Classics Of German Cinema: 1920-1943

21/05/2007
  |  Buy to Own: 21/05/2007
  |  450 min
Rated TBC by the BBFC

Synopsis

Collection of German films from the Weimar Republic era. An important historical document primarily for the times in which they were made, these films are also important for the peculiarly German design of the sets and lighting which contributed greatly to the expressionistic style that would become a German trademark. Also worthy of note is that the film industry was largely populated by Jewish artists and directors at a time when they must surely have had more on their minds than making art. 'Der Golem' (1920) is a dramatisation of a Yiddish folk tale in which a clay monster is tamed by love. In 'Das Cabinet Des Dr. Cagliari' (1920), a young couple meet the sinister Dr Cagliari at a fair. He presents Césare - a somnambulist who can see the future. Alan asks jauntily how long he has to live and Césare answers 'till dawn'... In 'Asphalt' (1929), a young woman who has stolen a precious stone seduces the policeman sent to arrest her. 'The Blue Angel' (1930) sees a professor go into a speakeasy to roust his wayward pupils. He there meets a dancer 'Lola Lola' (Marlene Dietrich) with whom he becomes besotted. Finally, 'Munchausen' (1943) is a fantasy adventure way ahead of its time. It follows the life of Baron Hieronymus von Münchhausen who'd been granted immortality by a sorcerer some 200 years previously. He recounts to a group of friends tales of his travels through Russia, his encounter with a man who could run more than 200 mph, and a ring he was given which would make him invisible. His story culminates in his recounting a trip to the moon where he meets headless plant people. The film would be re-made by Hollywood in 1988.