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PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2005 5:11 am 
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The new "Filmmuseum Edition" will unite the Filmmuseum Munich, the German Fiminstitute - DFI Wiesbaden, the German Filmmuseum Frankfurt, the Austrian Filmmuseum Vienna and the Cinematheque Municipale de Luxembourg in releasing 8 to 12 DVDs each year. In 2005 they will try to release 3 to 4 titles. These titles are planned for future releases:

- "Friedrich Schiller - Eine Dichterjugend" [Germany 1923, Curt Goetz]
- "Blinde Ehemänner / Blind Husbands" [USA 1919, Erich von Stroheim]
- "Anders als die Anderen / Different from the Others" [Germany 1919, Richard Oswald]
- "Anders als du und ich (§175) / Bewildered Youth" [West Germany 1957, Veit Harlan]

The first release will be Dziga Vertov's "Entuziazm (Simfoniya Donbassa)" [Russia 1931] on 10/15/05. The 2-DVD-Set will feature the version from the Gosmofilmfond and the 1972 restoration/reconstruction by Peter Kubelka. Audio will be Russian DD 1.0 with German and English subtitles.

Bonus features:
- 65 minute documentary about the restoration
- 1 minute "Vertov filmed in person 1920 - 1930"
- 12 minutes from a Vertov exhibition in 1974

All infos can be found at Cinefacts.de.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2005 6:53 am 
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For those already in the know!!!!

The Veit Harlan Anders als du und Ich has been around for years in a sublimely bad, dubbed (and mildly censored) US VHS,fortuitously titled "The Third Sex". Perhaps thirty people on the planet own this miracle and show it infrequently and in semi-secret to an admiring coterie...

This has been an alltime FlixyFave must have gay movie for over 15 years. On the US print Harlan's name is removed - no director credit, evidently still in the shame zone- and the flawless dubbing comes somewhere out of Texas via California.

I would certainly recommend a double DVD edition to show the subtle differences between 50s US sexual repression and "Economic Miracle Germany" homophobia. Favorite scenes which always have most of the room at my place on the floor include teenage boys in sateen underpants, at Professor Boris' atelier ("All my friends call me Boris!") doing Greco-Roman wrestling to the strains of live musique concrete. Movie runs the gamut of mise-en scene between "decadent" modern art (shades of Harlan as Goebbel's chosen one, slyly still insinuating conformism), and out-of-step post war American Noir, like the semi-fascist Crack Up with its appeal to the dullard anti modernist masses, plus brain driving gay electronic music, against the hetero, Wagnerian full Philharmonic whirling arpeggios of the orchestra (giddying stuff this) and "regular/normal" poetry and art to confound the young gay poet,"Manfred".

At the "Kane"-like end, after Mother has been thrown in the slammer for a breach of yet another post war anal German penal code violation (called "pandering" in the US), we are left to fret, indeed worry, even after Klaus' conversion to happy heterosexualtiy, and the flight of "Boris" to the pedo safe haven haven of Rome - for whatever happened to the nice, extremely sympa gay Manfred? Not to mention the overly knowledgeable "Uncle" who drags Klaus' dad to Hamburg's apprently sole gay bar in 1956 - the "Three Fans" where they savor the perfomance pleasures of somebody who looks like a retired truck driver doing incredibly bad chanteuse drag. Amidst the quagmire of such as this was Fassbinder born.

Sublime! sublime!!!


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2005 5:36 pm 
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The first release will be Dziga Vertov's "Entuziazm (Simfoniya Donbassa)" [Russia 1931] on 10/15/05. The 2-DVD-Set will feature the version from the Gosmofilmfond and the 1972 restoration/reconstruction by Peter Kubelka. Audio will be Russian DD 1.0 with German and English subtitles

Is this available for pre-order anywhere? No signs of it at amazon.de


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2005 5:40 pm 
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Sold!

And then there's Enthusiasm, which, with its legendary soundtrack, is a film I've wanted to see for a very long time. The von Stroheim speaks for itself, but has anybody got recommendations for the Goetz or Oswald?


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2005 4:27 pm 
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I have the DVD already in advance, the packaging is very fine with spine numbers, the film looks good though heavily speckled, it's your chance to grab the first Soviet sound film. The only disappointment is the lack of chapters even if the film is only 65 minutes. The DVDs should be available through amazon.de in near future I was told, from what I know "Blind Husbands" might be an improvement on the Kino edition, a longer version with tinting and some extras. Aside from the announced films and ones by some lesser known German directors of the 70s (Schilling, Achternbusch), there are films planned by the following directors: Dieterle, E.A. Dupont, Eisenstein and Pabst (no idea which titles) and Robert Reinert, Hanns Walter Kornblum and Manfred Noa. From Reinert this could mean "Opium" from 1919, from Noa it will almost certainly be "Helena" a 200 minute epic from 1924 shown on German TV and from Kornblum a sci-fi film from 1925, "Wunder der Schöpfung."

So we can expect some extremely rare silent gems on DVD, please buy the series because I guess very much that the German market is too small to make this series a success, the films and the extras have English subtitles.

Oh yes Orson Welles is planned, too. The Filmmuseum Munich has his estate and some things were shown on German TV.

Here's the link to the first DVD.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2006 5:28 pm 
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According to an email I received from the Filmuseum the Friedrich Schiller - Eine Dichterjugend DVD will probably be out end of this month or beginning of February.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2006 1:55 am 
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lubitsch wrote:
...it's your chance to grab the first Soviet sound film.

I thought Road to Life - also 1931 - was the first Soviet talkie (at least that's how it's often billed). Which was just released on DVD in Japan about a week ago (here is a covershot) with the original Russian soundtrack but (removable) Japanese subs only.


Last edited by htdm on Mon Feb 20, 2006 2:35 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2006 4:53 pm 
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New! Edition Filmmuseum website announcing an incredible program for 2006


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2006 10:14 pm 
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From the Filmmuseum site, this hilarious synopsis of Anders als du und Ich:

" Edition Filmmuseum 05
It was Veit Harlan, the protégé of Joseph Goebbels and the director of the anti-Semitic propaganda film Jew Suess, who dared to do a film about a controversial taboo in 1957: the German penal code's Paragraph 175 which sentenced German homosexual men to jail terms for "unnatural vice between men." Anders als du und ich (Different from you and me) is not only a film about homosexuality, it also deals with the rebellion of young people against the restaurative Germany after the Second World War and with the problems of a mother who broke the law to do the right thing. The DVD contains the release version as well as the unreleased original version which was named Das dritte Geschlecht (The third sex) plus a comparison of the differences in the two film versions and a cut sequence.
Release date: August 2006"

So mother broke the law to "do the right thing"? I thought she shoulda been thrown in the slammer for tearing Manfred and Klaus apart.

Here's another reviewer from imdb:

QQUOTE "Not aware that homosexuality was on its way to becoming legal in the land of Roehm, Harlan had decided he would make a gay-hating movie for a change. The story is so inane, that I will forgo any spoilers. What no one can miss though, is the fact that the way the "good Germans" in this movie talk to and about gay men, is a mutatis mutandis quotation of the way they used to talk in Harlan's wartime movies to and about the Jews shortly before murdering them. This does not stop at spoken language but extends to body language as well.

Though the word Jew is never uttered in "Anders als Du und Ich," the movie's openly gay bad guy goes by the certainly non-Aryan name of Dr. Boris Winkler, and his man-servant is known only by his, in Germany most Semitic of surnames, Maurice. I guess the Goebbels boys must have been at it yet again, even though like his child-murdering spouse, the cowardly propaganda minister had swallowed his cyanide more than a decade before the shooting of "Anders als Du und Ich.."

Maybe the most disgusting feature of this movie is the participation of the legendary stage actress Paula Wessely, who had acted in Nazi propaganda movies during the war and then asked to be forgiven for this "lapse". There is no denying that Wesssely was one of the most spellbinding stage actresses of all time. But to participate in a movie in which she is asked to act the role of a mother, who after having heard rumors that her son may be gay, learns all she ever wanted to know about homosexuality, by furtively looking up the one-paragraph entry "Third Sex" in a Hitler-era lexicon, indicates that a very limited intelligence informed Wessely's great acting talent. "

Lett Herr Flix have the last word - a risible but extremely funny cross-cultural artifact, particularly in the amazing American dub version, The Third Sex, in which the dubbers go overboard to match the lipsynch and mangle English in the process). And totally revelatory of a type of "exploitation" pic that clothes itself in pseudo-"scientific" respectability while voyeuristically indulging the subject matter to the max. (thank god.) The gay bar with the truckdriver/drag chanteuse is worth the price of admission alone. Says dad: "You mean all these women are MEN?" (as one winks at him); sage Uncle replies; "Sure, sure.."
Dad: "don't the authorities KNOW about these places?"
Uncle: "Oh they keep it under control in here"

This movie belongs in HerrSchreck's surreally dubbed "Monster" genre.

The other titles genuinely look wonderful. (But I'll be buying this first. Dziga and Stroheim can wait.)


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2006 3:26 am 
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I would appreciate if you would not quote the comments of people who have a strong opinion but zero knowledge like the idiot who wrote this text. I suggest you read this article and you'll see that neither homosexuality was on its way to become legal nor did Harlan make an anti homosexuality movie. In fact the FSK complained in a text which pretty much sounded as it was written in the Third Reich that the film makes propaganda FOR homosexuals.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2006 4:31 am 
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HONEY! First of all I am fully aware that the laws around homosexuality were far from settled (and when they were it was state by state from the late sixties through the seventies, just like Australia.)

As for Harlan - PUHLEEZHH!!! LOUISE!!!

If you dont think this movie capitalizes on the voyeurism and misplacing of crap on fags, THINK AGAIN!!!!

HOLY RELIGION BATMAN!!

Now after a glass or two of charming, ebullient chardonnay - I can't make the link to your text. But let me ask you a few questions. Are you gay or straight?
If you either prefer not to answer this impertinent question, or you answer neither, please enter details below:

Have you seen the movie?
What d'o you make of it?
And finally - is there any truth in the hypothesis that Hitler and his gang were a bunch of fags?

BTW THREE idiots wrote that text - Fimmuseum, the imdb poster and moi.

Respectfully

DH

Edit: Finally was able to download the review quoted above in L's last post.

Once again some contradictions are in order. The movie itself never addresses the German Penal Code Section 175, Instead, in its existing form, it opens with Klaus' mom in the dock on a charge of pandering - some other goddam section of the penal code. Thus sympathy is gleaned for mom as the "victim" of an intractable legal system.

Never mind poor Manfred - the "neurasthenic" best friend of Klaus at school who always complains when he goes off with girls. The entire effect of the movie is to portray homosexuality as a pathology. We are diseased, like Jews and Communists. Thus we're either neurotic, sickly weaklings like Manfred, condemned to write bad vers libre, or tragic drag artistes, always unfilfilled in love, or evil predators who manage salons for what looks like a gang of Hamburg rent boys who variously cheat, lie, blackmail each other, or do greco-roman wrestling exhbitions whilen playing musique concrete. Having managed to leeringly portray this web of perversion in low angle, high contrast horror style theatrics, the movie thus indulges its judgment of this tragic world of the pathetic fag. Actually the most nazi-like scene in the movie is an interview between dad and Manfred's destitute mother, who , like another panderer, is excoriated for virtually trading her son, the shat upon Manfred, to the evil Dr Boris' avant grade coterie of irredeemable perverts. But you could say the movie's gaze at the tragic fag is perhaps a step above the level of pink triangles and concentration camps.

The final effect of course is completely unintended humor, and I can't imagine any literate audience sitting through it with a straight face. If you think this is pro-gay, Jude Suss is pro Jewish.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2006 11:18 am 
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In response to DVD Beaver's inquiry about Edition Filmmuseum's conscious decision to offer “Entuziazmâ€


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2006 11:36 am 
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Here's a positive review of Friedrich Schiller: Eine Dichterjugend at DVD Times.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2006 5:18 pm 
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...and 'Westend'


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2006 12:45 am 
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With Anders als du und ich and Anders als die andern coming out next month and with Blind Husbands and Nathan der Weise soon after, I thought I'd resurrect this thread.

But mainly I wanted to ask about the releases that have come out in the meantime and seem to have passed by my (our) radar.

Namely ...

Quote:
Why should I buy a bed when all that I want is sleep? - A chamber film with Robert LaxEdition Filmmuseum 07

The American minimalist poet Robert Lax (1915-2000) is praised for his originality and spirituality. He was a companion of the painter Ad Reinhardt and the religious philosopher and monk Thomas Merton, who had a strong influence on the poets of the beat generation. After decades of a nomadic life between America and Europe, working as a screenwriter in Hollywood, as a film critic in New York and as a clown in an Italian itinerant circus, he has lived withdrawn for 30 years on the Greek island of Patmos. In his poetry, Robert Lax pursues a maximum compression of language - to the point where only individual words and syllables remain which represent the essence of language. His artistic concept of reduction, in which a pause becomes as important as the things said, makes Lax a kindred spirit of the American composer John Cage. The present films are the outcome of a long-standing friendship between Robert Lax and the filmmakers Nicolas Humbert and Werner Penzel.

and two soccer movies that seem timely:

Quote:
Die elf Teufel & König der MittelstürmerEdition Filmmuseum 08

Two German silent classics dealing with soccer: Die elf Teufel / The Eleven Devils starring Gustav Fröhlich (Metropolis) and König der Mittelstürmer / King of the Centre Forwards starring Paul Richter (Die Nibelungen) which survived only in one print with some severe nitrate deteriotation. Both films are supplied with new music accompaniments and with subtitles in different languages. An early film document showing the 1924 soccer game Germany-Italy is added as a special feature to this 2-disc edition.

Plus documentaries by Ella Bergmann-Michel:

Quote:
Ella Bergmann-Michel: Dokumentarische Filme 1931-1933Edition Filmmuseum 09

Since 1920 artist, photographer, and filmmaker Ella Bergmann-Michel lived and worked at the "Schmelz", an old paint mill near Frankfurt on Main. With guests such as Kurt Schwitters and László Moholy-Nagy the house became an important locale for modern artists. Between 1931 and 1933 she made five documentary films that constitute a rare example of socially involved and equally artistic film. The DVD contains these five films, a documentary film about the artist and a comprehensive booklet with essays on Ella Bergmann-Michel's films.

Can anyone comment on these films.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 13, 2006 2:35 pm 
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Ella Bergmann-Michel: Dokumentarische Filme 1931-1933


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2006 6:15 pm 
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denti alligator wrote:
But mainly I wanted to ask about the releases that have come out in the meantime and seem to have passed by my (our) radar.

Namely:

Quote:
Die elf Teufel & König der MittelstürmerEdition Filmmuseum 08

Quote:
Ella Bergmann-Michel: Dokumentarische Filme 1931-1933Edition Filmmuseum 09

Can anyone comment on these films.

I know, that you're from Germany, so here are two articles from the "Film-Dienst - 15/2006":

Quote:
Die elf Teufel & König der Mittelstürmer

Ob die Macher des Fernsehwerbespots, in dem eine Handvoll duschender Männer das Fußballfieber packt und ein Stück Seife als Spielgerät herhalten muss, wohl Fritz Freislers Stummfilm „König der Mittelstürmer“ gesehen haben? Dort nämlich treten fußballtolle Angestellte im Großraumbüro gegen einen Apfel, und die damenhaft gekleidete Tochter des Chefs dribbelt mit einem Papierknäuel durchs Arbeitszimmer. Allerdings lag der Film bis vor kurzem nur als italienische Nitrat-Kopie vor und war damit dem Publikum nicht zugänglich. Für die „Edition Filmmuseum“ gelang es, den stark zersetzten Film abzutasten und für die Nachwelt zu retten. Die deutschen Untertitel wurden vom Filmmuseum München anhand der zeitgenössischen Zensurkarte neu hergestellt.

Trotz seines Alters und der Materialschäden wirkt „König der Mittelstürmer“ bisweilen erstaunlich aktuell. „Bist du auch schon vom Fußballfimmel besessen?“, fragt der gestrenge Großhandelskaufmann sein kickendes Töchterchen und steht ratlos vor einer Fußball-Euphorie, die sich in Deutschland offensichtlich schon breit machte, ehe noch „die Welt zu Gast bei Freunden“ war. Etwas antiquiert klingt hingegen, was der nach dem einstigen Starspieler des Hamburger Sportvereins Otto „Tull“ Harder benannte Held des Films seinem Vater entgegnet, als dieser ihm vorhält, seine Zeit mit einer Spielerei zu vergeuden: „Du irrst, Vater – Sport ist Ertüchtigung des Menschen – Stählung der Nerven – Hebung des Selbstbewusstseins.“ „König der Mittelstürmer“ feierte am 24.11.1927 in Berlin Premiere und verlor damit das Rennen um den ersten deutschen „Fußball-Großfilm“ nur knapp: Am 20. Oktober desselben Jahres wurde Zoltan Kordas „Die elf Teufel“ in Berlin uraufgeführt.

In den 1920er-Jahren war der Kampf des Deutschen Fußballbundes gegen den Berufsfußball noch in vollem Gange. Nicht zuletzt aus steuerlichen Gründen wurde Fußball zum Idealistensport überhöht. Auch wenn die Realität längst anders aussah und dort, wo kein Gehalt gezahlt wurde, reichlich „Spesen“ flossen. Walter Reisch baut sein Drehbuch zu „Die elf Teufel“ auf dem Konflikt zwischen Amateur- und Profifußball auf. Tommy, der Star des kleinen Vorstadtclubs „Linda“, wird vom Profi-Verein „International“ abgeworben. Korda stellt die beiden Teams in einer markanten Kontrastmontage einander gegenüber. Während die „Linda“-Spieler sich nach dem Match mit einer kalten Dusche im Freien begnügen müssen, lassen sich die Spieler bei „International“ in einem Luxuspool und auf Massagebänken verwöhnen. Gute Seele des Arbeiterclubs ist die 17-jährige Linda, ein süßes „Blondmägdelein“, das in Tommy verliebt ist. Der aber verfällt dem dunkelhaarigen Vamp der Elitekicker und gerät so auf Abwege. Gustav Fröhlich („Metropolis“) verleiht dem naiven Tommy eine charismatische Ausstrahlung und interpretiert ihn als ambivalent schillernden, letztlich aber edlen Charakter. Als Tommy im entscheidenden Pokalspiel gegen seine ehemaligen „Linda“-Kollegen antreten soll, weigert er sich standhaft und wechselt erneut die Seiten. Der dramaturgische Konflikt mündet in einem fußballerischen.

Laut Vorspann waren die „besten Fußballspieler aus allen Teilen Deutschlands“ an den ausführlichen und grandios gefilmten Spielszenen beteiligt. Korda inszeniert aus Untersicht und in Zeitlupen spektakuläre Nahaufnahmen, die zwar die Spielabläufe nicht nachvollziehbar machen, dafür aber die emotionale Dynamik des Spiels filigran einfangen. Vergleichsweise bieder erscheinen die für die damalige Zeit ebenfalls hervorragenden Fußballaufnahmen im Schlussakt von „König der Mittelstürmer“, die sich weitgehend darauf beschränken, das Spielgeschehen wiederzugeben. Nicht nur zeitlich, sondern vor allem inhaltlich lassen „Die elf Teufel“ den „König der Mittelstürmer“ im Wettstreit um den ersten deutschen Fußballfilm hinter sich. Um Fußball geht es in „König der Mittelstürmer“ nämlich nur am Rande und zum Schluss. Im Mittelpunkt steht die Liebesgeschichte zwischen dem Kaufmannssohn und einer Geschäftspartnerin seines Vaters. Die väterliche Firma ist pleite, weshalb die schöne Reiche unlautere Motive hinter Tull Harders Avancen vermutet. Damit tut sie ihm Unrecht. Paul Richter, Fritz Langs „Siegfried“ („Die Nibelungen“), verkörpert mit Tull einen strahlenden Sportsmann ohne Makel und ohne Tiefgang.

Erstaunlich ähnlich sind sich die beiden unterhaltsamen, fußballfilmhistorisch wertvollen Dokumente in ihrer abschließenden Fußballdramaturgie. In beiden Fällen steht der Starspieler zunächst nicht im Aufgebot, taucht dann unter dem Jubel der Mitspieler und Zuschauer doch auf, wird später verletzt in die Kabine getragen, dort von seiner Liebsten gepflegt, sodass er sich mit frischer Energie wieder aufs Spielfeld stürzt, um dort das entscheidende Tor zu schießen. So ist Fußball? Nein, so ist Fußballkino.

Doppel-DVD der „Edition Filmmuseum“

„Die elf Teufel“
Deutschland 1927. Produktion: Carl Boese-Film. Produzent: Carl Boese. Regie: Zoltan Korda. Buch: Walter Reisch. Kamera: Paul Holzki, Leopold Kutzleb. Darsteller: Gustav Fröhlich, Evelyn Holt, Lissy Arna, Fritz Alberti, Willi Forst. Musikbegleitung: Joachim Bärenz

„Der König der Mittelstürmer“
Deutschland 1927. Produktion: Olympia Film. Regie: Fritz Freisler. Buch: Hugo Huxhol, Kurt Lauermann. Kamera: Günther Krampf, Artur von Schwertführer. Darsteller: Paul Richter, Fritz Alberti, Colette Brettel, Aud Egede Nissen, Rudolf Lettinger. Musikbegleitung: Günter A. Buchwald.

DVD: Deutsche Zwischentitel; Untertitel: Englisch, Französisch, Spanisch, Portugiesisch; Bild: 4:3, 1,37:1; Ton: DD 2.0; Extras: neunminütige Dokumentation zum „Länderkampf Deutschland – Italien“ von 1924.
Stefan Volk

Quote:
Ella Bergmann-Michel – Dokumentarische Filme 1913–1933

Der Vater, Drogist in Paderborn, konnte der am 20. Oktober 1895 geborenen Tochter ein (Kunst-)Studium in Weimar finanzieren. Von der revolutionären Aufbruchstimmung nach dem Ersten Weltkrieg wird Ella Bergmann-Michel wie viele andere beeinflusst. Sie lernt den Studenten Robert Michel kennen, beide eröffnen Ende 1918 eigene Ateliers und heiraten im Oktober 1919. Als der Ehemann eine Farbenmühle, die so genannte Schmelz, erbt, zieht das Paar 1920 nach Eppstein in den Taunus, wo sich bald ein reger Künstlertreff mit Willi Baumeister, Lászlo Maholy-Nagy und Kurt Schwitters, später mit Wilfried Basse, Joris Ivens und Dziga Wertow entwickelt. Ausstellungen in Wiesbaden, Mannheim und Stuttgart belegen die Nachwirkungen des Dadaismus und Futurismus in Ella Bergmann-Michels Materialcollagen und konstruktivistischen Lichtprojektionen. Ab 1926 kommen das fotografische Engagement und die Filmarbeit im Bund „Das neue Frankfurt“ hinzu. 1932, eine letzte Ausstellung „Abstrakte Kunst“, danach Berufsverbot, Rückzug auf die „Schmelz“, wo neben Kleintierzucht das Tagebuch „Briefe in die Nacht“ entsteht und der Krieg überstanden wird. Nach 1945 leitet die Avantgardekünstlerin den Frankfurter Filmclub. An ihre Vorkriegskarriere kann sie nicht mehr anknüpfen. Am 8. August 1971 stirbt Ella Bergmann-Michel. Heute ist sie nur noch wenigen Spezialisten ein Begriff. Das Historische Museum in Frankfurt widmete ihr kürzlich eine umfangreiche Schau, das Deutsche Filmmuseum eine Retrospektive.

Die talentierte Künstlerin besaß kein Faible für (Foto-)Realismus: Die Formen, die Ornamente, die Beziehung der Menschen, das Spiel der Bewegungen und prismatischen Brechungen interessierten sie: „Sie suchte in ihren Arbeiten dem Geheimnis der Form auf die Spur zu kommen, dem Mysterium von Licht und Schatten, dem hinter den realen Objekten versteckten Rätsel der Dinge“, schrieb Hans Riebsamen treffend in der „FAZ“. Von der „Neuen Sachlichkeit“ sind Bergmann-Michels vier kurze, stumme, von 1931 bis 1933 entstandene Dokumentarfilme bestimmt. Die Auftragsarbeit „Wo wohnen alte Leute“ (1931) stellt das vom Architekten Mart Stam entworfene Budge-Altersheim vor. An Piel Jutzis „Mutter Krausens Fahrt ins Glück“ (1929) erinnert der Blick auf die Folgen der Arbeitslosigkeit in „Erwerbslose kochen für Erwerbslose“ (1932). In „Fliegende Händler in Frankfurt am Main“ (1932) gelingen dank nachgestellter Alltagsszenen und einer 35mm-Handkamera spannende Schnappschüsse vom illegalen Geschäft auf den Straßen, das auch die Filmemacherin einholte. „Bereits beschattet von politischer Polizei, war ich froh, meine fertigen Film-Kassetten unangetastet nach Hause zu bekommen“, erklärte sie 1967. Sichtbar, in der inneren Emigration, im zehnminütigen impressionistischen „Fischfang in der Rhön“ (1932): der Wimpernschlag der Natur, das Spiel von Licht und Schatten im Wasser, Frösche, Blumen, weidende Kühe, ein Angler, Bauern bei der Arbeit, eine sich räkelnde Katze, ein im Holzgatter eingesperrtes Kind, Forellen im Gras. Dieser Film ist eine Verweigerung: „Der Krieg hat auch in der Kunst die Realität in den Vordergrund geschoben“, sagte Bergmann-Michel später. „Wahlkampf 1932“ (1932/33) bleibt ein Fragment, eine Vorahnung des gesellschaftlichen Umbruchfiebers: Aufnahmen von Wahlplakaten an Litfasssäulen, Diskussionen auf den Straßen, Hakenkreuzfahnen, marschierende Nazis, Leute, die in die Kamera gucken. Als man Ella Bergmann-Michel während der Arbeit festnimmt, kommt sie erst nach „einigen Anrufen“ wieder frei. „Dann musste ich die Aufnahmen aus politischen Gründen abbrechen. Es war Januar 1933“, lautete ihr Resümee.

Die DVD der „Edition Filmmuseum“ stellt die Filme mit einer Musikbegleitung von Günter A. Buchwald vor. Ein informatives 30-minütiges Porträt der Künstlerin mit dem Titel „Mein Herz schlägt Blau“ bietet einen guten Hintergrund. Neben biografischen Stationen werden die Ãœbergänge von den Collagen zu den Filmen sehr gut dargestellt. Ein 20-seitiges Booklet ermöglicht die weiterführende Lektüre. Für Liebhaber: der Rohschnitt von „Fliegende Händler in Frankfurt am Main“.

[iElla Bergmann-Michel – Dokumentarische Filme 1913–1933“
DVD der „Edition Filmmuseum“. Format 4:3; Originalformat: 1:1.33. Ton: Stereo, Dolby Digital 2.0. Zwischentitel in Deutsch, Untertitel in Englisch.

Josef Nagel[/i]


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2006 9:21 am 
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I have just watched the Bergmann-Michel DVD and would highly recommend it. Although the subject matters of some of these films (an old people's home, or cooking for the unemployed) sound pretty unassuming, Bergmann-Michel managed to finely document them in an interesting way without, however, being ever truly 'experimental'. The most obvious influence seems to be Ivens, of course, but also Vertov in places (not in editing, but in camera perspectives and the idea of 'catching life unawares'). The high point for me was the "Fishing in the Rhon" film, which comes closest to her painting/collage work in its more overtly 'artistic' and abstract way of filming (again, much reminiscent of Ivens' "Rain" in places). Bergmann-Michel is not a very well known artist even in Germany, so the additional documentary which shows some of her artwork (all quite fascinating, collages of organic and abstract forms, and probably more important than the films) is most welcome.
Fabulous package with good introductory texts (in German and in English translation), an excellent piano score, very well-rendered picture (despite the limitations of the source materials, two of the films only exist in 16mm-reductions and these look rather unsharp), and optional English subs. No idea whether its progressive or interlaced, but I did not notice anything disturbing me. Contrast and detail are very fine in the 35mm films. It shows that Filmmuseum is a company that is state-subsidized and that they can probably afford things other companies cannot do. Still (in an ideal world) this is how silent films should be presented.
I'm looking very much forward to their next offerings... as they have announced some Eisenstein, can we dream of a definitive "Potemkin" from them?


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2006 3:09 pm 
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Do we know that CC's EISENSTEIN THE SILENT YEARS box is now officially offa the table, or at least "postponed indefinitely" a la SHANGHAI EXPRESS & VAMPYR?


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2006 3:56 pm 
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HerrSchreck wrote:
Do we know that CC's EISENSTEIN THE SILENT YEARS box is now officially offa the table, or at least "postponed indefinitely" a la SHANGHAI EXPRESS & VAMPYR?

We don't know for sure, of course, but I remember having read in one of the Criterion speculation threads that they e-mailed someone saying that they were not able to find sufficient sources and/or extras yet. Not much hope, then, for CC. By the way, if you're interested in "The General Line", I would recommend the new edition by arte stummfilmedition for the moment. This is a reconstructed version following Eisenstein's original script, trying to restore material cut-out or completely reedited after the pressure of Stalin's censors. It's gotten about 20 mins longer in the process, and looks definitely more 'avantgardistic' than the version hitherto known. How original that is must remain speculation of course, but I think it's a strong alternative at least. The source materials, especially in the unseen footage, is in bad shape in places, so this one at least would be below CC's usual standards, but it's good to have it nevertheless until something better comes along (which might never happen). Only German subs, though (removable). The same company has also just released Dowzhenko's "Earth" and Vertov's "Man with a camera", but I haven't seen these yet.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 12, 2006 1:34 pm 
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O god if they've come out with something better than Mosfilm's "restoration" of Dovzhenko's EARTH as seen in the Shepard/Image Shepard/Kino discs (identical apparently), I'll be combing the plaster outa my hair from hitting the ceiling after levitating with joy. Please keep this forum apprised of the disc-quality if you do wind up grabbing it.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 12, 2006 2:18 pm 
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HerrSchreck wrote:
O god if they've come out with something better than Mosfilm's "restoration" of Dovzhenko's EARTH as seen in the Shepard/Image Shepard/Kino discs (identical apparently), I'll be combing the plaster outa my hair from hitting the ceiling after levitating with joy. Please keep this forum apprised of the disc-quality if you do wind up grabbing it.

Schreck, I looked up the Arte edition, and it looks like it is still the Mosfilm restoration: Restaurierung: Mosfilm, 1971. More information here.

However, it looks like a label that is worth watching. They already have a number of interesting titles. The General Line as described above, and silent films by Feyder and Lubitsch amongst other things. Here is the their entire catalogue.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 12, 2006 3:29 pm 
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I'm not sure whether it's really the same version. I haven't got the Shepard dvd, but digitallyobsessed says it runs 69 mins., whereas this new edition runs 78 min. (and you can give one or two more due to PAL speedup). Also, there's a new music soundtrack from 1997 apparently, so that might mean that they had to make a new soundtrack because they found new or better materials (or it runs at a different speed). Let's see soon, it's on my list of the next purchases definitely.

Coming back to topic: I have also nowwatched the "Die elf Teufel"/"König der Mittelstürmer" set, and well... welll..... WELL: it's great to see some German silent film that doesn't make me immediately salivate :-) Both of them are truly conventional melodramas, and the soccer connection doesn't make them healthier as films. This goes especially for "König", which suffers from particularly dull acting from Paul Richter (even worse than in "Siegfried"), and even the football scenes are almost accidental, as if they'd made it up from an already existing script that they changed around for making some quick cash in the aftermath of "Teufel". "Die elf Teufel" is much better, and might give you some amusing 90 minutes. Quite interesting here is the final big soccer match, where Korda employs quick cutting, superimpositions, moving camera and creates something really interesting filmwise. Sport as ballet.... if this sounds as if I'm describing Riefenstahl's "Olympia", well, rest assured: it's not THAT good, of course, but quite astonishing nevertheless. The rest of the film is not better than okay, though. Quite nice acting from Gustav Fröhlich of "Metropolis" fame, however. The edition is not more than solid, too: no extras to speak about, no chaptering (!), and just a two-page 'booklet'. Subs in five different languages, though. Image is good, although "König" is really badly damaged, but that nitrate copy was the only one still in existence, so it can't be helped. All in all, editionwise I would have expected better from "filmmuseum". Only for absolute silent completists, I'd say, but it's nice to see that somebody puts things like this on dvd....


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 19, 2006 12:20 am 
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Here is an interesting post from one of the people connected with the Blind Husbands restoration - in an earlier post he mentioned that the disc was about ready to go out - but here emphasizes that it also appears as though the print used comes from a much longer version than was previously thought to have existed.

Quote:
We (that is the Österreichisches Filmmuseum, Austrian Film Museum) are about to finish production of a DVD release of Erich von Stroheim's BLIND HUSBANDS, an Austrian theatrical print of which is preserved at my organization. The copy is a tinted nitrate print with german language intertitles and can be traced back to a local distributor and the year 1921/22. It is longer than both the b&w version in circulation in Europe and the tinted MoMA version preserved through NFPF and released on DVD. For the DVD we have been comparing versions both on a flatbed and digitally and a) found shots not contained in the US version, b) found out that most shots last longer in the Austrian copy, and c) spotted minor differences in the montage of the film. Since I've always assumed that the version in circulation is more or less identical to what Universal released in 1919 (forgive my ignorance) the following MoMA program note raised my eyebrows: [www.moma.org/exhibitions/film_media/2004/112_years.html]

Quote:
Blind Husbands. 1919. USA. Written and directed by Erich von Stroheim. With Stroheim, Sam de Grasse, Francellia Billington. (...) This print is preserved from an early acetate copy acquired from Universal in 1941, and represents the shortened 1924 reissue, the best surviving material on this film. Silent, with piano accompaniment by Stuart Oderman. Approx. 87 min.

Right now it looks to me as if our nitrate print pre-dates all known versions by at least 3 years, which is exciting news. 

Michael Loebenstein
Research & Education
Österreichisches Filmmuseum - The Austrian Film Museum
Vienna, Austria


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2006 9:01 am 
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I was really hoping that someone here would have bought Why should I buy a bed when all that I want is sleep? - A chamber film with Robert Lax because I had fallen in love with the poetic and unusual title and could find very little information on this film. Unfortunately this was asking too much, so I had to buy it myself...

I will begin by admitting that I know nothing of Robert Lax's work, I had never even heard of him before I saw the DVD but nothing prepared me for his poetic works an example of which read something like this:

Red circle,
Brown circle,
Red circle,
Brown circle,
Brown circle,
Red Circle,
Red circle,
Brown circle,
Earth circle...

Fortunately the film is less than an hour in length. Despite this, though, the effect was truly soporific! and thus the title did not disappoint: I fell asleep in the chair...


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