The Tales of Hoffman : a screencap review.
Is a Self Indulgent 1950 Technicolor cine ballet based on the Jacques Offenbach opera about the three loves of Hoffman. The opera itself, never performed when Offenbach was alive, underwent transformations and was performed with and without the Giulietta act (for length considerations) at the opera comique, Paris (first in 1880).
Hoffman the poet.
The opera discusses affairs with four women in his life, which are really about his quest for a one unreachable idealized love..
Stella , the prima donna of the local ballet Olympia, a mechanical doll from paris
(who sends him a love note, that never dances a mean ballet , but othervice needs the army
reaches him,) of her family, and her inventor to animate her.
Giulietta, a courtesan from Venice Antonia, a consumptive(TB) daughter
of a dead Greek Opera singer
who is in league with the devil to steal Hoffman’s whose ambition (fuelled by ghosts of her
image, mother and her out of touch ,
conductor father push her over the edge.
Hoffman’s quest for love leaves him feeling like a clown in the prescence of a goddess.
And there are characters running interference in each of these episodes.
There’s Lindroff Copelius, Hoffman’s muse
Rich and powerful nemasis, familiar with She watches smiling, but not helping because she
all hoffman’s motivations wants hoffman for herself…for poetry.
Antonia’s Mother’s Ghost and there’s Spalanzani the inventor of the
Who drives her sick daughter to death Who creates and destroys the Olympia .
from ambition illusion for money
Hoffman himself comes across as a tragicomic bundle of weakness who never could stand up to Copelius, his nemesis even if he wanted to, and as someone unable to possess his love within himself, distracted as he is by the poetic charms of his various idealizations outside of himself. (Think…suckaaaaa!).
Idealizations his heroines are never quite able to live upto, for which they, and he, suffer bad consequences.
The Powell and Pressburger version creates phantasmagorical sets and Strong supporting charecters and inadequately fleshed out protagonists , creating a powerful surreal if , unfocussed narrative.For a comic opera it’s not very funny.
There’s also a Raj Kapoor feel to the story. Perhaps Mera Naam Joker was inspired by this film/ opera?