Tonio Kroger

112. TONIO KROGER (1965-Germany). Based on the novel by THOMAS MANN. With JEAN-CLAUDE BRIALY, NADIA TILLER, GERT FROBE. Mann’s classic 1903 novel comes to she screen in a brilliant adaptaÂtion, co-written by ER1KA MANN (the novelist’s daughter) and ENNIO FLAIANO (Fellini’s frequent collaboÂrator). Tonio, the son Of an austere Prussian businessman and a fiery, exotic Italian woman, is a young writer torn between contradictory desires and emotions. He is attracted to both the bourgeois world, with all its seÂcurities and luxuries, and the carefree, passionate existence; between observing life from a distance and plungÂing directly into living. He is, as he observes, a “bourgeois lost in the arts.” Tonio travels from Italy to GerÂmany, then farther north, experiencing various relationships (sexual as well as intellectual) with women, and trying to find a world that suits him. At the same time, his mind travels to the past, exploring the origins Of his dilemmas in a troubled childhood and youth. The film’s fluid time structure, its crisp black-and-white images and use Of deep space, its unusual settings and landscapes, and its haunting, Often eerie music, all help to evoke a dream-like world, in which past, present, and fantasy merge. This intriguing movie is a feast for the eyes and a challenge for the mind; while perhaps not for everyone’s tastes, it is a rewarding, stimulating exÂperience for those who surrender to its very special world. In German with English subtitles. 92 minutes. Drama