Donate Now to Support KDHX

Listen Live
Friday, 17 February 2012 01:00

It’s Easy to Fall in Love with 'Young Goethe in Love’s' Romantic World

csmonitor.com csmonitor.com
Written by Diane Carson
Rate this item
(1 Vote)

About this Media...

  • Director: Philipp Stolzl
  • Dates: Opens November 23, 2011

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749 to 1832) made his mark in late 18th and early 19th century Germany as a true genius: lawyer, philosopher, playwright, poet, and scientist. But in his early 20s, as depicted in the film Young Goethe in Love he's a familiar, love struck young man in conflict with his father.

Failing his academic exam in the opening scene, his father packs him off from Frankfurt to the backwater of Wetzlar where he's to practice law and shape up. He does but he remains drawn to poetry, especially after he meets the feisty Lotte Buff. They fall passionately in love. However, her mother dead and the eldest of several children, Lotte has responsibilities for her many siblings, as her father makes clear. Goethe channels their love and sad situation into his novel, The Sorrows of Young Werther, a classic, romantic work of the Sturm und Drang period, usually translated as Storm and Stress or Storm and Passion.

As with the recent film Anonymous that fictionalizes events in Elizabethan England, in general, and Shakespeare's life, in particular, Goethe in Love takes poetic license to fashion a dramatic story. Both are narrative feature films, not documentaries, so fair enough. And director Philipp Stolzl seems most inspired by real events as he was in North Face, about the tragic 1936 attempted ascent of the Eiger. Here he burrows into the quintessential character of romantic inclinations and the social pressures that qualify them.

Beautifully filmed, Goethe in Love convincingly recreates the 1770s with muddy streets, dim candlelight, claustrophobic offices, and lived-in clothes. In other words, it doesn't romanticize the dirt and work nor does it gloss over the tragic consequences. Goethe was blamed for sensationalizing suicide as he became a fabulously famous writer because of The Sorrows of Young Werther.

As Goethe, Alexander Fehling brings a vulnerable naïveté to his performance, an immensely different presence from his cold Nazi Master Sergeant Wilhelm who sparks the basement tavern shootout in Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds (Tarantino's spelling.) But the actor who truly infuses energy is Miriam Stein as Lotte Buff whose unbridled honesty and high-spirited charm enlivens every scene she's in. Young Goethe in Love brings youth of the 18th century charmingly and entertainingly into the 21st. In German with English subtitles, at a Landmark Theatre.

Sponsor Message

Become a Sponsor

Find KDHX Online

KDHX on Instagram
KDHX on YouTube
KDHX on SoundCloud
KDHX on Facebook
KDHX on Twitter
KDHX on flickr

Local Artist Spotlight


Brian Owens

Mon September 29
Brian Owens is a american soul singer and songwriter from St. Louis. His new album Preach combines soulfull grooves, with soul touching Lyrics.. Preach is a well produced album that while speaking to the…

Search Parties

Tue September 9

KDHX Recommends

October
Saturday
04

Old Salt Union at Harvest Sessions 2014

Old Salt Union at Harvest Sessions 2014 Young, rabble-rousing old-time stringband Old Salt Union takes the stage at the park for this week's Harvest Sessions performance. This free Saturday morning concert series takes place at the Tower Grove Farmers' Market,...


October
Thursday
09

Discovery Series: Johnny Long

KDHX presents Johnny Long as part of the Discovery Series. Series passports can be bought online. shop.kdhx.org/products/discovery-series-passport   John Long was born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1950 and was first...


October
Saturday
11

Wack-A-Doo at Harvest Sessions 2014

Wack-A-Doo at Harvest Sessions 2014 KDHX and Harvest Sessions welcomes veteran old-time jazz and gypsy swing group Wack-A-Doo to the park for this week's event. This free Saturday morning concert series takes place at the Tower Grove Farmers' Market, and...


Online Users

2 users and 9592 guests online
Sign in with Facebook

SYSTEM: S5 Box

Login/My Account

Sign in with Facebook