Thursday, January 28, 2016

French film "La Ronde" to be screened February 12, 2016 in Albany, NY

La Ronde (the original German name is Reigen) is a play written in 1897 by Arthur Schnitzler, first printed in 1900 for his friends. In 1903, the first German-language edition was published in Vienna, selling some 40,000 copies, but was banned by the censors a year later.

The title means "the round-dance" as in "ring around the rosie," and tells a series of stories about love affairs or illicit meetings involving a prostitute, a soldier, a chambermaid, her employer's son, a married woman, her husband, a young girl, a poet, an actress and a count. At the end of each encounter, one of the partners forms a liaison with another person, etc. By choosing characters across all levels of society, the play offers social commentary on how sexual contact transgresses boundaries of class.

The motion picture LA RONDE (France, 1950, 97 minutes, b/w, in French with English subtitles, directed by Max Ophüls) will be shown on Friday, February 12, 2016 at 7:30 p.m. in Page Hall, 135 Western Avenue, on the University at Albany's downtown campus. Sponsored by the New York State Writers Institute as part of its Spring 2016 Classic Film Series, the screening is free and open to the public.
Ophüls, who had a sterling sense for both film construction and the circularities of human life—especially when love and sex are at issue.

The play is set in the 1890s in Vienna. Its dramatic structure consists of ten interlocking scenes between pairs of lovers. Each of its ten characters appears in two consecutive scenes (with one from the final scene, The Whore, having appeared in the first).
  1. The Whore and the Soldier
  2. The Soldier and the Parlor Maid
  3. The Parlor Maid and the Young Gentleman
  4. The Young Gentleman and the Young Wife
  5. The Young Wife and The Husband
  6. The Husband and the Little Miss
  7. The Little Miss and the Poet
  8. The Poet and the Actress
  9. The Actress and the Count
  10. The Count and the Whore

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