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The story itself is based on Johan Strauss’ ‘Die Fledermaus’ (The Bat), but updated to 1955 Vienna, when the city was still occupied by the four Allied superpowers – Britain, America, France and Russia – following the Second World War. The film rejects realism layering artifice upon colourful artifice.
“The film has much to offer in the way of visual splendour and silliness, and is rich in performance too. Part of its camp appeal is to surround the titular flirt, Ludmilla Tcherina, with the cream of British gay and bisexual acting talent (like a Carry On film with a budget and artistic aspirations). Tcherina can’t act in any conventional sense but, like Maria Montez, everything she does has the conviction of her Technicolor beauty behind it. When, in one scene, her husband starts to strangle her and she makes a throttled expression and sound before he’s actually laid hands on her, it seems not so much a mistake as a piece of inspired comic timing… It’s rarely seen, and any big-screen outing is a must for fans of The Archers. It’s lurid, empty, at times vulgar, but also inspired, vivacious and fearless in its abandonment of reality and embracement of kitsch. A delight.” David Cairnes, Senses of Cinema
A playful performance will feature as part of the event, more details will follow.