Weimar Republic cinema

Slatan Dudow – Zeitprobleme: wie der Arbeiter wohnt AKA How the Berlin Worker Lives (1930)

Synopsis:
This documentary shows how the Berliner workers lived in 1930. The director Slatan Dudow shows through images: a) the workers leaving the factory; b) the raise of the rents; c) the “unpleasant” guest, meaning the justice officer that brings the eviction notice; d) the fight of classes of the houses of capitalists and working classes; e) the parks of the working class; f) the houses of the working class, origin of the tuberculosis and the victims; g) the playground of the working class; h) the swimming pool for the working class, ironically called the “Baltic Sea” of the working class; i) the effects of humidity of basement where a family lives, with one member deaf; j) one working class family having dinner while the capitalist baths his dog; k) the eviction notice received from an unemployed family and their eviction. Read More »

Fritz Lang – Dr. Mabuse, der Spieler – Ein Bild der Zeit (1922)

Quote:
One of the legendary epics of the silent cinema – and the first part of a trilogy that Fritz Lang developed up to the very end of his career – Dr. Mabuse, der Spieler. [Dr. Mabuse, the Gambler.] is a masterpiece of conspiracy that, even as it precedes the mind – blowing Spione from the close of Lang’s silent cycle, constructs its own dark labyrinth from the base materials of human fear and paranoia. Rudolf Klein – Rogge plays Dr. Mabuse, the criminal mastermind whose nefarious machinations provide the cover for – or describe the result of – the economic upheaval and social bacchanalia at the heart of Weimar – era Berlin. Read More »

Michael Curtiz – Fiaker Nr. 13 aka Cab Nr.13 (1926)

IMDB User Reviews
20 April 2004 | by bullybyte (United Kingdom)

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

SPOILERS!! The film starts with a woman on the run from her millionaire husband giving birth to a daughter in the home of a washerwoman. The woman dies in childbirth, but the baby survives. The washerwoman leaves the baby in a horsedrawn Parisian taxicab (No. 13). The paperwork of the birth is lost in a huge tome. Sixteen years pass. The tome is bought by a poor student. One day his bookshelf collapses, and the tome opens at the page where the paperwork has been hidden. The student realises that the paperwork relates to a millionaire who has spent the last sixteen years looking for his pregnant wife. Read More »

Georg Wilhelm Pabst – Kameradschaft AKA Comradeship (1931)


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Valliant effort to use a mining catastrophe as a vehicle to pronounce this director’s distaste for war. The audience not only learns a great deal about early mining rescue procedures but, we learn that Europeans at the interval between WWI and WWII, had concerning pacifists(for lack of a better term). The speeches given by both representatives of each country at the end of the film, are inspiring given the time. Although the revised edition, through the transfer technology of early foreign films, “cuts-off characters heads” at times, this film holds it’s own in many different aspects. Character analysis, lighting techniques, historical content and a scenario that has tested and inspired many a writer and filmmaker.

Pabst went on to Direct and put to screen Weil & Brecht’s “Three Penny Opera”, starring the original star, Lotte Lenya.
Author: (jrichmon@arts.ucla.edu) from United States Read More »

Oskar Fischinger – R-1 (Ein Formspiel) (1927)



Quote:
R-1 (Ein Formspiel)

“The title R-1, EIN FORMSPIEL VON OSKAR FISCHINGER survives on two different films, one composed entirely of STAFFS … and one composed of small fragments of many different experiments – wax, model planets, atoms, etc. – including a great deal of STAFFS footage. For convenience, I will use the title R-1 to refer to this second, mixed film which appears to be a revised version of the first …. Read More »

F.W. Murnau – Der Brennende Acker AKA Burning Soil (1922)


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When farmer Rog dies, his son Peter stays, but Johannes can not be satisfied with such a condition (and servant Maria’s love) and finds a job as old Count Rudenberg’s secretary. His ambition leads him to charm Gerda, the Count’s unique daughter. But when he discovers that Count’s second wife Helga will soon inherit a field that only he knows his underground is full with petroleum, he changes his allegiance… Greed and death. Read More »

Robert Reinert – Opium (1919)

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“Opium” (1919)

Produced in Germany by Meinert-Films
Directed by Robert Dinesen
Released in 1919 with a running time of 112 minutes.

Cast Werner Krauss, Sybill Morel, Hanna Ralph, Conrad Veidt and Eduard von Winterstein

Cinematic Freedom

Germany in 1919 was a country that had been devastated by the war, four years of slaughter, famine, civil unrest, a civil war and runaway inflation. The country was in dire need of change. The Council of Peoples Representatives in 1919 abolished the military censorship that had been in effect since 1918. The council believed that the numerous political parties causing unrest would use the screen to spread their political views instead of battling in the streets. The political parties continued using the streets and beer halls to spread their message, but, having nothing to fear from government interference, the film industry decided to take advantage of the abolishment of censorship. Read More »