Der scharlachrote Buchstabe

Extraordinary care has been taken to fit this out properly for the voyage, as it were. Dramatically the structure is secured by an analysis on the lines of Beethoven’s Fidelio with its Gouverneur and all, the filming is rather governed by Brook’s Lord of the Flies in certain key elements. Good fortune presides at the casting of Senta Berger and Hans Christian Blech as Hester and Chillingworth, an antithetical study.

Salem is very like a whale to Jonah, the title is given before and behind in scarlet letters.

Magill’s Survey of Cinema (Salem Press), “a better film than the director himself has conceded.”


Buena Vista Social Club

The Buena Vista Social Club was a little place in Havana where dance bands played before the Cuban Revolution. Wenders simply, very simply, films the visit of aged musicians to the club (which is now an apartment building), as well as some performances. The music is great, the film is great, but some critics carped and the question is why?

It’s simply the name. Buena Vista happens to be the name of Walt Disney’s distribution company, and some misinformed critics must have thought this was Michael Eisner’s version of The Mickey Mouse Club.


The Soul of a Man
The Blues

The by God genuine part of this is Blind Willie Johnson, Skip James and J.B. Lenoir. Lenoir is seen in documentary footage never shown before (and thereby hangs a tale). Skip James you see performing in his later years after his thirty-years’ silence. Blind Willie Johnson is represented by an actor mouthing his words.

Their music is heard clearly, and then covered by artists of the present day. Wenders is struck by the fact that Voyager went up with a Blind Willie Johnson song on board. Where are the blues? Lost in the Stars.