Mini-Review: Max & James & Danielle

This film is available to stream on Fandor. For those of you who are not familiar with Fandor, it’s frequently referred to as Netflix for cinemaphile. In essence, what Netflix was and always should have been. Fandor is available for a free trial period and can be subscribed to on a discounted annual basis rather than a higher recurring monthly fee.

This is a video essay by director Mark Rappaport who has made a name for himself through his cinema-loving feature and short docs. The marvelous thing about this particular title is that there is a significant dalliance in speculative fantasy true paramours of film engage in but can only adequately explore via video and picture editing.

In this film Rappaport discusses the phases of the career of Max Ophüls. In particular it examines his work with James Mason in the United States, and another favorite, Danielle Darrieux in France. The speculation comes in wherein Rappaport imagines the three collaborating in an imagined film.

With both this imagined past, that reflects Ophüls imagined Golden Age Vienna, and Rappaport’s parenthetical narration style, this is an enjoyable quick doc that should be a decent primer on his style.