From Caligari to Hitler (Dir. Rüdiger Suchsland, 2015) (Screening format – DCP, 118mins) The Weimar Republic (1918 to 1933), was the freest state on German soil: a wild era characterised by disruption, crisis, and cultural brilliance. It was also arguably the most important period of German cinema, a time full of wonders and invention. Directors including Murnau, Lang, Lubitsch, Pabst, Wilder, Sternberg and Ruttmann are still legendary today, their stars Marlene Dietrich, Louise Brooks, Emil Jannings and Conrad Veidt are unforgotten, and films like Nosferatu; The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari; Metropolis; M; People on Sunday; Berlin, Symphony of a Great City, and The Blue Angel demonstrate their unique aura. This essential documentary gives an insight into these great films, and this turbulent time. Screening as part of the FOKUS: Films from Germany series, organised by the Goethe-Institut, Glasgow, and Filmhouse, Edinburgh. Dundee Contemporary Arts, Dundee. Link
Napoleon (Dir. Abel Gance, 1927) (Screening format – DCP, 332 mins) Gance’s epic biopic of Napoleon traces his career from his schooldays (where a snowball fight is staged like a military campaign), his flight from Corsica, through the French Revolution (where a real storm is intercut with a political storm) and the Terror, culminating in his triumphant invasion of Italy in 1797. The film ends here because it was intended to be part one of six, but Gance was unable to raise the money to make further episodes. The film’s legendary reputation is due to the astonishing range of techniques that Gance uses to tell his story ( including fast cutting, extensive close-ups, hand-held camera shots, location shooting, point of view shots, multiple camera set-ups, multiple exposure, superimposition and under water shots) culminating in the final twenty-minute triptych sequence, which alternates widescreen panoramas with complex multiple- image montages. This is the most complete version of the film available, compiled by Academy Award-winning film-maker, archivist and historian Kevin Brownlow who spent over 50 years tracking down surviving prints from archives around the world since he first saw a 9.5mm version as a schoolboy in 1954. Find out more at BFI and Wikipedia With recorded Carl Davies orchestral accompaniment. Film Theatre, Glasgow Link
***** NB………THIS SCREENING HAS BEEN CANCELLED Nosferatu (F W Murnau, 1922) (Screening format – not known, 93mins) Based upon Bram Stoker’s Dracula, one of the most evocative texts in popular culture, FW Murnau’s 1922 film adaptation relocates the story from Transylvania to nineteenth-century Bremen. Max Schreck stars as the terrifying Count Orlock, who thirsts for the body and soul of a young clerk and his beautiful wife. Regarded as the first vampire film, Nosferatu is one of the most artistically original and masterfully ghoulish of the genre. Find out more at modernism.research.yale.edu With live musical accompaniment by Dmytro Morykit. White Church, Comrie, Scotland Link
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