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Spectacle History Folklore

Weimar's big shows: spectacle, history, folklore

Production still from Madame DuBarry aka Passion

Madame DuBarry aka Passion 1919 All ages
35MM, BLACK AND WHITE, SILENT (LIVE MUSICAL ACCOMPANIMENT), 85 MIN, GERMANY, GERMAN INTERTITLES (LIVE ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR: ERNST LUBITSCH / SCRIPT: HANNS KRÄLY, FRED ORBING / CINEMATOGRAPHER: THEODOR SPARKUHL, KURT WASCHNECK / EDITOR: ELFI BÖTTRICH / PRODUCTION CO: PROJEKTIONS AG UNION / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: TRANSIT FILM GMBH

Pola Negri plays the royal mistress who changed French history in her boudoir with her befuddled King Louis XV (Emil Jannings). A turning point in Ernst Lubitsch’s career and in the German film industry, Passion was the first German film to be exported to the United States where, amidst great controversy, it created a taste for German spectacle, stars, and technical wonders.

Wed 17 Sept 6.00pm (with What’s Opera Doc?) / Cinema B

Production still from Destiny aka Between Two Worlds

Die Müde Tod (Destiny aka Between Two Worlds) 1921 All ages
35MM, BLACK AND WHITE AND COLOR, SILENT (LIVE MUSICAL ACCOMPANIMENT), 105 MIN, GERMANY, GERMAN INTERTITLES (LIVE ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR: FRITZ LANG / SCRIPT: THEA VON HARBOU, FRITZ LANG / CINEMATOGRAPHER: ERICH NITZSCHMANN, HERMANN SAALFRANK, FRITZ ARNO WAGNER / EDITOR: FRITZ LANG / PRODUCTION CO: DECLA-BIOSCOP / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: TRANSIT FILM GMBH

When her sweetheart disappears behind a wall protected by an unearthly stranger, a frightened girl has a three-part dream set in Venice, Islam, and China. Fritz Lang’s first internationally acclaimed film is a Romantic parable of love and death fashioned in the monumental expressionist style.

Wed 17 Sept 4.00pm / Cinema A

Production still from Siegfried

Die Nibelungen: Siegfried (Siegfried) 1923 All ages
35MM, BLACK AND WHITE, SILENT (LIVE MUSICAL ACCOMPANIMENT), 143 MINUTES, GERMANY, GERMAN INTERTITLES (LIVE ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR: FRITZ LANG / SCRIPT: THEA VON HARBOU / ORIGINAL STORY: RICHARD WAGNER / CINEMATOGRAPHER: CARL HOFFMANN, GÜNTHER RITTAU / PRODUCTION CO: DECLA-BIOSCOP-UFA STUDIOS / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: TRANSIT FILM GMBH

Fritz Lang’s Siegfried is a flamboyant spectacle that shows the possibilities of resurrecting Nordic myths in the expressionist style. Released in two parts, the set piece of Part 1 is Siegfried’s monumental fight against a fire-breathing dragon. The film also sees Siegfried free himself from the Nibelungen, tangle with Brunhilde, and marry at Worms Cathedral.

Sat 20 Sept 1.00pm / Cinema A

Production still from Kriemhilde’s Revenge

Die Nibelungen: Kriemhilds Rache (Kriemhilde’s Revenge) 1923 All ages
35MM, BLACK AND WHITE, SILENT (LIVE MUSICAL ACCOMPANIMENT), 144 MINUTES, GERMANY, GERMAN INTERTITLES (LIVE ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR: FRITZ LANG / SCRIPT: THEA VON HARBOU / ORIGINAL STORY: RICHARD WAGNER / CINEMATOGRAPHER: CARL HOFFMANN, GÜNTHER RITTAU / PRODUCTION CO: DECLA-BIOSCOP-UFA STUDIOS / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: TRANSIT FILM GMBH

The saga continues, in a new key. Attila the Hun forms an alliance with Siegfried’s widow and acts as a divine hammer against the offending Burgundian clan. Will the Burgundians give up Siegfried’s murderer or uphold their pledge to protect one of their own? Amidst barren landscapes, the corpses mount.

Sun 21 Sept 3.00pm / Cinema A

Production still from Waxworks

Das Wachsfigurenkabinett (Waxworks) 1924 All ages
35MM, BLACK AND WHITE, SILENT (LIVE MUSICAL ACCOMPANIMENT), 83 MINUTES, GERMANY,
GERMAN INTERTITLES (LIVE ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTORS: LEO BIRINSKY, PAUL LENI / SCRIPT: HENRIK GALEEN / CINEMATOGRAPHER: HELMAR LERSKI / PRODUCTION CO: NEPTUN FILM / PRINT SOURCE: NATIONAL FILM AND VIDEO LENDING SERVICE / RIGHTS: CINETECA BOLOGNA

A starving poet is asked to write about the fantastical waxworks he finds in a fairground and imagines three tales of cruelty lurking behind the wax likeness of Harum-al-Rashid, Jack the Ripper and Ivan the Terrible.

Thu 25 Sept 12 noon / Cinema A

Production still from Faust: A German Folk-Tale

Faust: Eine Deutsche Volkssage (Faust: A German Folk-Tale) 1926 PG
35MM, BLACK AND WHITE, SILENT (LIVE MUSICAL ACCOMPANIMENT), 85 MINUTES, GERMANY, GERMAN INTERTITLES (LIVE ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR: FRIEDRICH WILHELM MURNAU / SCRIPT: HANS KYSER, NACH J W VON GOETHE / CINEMATOGRAPHER: CARL HOFFMANN / PRODUCTION CO: UNIVERSUM-FILM / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: TRANSIT FILM GMBH

Emil Jannings is the mischievous, leering Mephistopheles, who is thrilled to corrupt and seduce. In Lotte Eisner’s words, “No other director, not even Fritz Lang, ever succeeded in conjuring up the supernatural as masterfully as this”.  When Mephistopheles covers a town with plague, or takes Faust for a celestial ride, the results are breathtaking even by Universum-Film standards. A landmark in black and white cinematography.

Sun 9 Nov 1.00pm / Cinema A

Production still from The Man Who Laughs

The Man Who Laughs 1928 All ages
35MM, BLACK AND WHITE, MONO, 110 MINUTES, USA, ENGLISH / DIRECTOR: PAUL LENI / SCRIPT: J. GRUBB ALEXANDER / ORIGINAL STORY: VICTOR HUGO / CINEMATOGRAPHER: GILBERT WARRENTON / EDITOR: EDWARD L. CAHN / PRODUCTION CO: UNIVERSAL PICTURES / PRINT SOURCE: NATIONAL FILM AND VIDEO LENDING SERVICE / RIGHTS: UNIVERSAL

Conrad Veidt plays the tortured Gwynplaine whose face has been disfigured and fixed in the rictus of a grotesque grin for the pleasure of the English court. Paul Leni makes the most of the sadism and pathos in Victor Hugo’s original story, plunging Gwynplaine into a world of carnivals, decadent aristocrats and a selfless blind orphan.

Sat 27 Sept 1.00pm / Cinema A

Production still from Hunchback of Notre Dame

Hunchback of Notre Dame 1939 All ages
35MM, BLACK AND WHITE, MONO, 116 MINUTES, USA, ENGLISH / DIRECTOR: WILLIAM DIETERLE / SCRIPT: SONYA LEVIEN, BRUNO FRANK / ORIGINAL STORY: VICTOR HUGO / CINEMATOGRAPHER: JOSEPH H. AUGUST / EDITOR: WILLIAM HAMILTON, ROBERT WISE / PRODUCTION CO: RKO RADIO PICTURES / PRINT SOURCE: BRITISH FILM INSTITUTE / RIGHTS: EFFIE HOLDING

Charles Laughton never achieved Lon Chaney’s fame as Quasimodo, but RKO Radio Pictures and William Dieterle – a German émigré who had been active in expressionist cinema – provided him with a production that surpassed the original, tailoring both the German kolossal and the German horror film to the requirements of an action-packed, bitter-sweet Hollywood blockbuster.

Sat 27 Sept 3.00pm / Cinema A

What’s Opera Doc? 1957 All ages
16MM, COLOR, MONO, 7 MINUTES, USA, ENGLISH / DIRECTOR: CHUCK JONES / SCRIPT: MICHAEL MALTESE / ANIMATORS: KEN HARRIS, ABE LEVITOW, RICHARD THOMPSON, MAURICE NOBLE, PHILIP DEGUARD / EDITOR: TREG BROWN
PRODUCTION CO: WARNER BROS / PRINT SOURCE: NATIONAL FILM AND VIDEO LENDING SERVICE / RIGHTS: WARNER BROS

Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd sing! Wagnerian opera and German expression finally get what’s coming to them.

Wed 17 Sept 6.00pm (with Madame DuBarry) / Cinema B

Production still from Faust

Faust 1960 All Ages
35MM, COLOUR, MONO, 128 MINUTES, WEST GERMANY, GERMAN (LIVE ENLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR: PETER GORSKI / SCRIPT/ORIGINAL STORY: JOHANN WOLFGANG GOETHE / CINEMATOGRAPHER: GÜNTHER ANDERS / EDITOR: WALTER BOOS / PRODUCTION CO: DIVINA-FILM / PRINT SOURCE: BRITISH FILM INSTITUTE / RIGHTS: BETA FILM GMBH / SCREENING FORMAT: 16MM

The legendary Gustaf Gründgens recreates Mephistopheles, the role he made famous in Germany during the 1930s. Gorski’s film documents the highly successful 1957 stage revival of Goethe’s play, Faust now recast as a nuclear physicist working on the atom bomb. Gründgens later became the source for István Szabó’s Mephisto.

Wed 1 Oct 6.00pm / Cinema B

Mephisto 1981 Ages 15+
35MM, COLOR, MONO, 144 MINUTES, WEST GERMANY, ENGLISH / GERMAN /HUNGARIAN (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR: ISTVÁN SZABÓ / SCRIPT: PÉTER DOBAI, ISTVÁN SZABÓ / ORIGINAL STORY: KLAUS MANN / CINEMATOGRAPHER: LAJOS KOLTAI / EDITOR: ZSUZSA CSÁKÁNY / PRODUCTION CO: MAFILM, MANFRED DURNIOK FILMPRODUKTION, OBJEKTÍV FILM / PRINT SOURCE: BRITISH FILM INSTITUTE / RIGHTS: MOKEP CO-HUNGARY FILM DIVISION

The story of an actor (Klaus Maria Brandauer) who rises to stardom in Nazi Germany playing Faust for the high command officers. Fashioned after the life of Gustav Grundgens, who played the black-gloved underworld chief in Fritz Lang’s M, Mephisto is based on the banned novel by Grundgens’ brother-in-law Klaus Mann and was Szabo's first international success.

Fri 10 Oct 8.00pm / Cinema A