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The mystic thing about "The Mystic Mountain" is how it manages to overcome its obvious deficiencies and turn into a very passable effort at cinematic art. The effect of the really fine photography tends to be destroyed by overemphasis. Much of the acting is of the strong, silent variety, although not obvious mugging. There is a thunderstorm scene where the lightning blinds you and the sound effects resemble those of a Coney Island Tunnel of Horrors, Yet the final impression is a good one.
There is a sensuousness about the picture which lends it charm. The Swiss are a people of simple pleasures; they love their mountains and their fastivals. Fat cattle roam the valleys, and goats clamber on the rocks. But they are also a people divided by racial hates. From these two contrasts the plot develops, in the conflict between two hostile French and German villages. A dog is killed, and a woman kidnapped in retaliation. The picture ends with one of the villages in flames, and the two levers in their midst.
But it is not from plot or passions that "The Mystic Mountain" derives its excellence. It is rather from the beauty and peace of the countryside portrayed, a peace that seems to biot out even the final tragedy. The finest shot in the picture is of a flock of hens, silhouetted against the sky. The best music is that played by a peasant orchestra at a festival, with a liquid cornet carrying the melody. It is such things that make "The Mystic Mountain" worth the trip to the Fine Arts.
"Evergreen", with the English Jessie Matthews, is a pleasant enough companion. In spots the imitation of American musicomedies, even to a Busby Berkely dance scene in a cannon factory, is so exaggerated as to be funny in itself. But the picture can well stand on its own and Jessie Matthew's feet.
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