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German Directors Tribute in April


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Something to be excited about!

 

April 13:

 

5:00 PM Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari, The (1919)

A carnival performer uses a hypnotized sleepwalker to murder his enemies.

DirRobert Wiene CastWerner Krauss , Conrad Veidt , Friedrich Feher .

BW-77 mins,

6:30 PM From Caligari to Hitler: German Cinema in the Age of the Masses (2014)

A focus on the cinema of the Weimar Republic (1918-1933), based on celebrated sociologist Siegfried Kracauer's seminal book.

DirRüdiger Suchsland

C-114 mins,

8:30 PM Nosferatu (1922)

In this silent film, a beautiful woman risks her life to end a vampire's plague of death and pestilence.

DirF. W. Murnau CastMax Schreck , Alexander Granach , Gustav von Wangenheim .

BW-89 mins,

10:15 PM Faust (1926)

Classic tale of the doctor who sells his soul to the devil for youth and love.

DirF. W. Murnau CastEmil Jannings , Yvette Guilbert , Gosta Ekman .

BW-100 mins,

12:15 AM Adventures of Prince Achmed, The (1927)

This silent silhouetted animation is based on the Arabian Nights' tales.

DirLotte Reiniger

BW-67 mins,

1:30 AM Blue Angel, The (1930)

A stodgy professor falls from grace when he's seduced by a nightclub singer.

DirJosef von Sternberg CastEmil Jannings , Marlene Dietrich , Kurt Gerron .

BW-107 mins,

 

April 20:

 

5:00 PM Dr. Mabuse, the Gambler (1922)

Arch-criminal Dr. Mabuse sets out to make a fortune and run Berlin while Detective Wenk sets out to stop him.

DirFritz Lang CastRudolf Klein-Rogge , Aud Egede Nissen , Gertrude Welcker .

BW-297 mins,

9:45 PM Das Testament des Dr. Mabuse (1933)

A crime wave grips the city and all clues seem to lead to the nefarious Dr. Mabuse.

DirFritz Lang CastRudolf Klein-Rogge , Gustav Diesel , Otto Wernicke .

BW-121 mins, Letterbox Format

12:00 AM Metropolis (1926)

In this silent film, a city of the future is threatened with destruction when a wealthy corporate leader enlists a mad scientist to put down labor reformers.

DirFritz Lang CastBrigitte Helm , Alfred Abel , Rudolf Klein-Rogge .

BW-149 mins,

2:45 AM M (1931)

The mob sets out to catch a child killer whose crimes are attracting too much police attention.

DirFritz Lang CastPeter Lorre , Otto Wernicke , Gustav Grundgens .

BW-110 mins,

 

 

April 27:

 

5:00 PM Pandora's Box (1928)

A young innocent's sexuality destroys all who come near her.

DirG. W. Pabst CastLouise Brooks , Fritz Kortner , Daisy D'Ora .

BW-134 mins,

7:30 PM Diary Of A Lost Girl (1929)

A society girl falls from grace after she's seduced.

DirG. W. Pabst CastLouise Brooks ,

BW-99 mins,

9:00 PM Westfront 1918 (1930)

German soldiers face terror and despair on the front lines during World War I.

CastGustav Diessl , Claus Clausen , Else Heller .

BW-93 mins,

10:45 PM 3 Penny Opera, The (1931)

A notorious thief fights for the right to marry the beggar king's daughter.

DirG. W. Pabst CastRudolph Förster , Carola Neher , Reinhold Schünzel .

BW-111 mins,

12:45 AM Kameradschaft (1931)

German miners defy international prejudice to rescue French miners trapped beneath their countries' borders.

CastErnst Busch , Andree Ducret , Alexander Granach .

BW-86 mins,

2:30 AM Anna Christie (1931)

German-language adaptation of Eugene O'Neill's classic about a romantic streetwalker in love with a shipwrecked sailor.

 

BW-85 mins,

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Hate to be negative but these are mostly TCM's usual suspects. There's a lot of other Weimar-era stuff available from Kino that would have spiced this up, not to mention something like People on Sunday, available from Criterion.

 

The German language Anna Christie is a big time cheat - that's a US film and it's directed by a Frenchman, Jacques Feyder (and, like the Spanish Dracula, I'm definitely not one who thinks it's better than the regular English version.)

Somewhat disappointed to see the documentary based on the Kracauer book here. The Weimar-era was diverse, the most diverse film industry outside of Hollywood, and even reducing a lot of Kracauer's notions down to "Expressionism", which is itself defined sloppily and a much smaller part of the era than it's made out to be, it's still so limited a perspective.

But I haven't seen Dr. Mabuse the Gambler in a long time and if Diary of a Lost Girl is the new HD master I might be persuaded to watch that again. There's some good stuff here for those who have never seen them before and some over esteemed stuff (Caligari and a few of the Pabst films - just my opinion!)

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I don't remember from my history classes what "Weimar-era" means, but judging from the years of release of these films, I think it means pre-ascension of Hitler. So, that rules out TRIUMPH OF THE WILL, I guess. Seems like TCM should show this film someday. Yes, a pro-Hitler documentary is still controversial 80-plus years later, but every film book I've ever read deems it historically important. I've just seen clips from it here and there over the years.

 

So, the only biggies I notice missing from my rudimentary knowledge of German cinema of that era are DER LETZE MANN, which has aired only once ever on TCM, according to Movie Collector OH's database, and that was in 1997! Must be rights issues. I got to see it in a film class I took in college. Also, VAMPYR, which is actually directed by a Dane, Carl Theodor Dreyer, but according to 1001 MOVIES was shot in Germany with German dialogue. 

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The restoration of "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" (1919) TCM showed in Sept. 2015 was put together from EIGHT different prints: this film introduced surrealism and the idea that the camerawork, settings (and actual sets) could be used to evoke a sense of disproportion/feeling the insanity of the characters.  This film won't be in viewable condition forever.  See it while it's available.  This is the granddaddy of surrealism and horror film (that lasts over an hour).

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I hate to be that person, the one who makes lists, but of Conrad Veidt's films; I would like to have seen Mysteries Of India (1921), perhaps over two nights, and The Hands Of Orlac (1924) (technically Austrian but could work here?) included. The period covered would also allow for Viktor und Viktoria (1933) with Anton Walbrook (when he appeared as Adolf Wohlbrück), or any available film with Walbrook from his early German period.

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I would like TCM to show Conrad Veidt in "The Man Who Laughs" by director Paul Leni.

 

This film is the seeming inspiration for both The Joker and the character of Mister Sardonicus, what with the weird smiles.

One more mobile, and on frozen but both spooky!

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  • 2 months later...

Thread bump.

 

I noticed in the April promo that this theme is actually called "Caligari to Hitler."

 

I can't say I'm terribly fond of that name, but seeing as how they choose to use it, has there ever been a better excuse than this to show something by Leni Riefenstahl?

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I think the title is meant to be a bit provocative, to draw in viewers. Cheap, but often effective.

 

I agree about Riefenstahl. I think the TCM audience is adult enough to watch the films and not take their showing of them as an endorsement of the Nazi party. 

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The restoration of "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" (1919) TCM showed in Sept. 2015 was put together from EIGHT different prints: this film introduced surrealism and the idea that the camerawork, settings (and actual sets) could be used to evoke a sense of disproportion/feeling the insanity of the characters.  This film won't be in viewable condition forever.  See it while it's available.  This is the granddaddy of surrealism and horror film (that lasts over an hour).

 

 

Caligari is an expressionist film.  Its director, Robert Wiene, was not a surrealist.  The surrealists who were most noted in their filmmaking are ones such as Luis Buñuel, Man Ray, René Clare, and of course, Salvador Dali.  Early examples include titles such as Entr'acte (1924), L'Étoile de Mer (1928), Les Mystères du Château de Dé (1929), L'Age d'Or (1930), and, of course, Un Chien Andalou (1929).

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I love this upcoming list of movies.

 

I own a dvd of The Cabinet of Caligari.

 

Some of the titles listed I have seen, others I have not.

 

As for the Nazi documentary maker Reifenstahl - didn't her work already air as part of the spotlight on women filmmakers?

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I’m certain any discussion of potential titles would need to factor in accessibility and availability. However, there are numerous films available with prints in good condition that could have better represented the fascinating period that was Weimar filmmaking. The DVD version of Trouble In Paradise (1932) includes The Merry Jail (1917), a short film directed by Ernst Lubitsch from his early silent career that captures both the director’s and the country’s sensibilities during this period. Lubitsch had an extraordinary career in his native Germany and the director brought movie fans films ranging from comedies to dramas, some of which have aired on TCM in the past. His titles during this period included Carmen (1918); Madame DuBarry (1919); The Doll (1919); The Oyster Princess (1919); Sumurun (1920) and The Wildcat (1921), four of which starred Pola Negri, one of my favorite silent actresses.

 

The Merry Jail  also features Emil Jannings in the (somewhat) provocative role of the jailer. Jannings became a respected actor in Germany appearing in silent films and early sound pictures, including Anne Boleyn (1920); The Loves Of Pharaoh (1922); The Blue Angel (1930) and The Tempest (1932) the later two films directed by Josef Von Sternberg and Robert Siodmak. 

 

Madame DuBarry is also interesting for an opportunity to see Reinhold Schünzel: as actor and director his credits include The Three Penny Opera (1931); Notorious (1946); Vicktor und Viktoria (1933) and Balalika (1939); he was also instrumental in Berlin’s cabaret culture much as Max Reinhardt was before turning to film.

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