Film » Film Capsules

Mabou Mines Dollhouse (France, 2007)

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This video rendering of Mabou Mines’ radical re-imagining of Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen’s 1879 proto-feminist masterpiece A Doll’s House faithfully replicates the uniqueness of director Lee Breuer’s vision — the actresses are almost six feet while the male roles are played by little people — but is primarily of interest to Ibsen scholars and fans of avant-garde theater. The exaggerated, silent-comedy-style performances (replete with Inger Stevens’ Farmer’s Daughter accents), Pee-wee’s Playhouse sets and frequent cutaway shots to an audience composed entirely of freakish-looking wooden marionettes occasionally give it the vibe of a hallucinatory David Lynch fever dream. Too bad Breuer didn’t surrender directing chores to Manoel de Oliveira, Straub-Huillet or some other cinematic visionary who understands how to film theater without making it seem like, well, theater. Cleveland Museum of Art Lecture Hall. At 1:30 p.m. Sunday, April 5. HHH

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