9 July 2011 | FerdinandVonGalitzien
A Light Comedy As Trivial As Any Matrimony
Teutonic bourgeois like German aristocrats, from time to time need some fresh air in order to take a break from their matrimony obligations that become dangerously monotonous. So that's precisely what Herr Meyer ( Herr Ernst Lubitsch ) from Berlin did. He took a trip to the Tyrol in Switzerland, leaving behind his wife Frau Paula ( Frau Ethel Orff ), and had a good time with the help of an accomplice, his personal doctor.
Once in the Tyrol and accordingly dressed like the natives of such a neutral country, Herr Meyer will meet an idle bourgeois woman, Frau Kitty ( Frau Trude Troll ). She is also spending a trifle time in the same elegant hotel (with the permission in this case of her fiancée); She's a beautiful fraulein who constantly is harassed by gentlemen and Herr Meyer isn't exactly an exception about this
"Meyer aus Berlin" ( Meyer From Berlin ) (1919) is a characteristic Herr Lubitsch film from his German early silent period. It's a satiric and ironic view about matrimony and bourgeoisie, in where sarcastic comments, puns and hilarious situations gives Herr Lubitsch the chance to do what he likes most. That's to depict the battle of sexes and the peculiar relationship and behaviour among men and women in the institution of matrimony, strict obligations and rules that obviously were made in order to be broken as the German director ( and aristocrats ) have known for ages. Flirting, deceit and lies are men's favourite games and minor sins ...until your wife discovers everything, natürlich!...
Besides being a light comedy as trivial as any matrimony, "Meyer aus Berlin" is also a peculiar early mountain film. (However, in Herr Lubitsch's parameters, natürlich!) So thanks Gott there is no trace of epic climbing, snow or ski races in the film. On the contrary, for Herr Meyer the idea to climb the mount Watzmann as suggested this by Frau Kitty is a terrible idea; Kitty, as it happened with other vigorous Teutonic women, very much likes this genuine German sport, , but to Meyer, it's a tedious and sweating plan that he doesn't like at al preferring more exciting sports like chasing maids or wooing Frau Kitty.
Filmed after "Carmen" (1918), the big budget costume film production that gave Herr Lubitsch world fame and reputation outside Germany, "Meyer aus Berlin" is more prosaic and light entertainment. It is one of these comedies that the German director inserted between expensive and huge film projects. This doesn't mean that these comedies are simple ones, not at all; such pictures display inventive technical effects and careful sceneries that are filmed accordingly with peculiar contemporary stories.
And now, if you'll allow me, I must temporarily take my leave because this German Count must play the aristocrat's favourite games mentioned before.