Monday, August 27, 2007

Critical Reactions #7 (Spring Symphony)

Here are a few vintage reactions to what I think is one of Nastassja's lesser films.

"What makes SPRING SYMPHONY a special experience is the gusto that director Peter Schamoni brings to the tale. The performances, camera work, and music score positively bubble with the heady German romanticism that Schumann and his epoch were steeped in...Kinski combines strength and sweetness, giving both qualities a touch of iron."
-David Sterritt, Christian Science Monitor-

"The film impresses you musically and dramatically but it's done with a nervous, skittering rapidity...Kinski may be a matter of taste, this reviewer has a schoolboy crush on the gorgeous actress and is grateful for any chance to watch her."
-Michael Wilmington, Los Angeles Times-

"A promising way to a mishmash of short scenes in which neither Schumann's creative genius nor his relationship with Clara is much illuminated."
-Nick Roddick, Monthly Film Bulletin-

"enjoyable...careful, fragmented, convincing...Kinski is too old to play the teenage Clara with such doe-eyed innocence."
-Rex Reed, New York Post-

"Kinski continues to mature as an actress, and as she matures, she dazzles. She seems to be a person of many depths and currents, and all of these come to bear on the role of the young woman who must choose between father and lover. It's a brilliant performance."
-Mike McGrady, Newsday-

"as education, it's awe inspiring...Kinski does some impressive hand synching on the keys, but is so curiously subdued when she's supposed to be petulant that we long for some of the annoying mannerisms she had before she added the 'J' to her name...trifling, irritating, boring."
-Michael Musto, Village Voice-

"a remarkable attempt...Kinski is astonishingly convincing and moving...her best work since TESS."
-Howard Kissell, Women's Wear Daily-

"Schamoni's film is impeccably cast, with Hoppe as Wieck, his damp eyes suggesting incest here as chillingly as they did evil in his portrayal of Goering in Mephisto; Grünemeyer pale and intense as the boy-genius; and Kinski irritatingly placid as Clara. And the director captures perfectly the spirit of a Germany founded equally upon the tenets of stuffy burghers and high-minded student drinking associations, while cinematically echoing the Romantic style of Schumann's music."
Time Out Film Guide-

"It's a German film, and the Germans also have a word for it--kitsch. Frisky Nastassja Kinski is the pianist Clara Wieck; glum Herbert Gronemeyer (of Das Boot) is the composer Robert Schumann. They stare deeply into each other's eyes, bounce through flowery landscapes, and urge each other on to ever greater heights of artistic achievement. If only they'd urged writer-director Peter Schamoni to greater heights."
-Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader-

I was surprised to see some of the more positive reactions this film garnered but I am always happy to see Nastassja's work being acclaimed. SPRING SYMPHONY will always be a lesser Kinski film in my eyes but as you can see from above, the work did manage to captivate several critics upon release.


Rogue Spy 007 said...

It definitely looks like it's gotten its share of acclaim. To be honest I've read positive reviews of other movies and then I hated the movies. I didn't know what movie these guys were watching. That happens.

Jeremy Richey said...

Thanks Keith,
I was really surprised to see some of the strong reactions this film got...

rodanrodan2000 said...

I always thought that Spring Symphony was an 'interesting' film that represented a missed opportunity.
Clara Schummann is one of the most fascinating figures in the history of music. In a field dominated by men, she was the greatest pianist of her age and a tirelesss promoter of the music of her husband and other musicians. Where her husband was the 'classic' romantic musical figure who went mad, she had to carry on, raising a huge family on her income as a pianist.
The most interesting relationship in the movie is the one between her and her father Rolf Hoppe, which may have had it's dark side.
Too bad Kinski couldn't have played in a real biography of Clara Schumman, since it could have been a marvelous role.