May 5, 2008

The Red Shoes

This is a 1948 film with Marius Goring, Moira Shearer (shown above), and Anton Walbrook as Julian Craster, Victoria Page, and Boris Lermontov. The plot is about the conflict between a pianist (Goring) and an impresario (Walbrook) over a young dancer (Shearer). The red shoes of the title refer to a fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen. It becomes obvious through the course of the movie that the shoes are symbolic of, and to some extent the embodiment of the Schopenhauerian Wille. The characters stand in three relations to that Will. Lermontov, the impresario, is completely dominated by that will. He has surrendered any kind of sexuality, as evidenced by his apparent lack of any kind of erotic interest in Vickie, to his art. Craster sees the possibility of uniting his art and his love for Vickie. Vickie is torn by the seeming contradiction between artistic expression and the desire for love. The tension between the two extreme positions ultimately destroys Vickie.