Cinema Simply Different

The ballerina Vicky joins the ballet troupe under the leadership of Lermontov. In Paris, they then present Hans Christian Andersen’s dancing fairytale The Red Shoes. In it she plays the protagonist Karen whose glittering red shoes let her dance herself to death. Vicky is also controlled in real life and is trapped in between the leader Lermontov’s obsession for her and her love for Julian.

Lermontov: «Why do you want to dance?» Vicky: «Why do you want to live?» – «Well, I don’t know exactly why, but, uh, I must.» – «That’s my answer, too.»

The theme which concerns this British film drama is the conflict of art versus love and life. The worlds of Vicky and her character clash as she is torn between her career and love.

However, not only sorrow is portrayed in the film, the definitive highlight is the twenty-minute ballet performance in technicolor. The majority of the film’s cast are professional dancers and one does not need to be a lover of ballet to cherish the artistic beauty of the scenes.

Céline Mosbacher
Translated by Isabel Leder

Other films in this program