quite the info dump and does get ridiculous sometimes from the modern perspective.

[I find it really hard to talk about the acting and whether it was good or not because silent movie actors act so differently.]

For the most part, I could ignore the percussion but when the analysis started, they began to whisper the text in the background – loudly enough that you’d hear it, not loud enough that you really understood it and the whole thing with a kind of Czech (?) accent, which usually doesn’t bother me but in this context it made me try to figure out where the accent was from and then I couldn’t concentrate on the movie anymore and it was all a little too distracting. And annoying.

Also, I discovered that listening to percussion for 90 minutes straight gives me a headache.

Summarising: it’s fun to watch the movie, but don’t do it with Bl!ndman playing…

1 thought on “Geheimnisse einer Seele [Secrets of a Soul] (1926) + Bl!ndman

  1. Pingback: Shestaya chast mira [A Sixth of the World] (1926) + Michael Nyman Band « Stuff

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