Burning Secret

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Terence Gavish

2 comments

  • Christopher Schmitz 12 months ago
    28 of 32 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    Any Number of Things Could Be the “Burning Secret”, December 15, 2003
    By 
    Christopher Schmitz (Rocky River, Ohio United States) –

    This review is from: Burning Secret [VHS] (VHS Tape)
    Subtly but assuredly, this film replicates the bisexual love triangle of Shakespeare’s sonnets. A man (stocky, middle-aged, urbane, sophisticated) befriends and romances both a well-to-do lady and her asthmatic son. The setting is a sparwling pretty Alpine health spa. Opening the door of a long gleaming beautiful car, the man captures the sick and lonely boy’s interest immediately. His mother is glad her son has a friend in that depressing place and is charmed by the man as well. It’s possible our war vet hero is using the boy to get to his mother’s wealth and company (shades of Hugh Grant’s turn in “About a Boy”) but his amazing rapport with the 12yo, featuring a draped arm and tender affection and an erotic charge in their swimming pool scene, come to the edge of ephebophilia. This is further affirmed by the tower the two of them climb on the grounds of the spa, a visual reference to the man-boy seduction scene in either “Turn of the Screw” or “The Innocents.” There is also the poem (Goethe’s Erl-King) that the man reads the boy in a scene of riveting emotion.
    The reading of the poem (whose subject is illusion) ushers in the movie’s turning point. After the poem is read, with its macabre pronouncement (“The child is dead”), the warm water tap is turned off, and the man begins actly coldly toward the boy and, eventually, his mother as well. It is as if, during his charged recitation of Goethe, the man spends all his love for the boy in one pyrotechnic finale; he then reveals himself as unctuous, damaged, and unpredictable, a snake in the disguise of a fine storyteller, sophisticated reader, and loyal friend.
    A well-acted story of love and longing, featuring an omnisexual charlatan who plays two needy people like a fiddle.
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  • 12 months ago
    15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    A Pleasure for the Eye, March 6, 2002
    By A Customer
    Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: Burning Secret [VHS] (VHS Tape)
    I found this a surprisingly lovely period piece. Dunaway looks exquisite, Brandauer (might as well spell it correctly…) is compelling, as always, and the boy is breathtakingly beautiful. I enjoyed the beauty of each scene.
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