Der Kaufmann von Venedig (The Merchant of Venice) 1923 Ages 15+

11.00AM Sat 23 Apr 2016 (1hr 25mins)
GOMA | Cinema A | Free

SYNOPSIS

This rare 35mm screening will feature live musical accompaniment from David Bailey on the Gallery's 1929 Wurlitzer Organ.

The Bard has his voice muted in this silent adaptation of The Merchant of Venice. The plot finds Shylock (here named Mordecai), a Jewish merchant who has long been tormented by the citizens of Venice, demanding a mortal fee for the breach of a contract by one of his persecutors. The film was produced in the Weimar Republic in 1923 and the beautiful expressionist stylings of the era are on full display. Sumptuous cinematography, scores of extras and location shooting in Venice combine to lend grandeur to the film's visuals. Felner's adaptation adopts a loose approach to the original text - mixing it in with those folktales that inspired Shakespeare - shifting primary attention away from Shylock and on to the romance between a pair of young lovers, while also adding several new characters. It is an absorbing take on the play and a rare opportunity to see silent screen Shakespeare.

CREDITS

35MM, BLACK AND WHITE, SILENT (WITH LIVE MUSIC), 85 MINUTES, GERMANY, ENGLISH INTERTITLES / DIRECTOR/EDITOR: PETER PAUL FELNER / SCRIPT: PIETRO ARETINO, PETER PAUL FELNER, GIOVANNI FIORENTINO / BASED ON THE PLAY BY WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE / CINEMATOGRAPHERS: AXEL GRAATKJÆR, RUDOLPH MATÉ / PRODUCTION CO: PETER PAUL FELNER-FILM / PRINT SOURCE: BUNDESARCHIV