HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Iceman
Blue Sky
Tokyo Dragon Chef
Pittsburgh
12 Hour Shift
Intergalactic Adventures of Max Cloud, The
Spoilers, The
Killer Therapy
Man Upstairs, The
Bloodhound, The
New Mutants, The
Tesla
Flame of New Orleans, The
Ham on Rye
Imperial Blue
Tenet
August 32nd on Earth
Don is Dead, The
Seven Sinners
Body of Water
Away
Soul
About Endlessness
Let It Snow
Ava
Deliver Us from Evil
Shark Attack 3: Megalodon
Midnight Sky, The
Lego Star Wars Holiday Special, The
Mon Oncle Antoine
Blast of Silence
Blackout, The
Stars in Your Eyes
Alone
Climate of the Hunter
Farewell Amor
Let's Scare Julie
Okko's Inn
Shaolin vs. Wu Tang
Fatman
   
 
Newest Articles
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
Network Double Bills: The House in Nightmare Park and The Man Who Haunted Himself
Newley Minted: The Strange World of Gurney Slade on Blu-ray
Bad Love: The Night Porter on Blu-ray
Brevity is the Soul of Weird: Short Sharp Shocks on Blu-ray
Get Your Ass to Mars: Total Recall on Blu-ray
Call the Professionals: Le Cercle Rouge on Blu-ray
When There's No More Room in Hell: Dawn of the Dead on Blu-ray
The Butterfly Effect: Mothra on Blu-ray
Living Room Theatre: Play for Today Volume 1 on Blu-ray
Didn't He Do Well: The Bruce Forsyth Show on DVD
Blood Wedding: The Bride with White Hair on Blu-ray
The Inhuman Element: The Ladykillers on 4K UHD
As You Like It, Baby: Breathless on Blu-ray
Stargazing: Light Entertainment Rarities on DVD
Down to the Welles: Orson Welles Great Mysteries Volume 2 on DVD
Herding Cats: Sleepwalkers on Blu-ray
Confessions of a Porn Star: Adult Material on DVD
They're Still Not Sure It is a Baby: Eraserhead on Blu-ray
   
 
  Ekstase In The Altogether Now
Year: 1933
Director: Gustav Machatý
Stars: Hedy Lamarr, Adibert Mog, Zvonimir Rogoz, Leopold Kramer, Emil Jerman, Jirina Steimarová, Bedrich Vrbský, Jirina Stepnicková, Antonín Kubový, Karel Macha-Kuca, Pierre Nay, André Nox, Eduard Slégl, Jan Sviták
Genre: Drama, RomanceBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: It's the wedding night of Eva Herrmann (Hedy Lamarr as her original name, Hedy Kiesler), who has just been married to the older Emile (Zvonimir Rogoz), but though he is happy to carry her over the threshhold of their new apartment, he is more concerned with getting his tight shoes off than getting into bed with her. She tries to seduce him in the bathroom as he brushes his teeth, but while he is affectionate enough, what he ends up doing is falling asleep in there while she awaits him in the bedroom, sprawled on the sheets. It's safe to say marriage for Eva is not what she expected...

Ekstase was a film whose notoriety went before it, eclipsing the work of Czech director Gustav Machatý, who had made an international impact with his silent Erotikon a few years before, by regarding all his careful stylings as nothing more than a sensational softcore porn flick. Yet while sex and a woman's fulfilment in that area was ahead of its time as a subject for a movie - there is still a certain amount of unease depicting that on screen in anything but the most opaque terms - this wasn't an hour and a half of future Hollywood star Lamarr romping in the nude, although that's the reputation it wound up with, being censored across the globe and decried by the moralists as wicked.

Actually, there's only one scene where Hedy got naked and that was when her character went riding, halting her horse next to a lake and whipping off her clothes for a nude swim. By this stage she is already divorced from Emile since their marriage went unconsummated, so when the horse gets skittish and runs off, she has no choice but to run after it starkers; it looks tame now even if the novelty of seeing an actress who would go on to star alongside superstars like Charles Boyer and Bob Hope in a state of utter undress was not to be dismissed lightly, but back in 1933 this was scandalous, though did make it very popular in cinemas willing to show it uncut, as even after the Second World War it was a draw for soldiers from both sides.

It's not Eva who catches the horse, but nearby labourer Adam (Adam and Eve-a, geddit?) who brings the steed back to her as she hides in the bushes. At first she's annoyed to be in such a compromising position, but once he hands the clothes over and is nice to a bee, she begins to thaw, as she was dismayed to see Emile kill such an insect earlier. This connection with nature is an important one, and referred to again and again, so that we are in no doubt Eva must give in to her natural desires, and Adam is the fellow to supply that satisfaction. This happens in a screen first: not the first woman shown full frontally naked, as Hedy was here, but the first woman shown having an orgasm.

Lamarr was acting of course, but even the acknowledgement of such an experience was shocking at this time, which was more to do with its banning across the globe than the skinny dipping. Yet oddly, Machatý was reluctant to allow his heroine to capitalise on her newfound happiness, as if in a moralistic development tragedy is lurking around the corner when Emile feels humiliated by being such a letdown to Eva. So perhaps Ekstase was not as progressive when it drew to a close than many of its champions would like to think, as this concluding misery for lovers was a fixture of many a movie, way up to the present day, even when the couple are very good for one another. Better not to dwell on the director's uncertain principles and appreciate his near-experimental techniques, presented like a silent movie with sparingly dubbed dialogue, and his heavily symbolic imagery is still striking today, though the hymn to hard work at the finale comes out of nowhere and may baffle in light of what came before. Music by Giuseppe Becce.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3315 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (2)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Stately Wayne Manor
Enoch Sneed
  Geraint Morgan
Paul Smith
  Lee Fiveash
   

 

Last Updated: