Eric Rohmer J. P. Stern - Essay

J. P. Stern

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Although much of the dialogue [in "Die Marquise von O …"] is taken word for word from Kleist's story, sometimes transferred from reported to direct speech, the director has also made use of the rare device of projecting whole sentences from the original on the screen, in print, to emphasize turning points in the story, and above all to convey those thoughts and guesses at motivation—those contents of mind—which action alone cannot intimate. Although the director follows the text closely in the film's mood and images, it is as if his veneration for Kleist's idiosyncratic style would not be satisfied with interpretation by actors and cameraman—the printed word must still be the vehicle of the creator's...

(The entire section is 401 words.)