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Andrea Di Stefano,
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A surprisingly charming gloss of a dense "Ragtime"- like novel
Fine production values, a dry sense of humor throughout, literate script, decent casting (Assante transcends his usual "heroics" and plays a crumbling soul nicely and Cross is always workmanlike and solid), and, slyly, the film (as the book did) finally gives Nietzsche credit for inventing modern psychoanalysis (since Freud, et al, in the field stole from his works outrageously and lavishly, without assigning him the proper credit for his startlingly original insights into the world-historical human, all too human capacity for self-deception).
A tough work for an adaptation, but this movie succeeds where something like "Freud" dismally collapsed into timid clichés.
Nietzsche would have gotten many a devilish laugh out of this work's visual craftiness.
And appreciated being treated, not as a cartoon "Overman" idol, but a struggling, flawed, tragic-comically-profound human.
"Ecce Homo", his anti-"autobiography" warned those who followed not to take him too seriously.
If this film stimulates a few people to pick up his "Joyful Wisdom" (La Gaya Scienza) or "Dawn", it will have made its honorable point.
Yalom was, in essence, giving Nietszche a posthumous brother's embrace for his loneliness and struggle and brilliance and scorn and lack of recognition while he lived.
This movie does the same.
To a guy, who, friendless and abandoned and ignored through much of his writing life, still affirmed the Universe and humanity in the words:
"Man would rather have the Void for a purpose than be void of purpose." -F.N.
Worth a viewing.
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