Aroview: Boldly visual imagining of Offenbach's 1880 opera which takes three tales of magic and deception by E.T. Hoffmann and weaves them into a disquieting fantasia on the nature of "true love" for the German poet (here portrayed by Robert Rounseville).
Advancing from their experiments with filmed ballet in THE RED SHOES, eminent directors Powell and Pressburger conjure up soundstage versions of 19th century Nurnberg, Paris, Venice and Greece in an attractive riot of colour, light operatic music and dance with which to enrichen the broad (even frivolous) source material. Although overly drawn out, this nonetheless stands as one of the most extreme experiments in non-realistic mainstream cinema ever made.
Criterion edition features an audio commentary by Martin Scorsese and film-music historian Bruce Eder; an interview with George A. Romero on the film; "The Scorerer's Apprentice" (1956), a short musical directed by Michael Powell; and more.