January 21st, 2011

Metropolis - Maria's wink

“We didn't need dialogue. We had faces!”

Damn, I am going to see a lot of silent film this weekend.

Tonight at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), 7:30 — Geschlecht in Fesseln (Sex in Chains/Sex in Fetters)
1928. Germany. Directed by Wilhelm Dieterle. Screenplay by Herbert Juttke, Georg C. Klaren. With Dieterle, Mary Johnson, Gunnar Tolnæs, Paul Henckels. Before emigrating to the U.S., where he became known as “William,” Dieterle directed and starred in this melodrama about men in prison and their sexual needs. Courtesy of Deutsche Kinemathek. Silent. Approx. 97 min.

Saturday at the Museum of the Moving Image, 7:30 — L’Argent
1928, 180 mins. Dir. Marcel L’Herbier. One of the most exciting film events in years was the Telluride Film Festival premiere of a stunning restoration of Marcel L’Herbier’s epic silent masterpiece, accompanied by the acclaimed Mont Alto Orchestra. The Colorado-based chamber ensemble’s scores are “breathtakingly beautiful and always in the service of the film on the screen.” (Dave Kehr, The New York Times). L’Argent transposes Emile Zola’s 1891 novel about the excesses of capitalism to modern-day Paris; L’Herbier’s mobile, avant-garde camerawork sets the drama against the Art Deco style of the magnificent sets. Brigitte Helm (Metropolis) plays the cunning mistress at the heart of a bold financial scheme.

Sunday at MoMA:
2:30 p.m. — Madame Dubarry (Passion)

1919. Germany. Directed by Ernst Lubitsch. Screenplay by Fred Orbing (aka Norbert Falk), Hanns Kräly. With Pola Negri, Emil Jannings, Reinhold Schünzel, Elsa Berna. This spectacular historical epic, the first German film imported to the U.S. after World War I, was an enormous critical and popular hit. It not only established Lubitsch’s international reputation but drew immediate attention to Germany as a nation of tremendous filmmaking promise. Courtesy of Murnau Foundation. Silent. Approx. 105 min.


5:30 p.m. — Die Austernprinzessin (The Oyster Princess)
1919. Germany. Directed by Ernst Lubitsch. Screenplay by Lubitsch, Hanns Kräly. With Victor Janson, Ossi Oswalda, Herry Liedtke, Julius Falkenstein. Even as early as this 1919 film, German critics applauded the “Lubitsch touch,” noting that, no matter whether the story is strong, or weak, Lubitsch makes it “good,“ with “verve” and “elegance,” and “in a style never before seen in a German comedy” (Film-Kurier, 1919). Courtesy of Murnau Foundation. Silent. Approx. 60 min.