Walter Schupfer 1985

Walter Schupfer in Beethoven's Nephew 1985, It was just a small scene where he appeared.

Beethoven's Nephew (1985) is the story of Ludwig van Beethoven's final years, when the composer became involved in a series of vicious court battles with his sister-in-law over the custody of his teen-age nephew, Karl, the son of his brother, Karl Caspar.

Though there has been speculation about the roots of Beethoven's obsession with Karl, including the suggestion of a homosexual relationship, no single cause has ever been substantiated. The screenplay, which the film maker asserts is scrupulously accurate, maintains a discreet distance from all such speculation.

However, the film, as photographed, is full of homoerotic nuances, even if they don't involve the increasingly deaf and emotionally troubled old man. Mr. Morrissey's camera ignores Mr. Morrissey's screenplay (written with Mathieu Carriere). Instead of attending to the facts, the camera just sort of hangs around, staring at Dietmar Prinz, who plays Karl.

Mr. Prinz, a young Viennese medical student, looks rather like a male version of Mariel Hemingway. He has a square jaw, blue eyes and wears spit curls and a ponytail. He is, one must admit, pretty. Maybe Mr. Prinz is acting sullen, or perhaps his mind is a blank. It's impossible to tell, even in the context of the so-called story. There's no doubt, though, that the camera adores his utterly expressionless face. It can't take its eyes off him. The camera subverts Beethoven's obsession and substitutes its own.

In the course of the film, Karl exchanges ambiguous glances with other young men who are almost as pretty. These include Karl's mother's lover, who also has blue eyes and wears his hair in 19th-century Viennese dreadlocks. (Walter Schupfer)

Source: The New York Times

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