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On the day of the temple feast of Tampaksiring, Poutou, a young maiden who performs the legong, the dance of the virgins at the sacred temple, meets Njong, a carefree youth from Northern Bali. As they gaze at each other, she remembers a prophecy that warned, "Should love enter thine eyes and go to thy heart, beware. For should he whom thou choosest not return thy love, thy gods will frown and disgrace will befall thee "
In the 1930s, Bali became the place to be. Extolled as a paradise on earth with beautiful (mostly topless) natives and an exotic culture, the small island was soon swarmed by the rich and famous. When the Marquis Henry de la Falaise de la Coudraye or "Hank" to ex-wife Gloria Swanson and current wife/producer Constance Bennett arrived in Bali with a Technicolor crew in 1933, there had already been a slew of "documentaries" that reaped box office success in the United States. Directed by the dilettante husband of two famous movie stars, how good could the film be? Slashed apart by censors around the world, Legong quickly disappeared and was forgotten.
Now fully restored to its glistening two-color Technicolor by the UCLA Film & Television Archive, Legong has been revealed as a cinematic classic. With its impressive sensitivity to Balinese customs (the dance and religious rituals they filmed have become extremely important for their ethnographic value alone) and an eye for the natural beauty of the island, the film ranks with F. W. Murnaus Tabu as an enduring masterpiece of tropical splendor.
"Surely one of the best produced and most revelatory DVDs of 2004!" - Dave Kehr -- New York Times, November 30, 2004See all Editorial Reviews
Loved the actual footage of their celebrations. Great story. I found the two strip technicolor interesting and a pleasure to watch.Published on November 27, 2012 by Eddie W. Osburn
Of Bali first time read mentioning was a chapter in a geographical book about exotic destinations. Among general info of interest it quoted from about hundred years ago published... Read morePublished on October 2, 2006 by M. Kerjman