Dr. Mabuse, the Gambler | Chicago Reader

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Fritz Lang's two-part 1922 film about the criminal genius Mabuse, who seems to have most of Weimar Germany under his diabolical control, was widely admired by the surrealists, and it's easy to see why. Lang consistently sacrifices plot and character to absurd situations and disturbing images—the film plays like the stream of a not very pleasant consciousness. Unfortunately, the stream runs a little too slowly for modern sensibilities: of all Lang's great early films, Mabuse remains the hardest to watch. The pacing is ponderous, and several sequences seem redundant.

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