This Thursday January 11th, I will be showing a super 8 Niles print of "The Joyless Street" (1925) Starring Greta Garbo, Werner Krauss, and Valeska Gert. Accompanying the film, will be the Bob Lee recording of Stuart Oderman playing the piano. This was transfered from reel tape to CD, by his son Don Lee.
"The Joyless Street" (German: Die freudlose Gasse, (1925), exhibited in the U.S. as The Street of Sorrow, in Britain as "The Joyless Street" a film based on the novel by Hugo Bettauer and directed by Georg Wilhelm Pabst in Germany, is one of the first films of the "New Objectivity“ movement. Greta Garbo stars in her second major role. The film is often described as a morality story in which the 'fallen woman' suffers for her sins, while the more virtuous is rewarded
Valeska Gert who played Frau Greifer in the film, who runs a fashion boutique and a nightclub, patronized by wealthy Viennese. Annexed to the nightclub is Merkl Hotel, a brothel to which the women of the nightclub bring their clients. Valeska, was a German Jewish dancer and cabaret artist. She was also active as an actress and artists' model. In 1938, she emigrated to the United States, where she was cared for by a Jewish refugee community. She found work washing dishes and posing as a nude model. This same year, she hired the 17-year-old Georg Kreisler as a rehearsal pianist to continue focus on cabaret work. By 1941, she had opened the Beggar Bar in New York. It was a cabaret/restaurant that was filled with mismatched furniture. Julian Beck, Judith Malina, and Jackson Pollock worked for her Tennessee Williams also worked for her for a short time as a busboy, but was fired for refusing to pool his tips. Gert commented that his work was "so sloppy"
By 1944, Gert had relocated to Provincetown, Massachusetts, where she opened Valeska's. Here, she reunited with Tennessee Williams. She told him stories of hiring a seventy-year-old midget named Mademoiselle Pumpernickel who became jealous whenever Gert went onstage. During this period, she was called to Provincetown court for throwing garbage out of her window and failing to pay a dance partner. She called upon Williams as a character witness, which he did with pleasure, despite her having fired him. He told incredulous friends that he "simply liked her"
All Films are shown on Reel Film, Thursday nights October through March at 7:30pm upstairs in the WOMR Davis Space at the Schoolhouse, 494 Commercial Street Provincetown (corner of Commercial & Howland St). There is a $5 suggested donation to help support community radio WOMR in the off season, and free popcorn will be provided courtesy of The Provincetown Inn.
Wine, Beer, and Soda are also available for donation, and WOMR Film Series T-Shirts available for $25 dollars too, designed by Ned Sontag.
Announcements of upcoming theatrical silent film exhibitions.