Author Topic: The Man of Sorrows - Revised  (Read 1943 times)

Offline SteveJ

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The Man of Sorrows - Revised
« on: May 10, 2008, 11:33:05 AM »
 

 CHAPTER ONE - REVELATION

 'Assassin! Hide yourself in the deepest shadows - but I shall find you out!'
 The Phantom of the Opera, 1925


 THE JOURNAL OF PAUL JAEGER

 The truth about Klaus Reinhardt will never be known, so I will invent it for you. I have never met him, but I have spent countless days chasing his shadow, his spectre. It is my destiny to find him, to reveal his Word to a waiting world. I will succeed, because I have Faith in him and no other. I must succeed. I must follow the stories that trail in his wake, the golden leaves that pursue the wild wind on its endless journey; you must follow too.

 My quest began with one of those accidents of fate which are always, at their core, inevitable.
I had spent the morning with my associate Andreas Roth at his office in Berlin. He had kindly allowed me to watch him work, sifting through dust-shrouded film canisters, identifying forgotten classics in need of restoration. The two of us sat through hour-upon-hour of silent movies, playing 'spot the star' at which Andreas was a past master. He wore a satisfied smile as he continually beat me to the punch with his naming of long-dead film stars and bit players:

 "Ah, it is Colleen Moore, of course!"

 "Yes, you're right again, Andreas - well done".

 "And there's a young John Barrymore too".

 "So it is, full marks, Andreas".

  As I was losing our little competition so badly, I allowed myself to become bored, and was about to return to my hotel when my friendly projectionist changed the reel, and with it, my life.
A few moments later, the film's title appeared on the screen - 'Tanchelin, Schwarzer Engel des Teufels'; 'the Black Angel of Satan!', I thought, 'How ridiculous.'

 A crowd of peasants gathered in the market place. The people there were distracted by a group of musicians who capered amongst them, bringing delight to the local children, who danced around with them, kicking up dust from the earth.  Into the midst of the revelry, strode a spectral figure, robed in red. Klaus Reinhardt, dressed in a crimson cassock, began to preach, his arms stretched aloft as he gave emphasis to his wild, troubling words. Some of the villagers seemed appalled, some were mesmerised. Many of them followed the sleek and sinister figure as he and his followers, a few bearing sabres, walked briskly towards the town jail. The next scene showed wild-eyed men running towards the camera, in insane joy at their release from imprisonment. These ragged men fell into rank behind their benefactor, whose devilish smile spoke of the madness to come.

"So this is the infamous 'Tanchelin', the film that Joseph Goebbels banned?"

My friend Andreas stirred in his seat. He was rather bored, he'd seen the film many times.

 "One of the first colour films...a little garish, isn't it? Don't get too comfortable though - one of the reels is missing, so it only lasts for twenty minutes."

 As I watched, the mob stormed the Peter and Paul Church in Antwerp. The unfortunate priests were forced out, as in stately procession, Tanchelin and his people, the madmen and the prostitutes, walked briskly along the aisle. As they passed the Stations of the Cross, which recorded Christ's journey to Calvary and his hideous death, they tore each tapestry from the wall, and trampled them underfoot. As some of the men started to smash the beautiful stained-glass windows, Tanchelin filled a chalice with wine, and raised it in salute to the cheering masses. It was then made clear that this holy place was to become both a brothel and a tavern.

 The scenes were disjointed, haphazard, and I wasn't sure whether this was a result of restoration, or a deliberate technique created by the director. The film changed suddenly, in style, atmosphere and tone - it became propaganda. Gone were the scenes of anarchy and violence. Instead I saw Reinhardt as Tanchelin, sat upon an altar-throne in the temple his disciples had built in his honour. Now he was dressed in a beautiful white robe with gold brocade, and his gaze wandered over to a gilded statue bearing his likeness. Four wretched women surrounded him, and sang hymns lauding his grace, his majesty. They declared that he was the Perfect Man, the true Son of God.

 Then he was shown as a solitary man, divorced from the outlandish behaviour of his followers. Obviously Dieter Weber, the film's director, was trying to present the heretic as genuinely contemplative, a philosopher of sorts; a man with something to teach us all...

 "And now", said Andreas, "the Crucifixion..."

 Two of Tanchelin's men, an apostate priest and a rather sinister Jew, caked in garish make-up obviously designed to heighten his horrid appearance, then prepared to crucify a young man who bore a marked resemblance to Christ; I shuddered involuntarily - real murder was taking places before my eyes. The long nails were driven in fiercely, the cross was raised, and at last, the victim was left, bleeding and dying high above the congregation. Tanchelin's words were revealed upon a black title card, decorated with a crown of thorns motif.

"It is finished, the Liar is dead. Now the truth is revealed to you."

 And the truth was Chaos - mayhem, bloodshed, rape and murder were taking place in the small town beyond the temple. It was like the 'Hell' of Bosch's 'Garden of Earthly Delights' come to life. I saw not only Antwerp destroyed, but also Eden itself. I saw the witch trials, and the death camps, I saw famine, disease, and Death himself.

 It was obscene, it was intoxicating, and perhaps, it was a revelation meant only for me...

« Last Edit: May 10, 2008, 11:45:49 AM by Steve08 »
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Offline thatLous

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Re: The Man of Sorrows - Revised
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2008, 01:37:55 PM »
Nyahah!  ;D I was wondering when you'd put this up here, Steve!

Offline Ninny

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Re: The Man of Sorrows - Revised
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2008, 04:20:22 PM »
Very original and freaky(good thing) feel to this one Steve.  I feel there's a tinge of truth in the telling of this one, richly embroidered ofcourse for our enjoyment!  By the way, I adore that picture at the beginning..any info on it for me Cap'm Steve?
Thanks Steve!! ;D ;D

Offline thatLous

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Re: The Man of Sorrows - Revised
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2008, 04:21:46 PM »
My favorite's the next part :)

Offline SteveJ

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Re: The Man of Sorrows - Revised
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2008, 04:27:17 PM »
Hello, God Ninny and Sharkie Lou! ;D ;D

Rowena, the painting is 'Not To Be Reproduced', by René Magritte  :)
My story is about a persons' sense of identity becoming confused,
and I thought that picture fitted in well with that :)

Sharkie, I can't remember what happens in Part 2, it's so long since I
wrote Man of Sorrows ;D ;D
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davidleejones13

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Re: The Man of Sorrows - Revised
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2008, 04:31:59 PM »
Steve,
This is FREAKY good, as all your work is.
I loved it! You have become a true master of your craft.

Just a mere mortal,
Lee