Sep 06 2014

For a ‘Don Giovanni’ Fan, a Hedonism Driven by Fear

Published by at 01:03 under Amour Fou

SOURCE: http://www.nytimes.com

‘Naked Opera,’ a Documentary Profile by Angela Christlieb
By NICOLAS RAPOLDSEPT. 4, 2014

Over 10 years ago, in the documentary “Cinemania,” Angela Christlieb and Stephen Kijak profiled a few obsessive New York moviegoers, cranky and snobbish devotees of the city’s bountiful repertory cinemas. With “Naked Opera,” Ms. Christlieb gives us another eccentric fanatic in Marc Rollinger, a man of mysterious means from Luxembourg who spends his cash on “Don Giovanni” performances across Europe and on a succession of what seem to be male escorts.

Squat, jowly and preppily dressed, Mr. Rollinger cuts an impatient, sarcastic figure, freely condescending about Ms. Christlieb’s ideas for staging shoots. His privileged lifestyle yields some of the gawking and grimacing appeal of the under-seen documentary “Born Rich,” on heirs to great fortunes.

Here, Ms. Christlieb takes a mostly mocking view, making sure to show us Mr. Rollinger’s compulsive collection of bookkeeping binders and his finicky hotel selections. But the man’s fear over a recent bout with cancer makes all this hedonism feel like a desperate grab for earthly pleasures.

Cutaways to a filmed performance of “Don Giovanni” seem to suggest that his travels are a travesty of that opera, especially when he takes up with the pornographic film star Jordan Fox, who lies about and preens in sumptuous hotel rooms like some sort of sex pet. But Mr. Rollinger, a protagonist of a curiously circumscribed life, proves to have an opaque appeal.

NAKED OPERA
Opens on Friday
Directed by Angela Christlieb
In Luxembourgish, German, French, English and Italian, with English subtitles
1 hour 25 minutes; not rated

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SOURCE: http://www.nytimes.com

‘Naked Opera,’ a Documentary Profile by Angela Christlieb
By NICOLAS RAPOLDSEPT. 4, 2014

Over 10 years ago, in the documentary “Cinemania,” Angela Christlieb and Stephen Kijak profiled a few obsessive New York moviegoers, cranky and snobbish devotees of the city’s bountiful repertory cinemas. With “Naked Opera,” Ms. Christlieb gives us another eccentric fanatic in Marc Rollinger, a man of mysterious means from Luxembourg who spends his cash on “Don Giovanni” performances across Europe and on a succession of what seem to be male escorts.

Squat, jowly and preppily dressed, Mr. Rollinger cuts an impatient, sarcastic figure, freely condescending about Ms. Christlieb’s ideas for staging shoots. His privileged lifestyle yields some of the gawking and grimacing appeal of the under-seen documentary “Born Rich,” on heirs to great fortunes.

Here, Ms. Christlieb takes a mostly mocking view, making sure to show us Mr. Rollinger’s compulsive collection of bookkeeping binders and his finicky hotel selections. But the man’s fear over a recent bout with cancer makes all this hedonism feel like a desperate grab for earthly pleasures.

Cutaways to a filmed performance of “Don Giovanni” seem to suggest that his travels are a travesty of that opera, especially when he takes up with the pornographic film star Jordan Fox, who lies about and preens in sumptuous hotel rooms like some sort of sex pet. But Mr. Rollinger, a protagonist of a curiously circumscribed life, proves to have an opaque appeal.

NAKED OPERA
Opens on Friday
Directed by Angela Christlieb
In Luxembourgish, German, French, English and Italian, with English subtitles
1 hour 25 minutes; not rated

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