Stummfilmtage Bonn 2017

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Arndt

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Stummfilmtage Bonn 2017

PostSun Jul 09, 2017 12:43 pm

The programme for the annual Bonn silent film festival is out. This is the bare bones. More later

Thursday, 10 AUGUST
A Day’s Pleasure, USA 1919
Die kleine Veronika, Austria 1930

Friday, 11 AUGUST
La Chute de la Maison d’Usher, France 1928
A Woman of the World, USA 1925

Saturday, 12 AUGUST
Beethoven, Austria 1927
The Informer, GB 1929

Sunday, 13 AUGUST
In search of Paul Wegener’s Golem films, lecture
Make More Noise! Suffragettes in silent film, lecture
Alice’s Egg Plant, USA 1925
Der Adjutant des Zaren, Germany, 1929

Monday, 14 AUGUST
The American Venus – trailer
Aelita, SU 1924

Tuesday, 15 AUGUST
Großstadtzigeuner, Germany 1932
Peau de Pêche, France 1929

Wednesday, 16 AUGUST
Frankenstein, USA 1910
Häxan, Sweden 1922

Thursday, 17 AUGUST
Zhi Guo Yuan, China 1922
Eliso, Georgia 1928

Friday, 18 AUGUST
Koshu Saho Tokyo Kembutsu, Japan 1926
Branding Broadway, USA 1918

Saturday, 19 AUGUST
Buster Keaton: Neighbors / The Scarecrow / The Goat, USA 1920/1921
Hrichy Lasky, Czechoslovakia 1929

Sunday, 20 AUGUST
Kafka goes to the movies, lecture
World War I in 3D, lecture
Abends nach Neune, Flottenmarsch, Germany 1907/ 1908
The Iron Mask, USA 1929
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Re: Stummfilmtage Bonn 2017

PostMon Jul 10, 2017 3:03 pm

Here is a link where you can download a pdf of the short programme. Full programme will be online around 1 August.

http://www.foerderverein-filmkultur.de/internationale-stummfilmtage/programm/flyer_int-stummfilmtage-bonn-2017/
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Re: Stummfilmtage Bonn 2017

PostMon Jul 31, 2017 2:07 pm

The full bilingual programme can now be viewed and downloaded here as a pdf:

http://www.foerderverein-filmkultur.de/content/uploads/PH_2017_gesamt.pdf
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Re: Stummfilmtage Bonn 2017

PostTue Aug 15, 2017 3:22 am

The Stummfilmtage have started. I missed the first few days, as I was still on holiday in Florida, where I had the great pleasure of meeting fellow-Nitratevillain Rick Lanham.
My festival started on Sunday afternoon with what I presume will be this year's highlight for me. Stefan Drößler, head of Munich Film Museum and one of the main organizers of the Stummfilmtage, talked at length about the Golem films of Paul Wegener. As always his lecture was an excellent mixture of fascinating facts and entertaining anecdotes, lavishly garnished with film clips that alone would warrant the coming. And as always Mr Drößler dropped a few bombshells that challenged received wisdom about the much-loved Golem films.
The 1914 film DER GOLEM is presumed lost, with the exception of two short clips, at least one of which (the smithy) has been haunting the web for some time. Mr Drößler went to Tokyo in search of an elusive copy presumed to be in the Japanese archives and fell out with people there by insisting they let him at it, only to discover that it had deteriorated beyond repair and most likely been destroyed. Then he found out that despite the First World War raging in Europe the film had actually been distributed in the US under the title MONSTER OF FATE. And then he found out that there was a copy of MONSTER OF FATE in the same Argentinian archive, on the self-same shelf that had yielded the long-lost Metropolis footage. It is only the second reel, but together with the previously-known clips, titles and stills Mr Drößler has now assembled a 24-minute version of the film. We had the privilege to see the premiere of this version, accompanied by Richard Siedhoff.
I had translated the screenplay, so I had a version of the film in my head. Inevitably the real thing is quite different. What struck me most is how modern DER GOLEM looks for a 1914 film. It is by no means a cheap, hoary version of the 1920 film but has stood the test of time rather well. Let's hope more reels of MONSTER OF FATE turn up.
The 1920 film DER GOLEM WIE ER IN DIE WELT KAM has long been available in a decent version thanks to a restoration in the 90s. Mr Drößler again challenged received wisdom and went back to the original materials only to discover that what the Bologna lab had used were not the best extant materials from the Milan archive but a lesser copy from Munich. He was able to show the difference by putting the materials side by side on the screen. So the Munich museum is now engaged in digitizing a much improved version of the film. For this Mr Drößler has painstakingly recreated the unique font used for the original intertitles. Definitely something to look forward to.
The lecture also dealt with the lost film DER GOLEM UND DIE TÄNZERIN and the presumably never made ALRAUNE UND DER GOLEM.
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Re: Stummfilmtage Bonn 2017

PostTue Aug 15, 2017 8:03 am

Arndt,
Did you go to the suffrage program later?
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Re: Stummfilmtage Bonn 2017

PostTue Aug 15, 2017 8:06 am

I did. I'll post about that tomorrow. Got to get going for tonight's PEAU DE PECHE. 8)
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Re: Stummfilmtage Bonn 2017

PostWed Aug 16, 2017 4:09 am

The second event on Sunday afternoon was a screening of MAKE MORE NOISE! SUFFRAGETTES IN FILM, a 75-minute compilation of newsreel clips and short films from between 1899 and 1917, put together by Bryony Dixon and Margaret Deriaz from the collection of the British film institute. This was introduced by Ingeborg Boxhammer, who took 30 minutes to very competently and succinctly summarize the history of the women's suffrage movement in Britain for the German audience.
Unfortunately the film compilation was not nearly as successful. It would be unfair to just blame the compilers - there is apparently not an awful lot of footage to illustrate the women's struggle. In the newsreel footage we see some marching and some standing around of suffragettes and a lot of backs of crowds craning their necks to see what all the ruckus is about. This is interspersed with short comedies supposed to illustrate the contemporary attitude towards women, a task at which they mostly fail. While I have every sympathy for the compilers as far as the dearth of newsreel footage is concerned, I am sure they could have found more relevant feature film clips or shorts than the Tilly Girls and Little Did'ums films they chose. I can only imagine that they wanted to bring some comic relief to the subject.
What I do not understand at all, however, is why they chose to use two wartime propaganda films in their entirety. These were obviously meant to illustrate the change in the roles of women that the World War brought about. Excerpts would have done that just as well. As it is these two films go on for much too long to make that point. We are treated to an in-depth tutorial on how to fit a detonator to a shell. I was getting queasy by this time, as the cheerful propaganda tone and the obvious pride at showing the huge number of massive shells being produced collided in my head with the knowledge of what the shells actually did once in action.
It is a sobering thought that women had to become complicit in mass slaughter in order to be granted the right to political participation.
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Re: Stummfilmtage Bonn 2017

PostWed Aug 16, 2017 5:16 am

Sunday night started with one of Disney's Alice shorts, ALICE'S EGG PLANT, in which a communist agitator - "Little Red Henski" - infiltrates Alice's egg factory and instigates a strike. Very enjoyable.
The feature was the German film DER ADJUTANT DES ZAREN (The Czar's Orderly) from 1929, a film that neither I nor any of my silent film buddies had ever heard of. This is a little strange, as DER ADJUTANT DES ZAREN is a big film with massive production value and stars Ivan Mosjukin.
Mosjukin plays an aristocrat in pre-revolutionary Russia, who falls in love with a stranger he meets on a train (Carmen Boni). After he has impulsively married her he realizes that she has gained his affection on the orders of an anarchist/communist group who want her to assassinate the czar. But if I have learned anything from watching silent films it is that love conquers everything.
A very enjoyable film recently rediscovered in a Danish archive. Mosjukin fascinates with those eyes that not even a murderous anarchist can resist. The style is altogether very sophisticated, the sets and costumes are lavish and this film ought to have been an international smash hit, but maybe in 1929 there was not much call any more for such a a big production silent.
Neil Brand accompanied in equally lavish and gorgeous style.
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Re: Stummfilmtage Bonn 2017

PostWed Aug 16, 2017 5:35 am

Monday night started with AMERICAN VENUS from 1926, starring Louise Brooks and Esther Ralston. Before anybody gets over-excited I should add that this was only the two-minute trailer of what is assumed to be a lost film.
One hundred years after the Russian revolution we were then treated to a screening of AELITA. Many of you will know this wacky hodgepodge of a film with its constructivist sets and costumes. Just like with METROPOLIS the images are often striking and enjoyable but it is a fruitless and painful exercise to try to follow the convoluted plot.
I would not have gone to see this one again had it not been for the fact that it was accompanied by Richard Siedhoff, who is always great. For the first time in Bonn Richard played together with Ukrainian oboist Mykyta Sirov, and what a great combination these two proved to be. To carry a thousand people through nearly two hours of AELITA is no mean feat, to make them enjoy every minute of it is nothing short of a miracle. I witnessed that miracle on Monday night. But then as far as Richard Siedhoff is concerned I have always been a believer.
Richard has composed an orchestral score for Murnau's DER GANG IN DIE NACHT. This will be recorded by the Metropolis Orchester Berlin and accompany the film on the upcoming Edition Filmmuseum DVD and hopefully also an Arte broadcast.
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Re: Stummfilmtage Bonn 2017

PostWed Aug 16, 2017 6:24 am

Tuesday night started with Bauhaus legend Laszlo Moholy-Nagy's short documentary GROSSSTADTZIGEUNER (Big City Gypsies), an impressionist collage of scenes from the lives of gypsies in Berlin. Very poignantly the film was released in 1932. One year later the people in it would suffer racial persecution in the Nazi's new order. Most of them would not survive the death camps.
The feature was PEAU DE PECHE (Peach Skin), a French film from 1929 directed by Jean Benoit-Levy and Marie Epstein. This is a lovely film, a little unsophisticated and obvious in places but made very much in the right spirit. Protagonist Charles (nicknamed Peau de peche for his tendency to blush) is an orphan boy in Paris. Just like in Feyder's GRIBICHE he gains the trust of a wealthy lady when he hands back a piece of jewelry she has lost. But unlike in GRIBICHE she does not adopt him. Instead he ends up living on the farm of his cousin. Here he falls in love with the land and a girl.
The film consists of three rather distinct parts with different moods. The first part - set in the Paris streets - has the air of a sentimental comedy. As the pendulum of the boy's life swings between hope and despair it is his spirit that wins through in the end.
Once Charles arrives at his cousin's farm the mood changes to full-on pastoral. The film basically turns into one big Millet painting of French peasants tilling the sacred earth and being rewarded by "belles moissons" - beautiful harvests. From Millet the film follows a highly allegorical road to Abel Gance (with a little Käthe Kollwitz thrown in for good measure), as the cousin's son is killed in the war and the wooden crosses of war cemeteries are superimposed over the wheat growing in the fields. The war's harvest is anything but beautiful.
Finally we jump ten years ahead and see Charles in love, unhappily at first but ultimately successful. This part feels very much like one of Griffith's rural comedies.
What binds the parts together and what is emphasized once more at the end of the film is an allegorical message that the land and its cultivation are the soul of France and in this there lies the hope for a peaceful future. The film was released ten years before Germany's invasion of Poland would drag France into the next war.
I am a great fan of Lewis Grassic Gibbon's novel SUNSET SONG, published in 1932. I could not help but speculate if Gibbon had seen this film, as there are quite a few parallels here to his tale of rural Scotland.
This time Richard Siedhoff accompanied on his own, once again sensitively carrying and supporting the various moods.
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Re: Stummfilmtage Bonn 2017

PostWed Aug 16, 2017 6:29 am

Herzlichen Danke for your reports once again from the silent films at Bonn. I look forward to reading them each year. You give good detail and it is nearly as good as being there (but not quite :) )
Regards from
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Re: Stummfilmtage Bonn 2017

PostWed Aug 16, 2017 6:38 am

The feature was the German film DER ADJUTANT DES ZAREN (The Czar's Orderly) from 1929, a film that neither I nor any of my silent film buddies had ever heard of. This is a little strange, as DER ADJUTANT DES ZAREN is a big film with massive production value and stars Ivan Mosjukin.


Is that the silent version of Michael Strogoff?

The same producer apparently loved that story so much he made it four times, including twice (first in German, then in English) with Anton Walbrook. Silent footage of Mosjoukine is used as stock footage.

https://smile.amazon.com/Soldier-Lady-A ... 01N7QYTXX/
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Re: Stummfilmtage Bonn 2017

PostWed Aug 16, 2017 6:48 am

Mike Gebert wrote:
The feature was the German film DER ADJUTANT DES ZAREN (The Czar's Orderly) from 1929, a film that neither I nor any of my silent film buddies had ever heard of. This is a little strange, as DER ADJUTANT DES ZAREN is a big film with massive production value and stars Ivan Mosjukin.


Is that the silent version of Michael Strogoff?


No. It is a completely different story. I think the film's title deliberately alludes to the German title of that Jules Verne novel, which is Der Kurier des Zaren. Victor Tourjansky filmed a silent version of that in 1926 with Ivan Mosjukin in the title role.
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Re: Stummfilmtage Bonn 2017

PostWed Aug 16, 2017 2:14 pm

Arndt wrote:The Stummfilmtage have started. I missed the first few days, as I was still on holiday in Florida, where I had the great pleasure of meeting fellow-Nitratevillain Rick Lanham.
My festival started on Sunday afternoon with what I presume will be this year's highlight for me. Stefan Drößler, head of Munich Film Museum and one of the main organizers of the Stummfilmtage, talked at length about the Golem films of Paul Wegener. As always his lecture was an excellent mixture of fascinating facts and entertaining anecdotes, lavishly garnished with film clips that alone would warrant the coming. And as always Mr Drößler dropped a few bombshells that challenged received wisdom about the much-loved Golem films.
The 1914 film DER GOLEM is presumed lost, with the exception of two short clips, at least one of which (the smithy) has been haunting the web for some time. Mr Drößler went to Tokyo in search of an elusive copy presumed to be in the Japanese archives and fell out with people there by insisting they let him at it, only to discover that it had deteriorated beyond repair and most likely been destroyed. Then he found out that despite the First World War raging in Europe the film had actually been distributed in the US under the title MONSTER OF FATE. And then he found out that there was a copy of MONSTER OF FATE in the same Argentinian archive, on the self-same shelf that had yielded the long-lost Metropolis footage. It is only the second reel, but together with the previously-known clips, titles and stills Mr Drößler has now assembled a 24-minute version of the film. We had the privilege to see the premiere of this version, accompanied by Richard Siedhoff.
I had translated the screenplay, so I had a version of the film in my head. Inevitably the real thing is quite different. What struck me most is how modern DER GOLEM looks for a 1914 film. It is by no means a cheap, hoary version of the 1920 film but has stood the test of time rather well. Let's hope more reels of MONSTER OF FATE turn up.
The 1920 film DER GOLEM WIE ER IN DIE WELT KAM has long been available in a decent version thanks to a restoration in the 90s. Mr Drößler again challenged received wisdom and went back to the original materials only to discover that what the Bologna lab had used were not the best extant materials from the Milan archive but a lesser copy from Munich. He was able to show the difference by putting the materials side by side on the screen. So the Munich museum is now engaged in digitizing a much improved version of the film. For this Mr Drößler has painstakingly recreated the unique font used for the original intertitles. Definitely something to look forward to.
The lecture also dealt with the lost film DER GOLEM UND DIE TÄNZERIN and the presumably never made ALRAUNE UND DER GOLEM.


Hoping to see this - either on screen or via home video

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