Wednesday, April 01, 1981

APRIL 1981, STOCKHOLM AND WEST BERLIN

Sumurun / Sumurun. DE 1920. D: Ernst Lubitsch. Filmklubben / Filmhuset. A dazzling print. Looks fantastic, but the story does not work so well.
The Tales of Hoffmann / Hoffmannin seikkailut. GB 1951. Powell & Pressburger. Jacques Offenbach. Fkl / Fh. Great, a phenomenological odyssey.
Anna Boleyn / Anna Boleyn. DE 1920. D: Ernst Lubitsch. Fkl / Fh. A full two-hour print, visual quality duped. A perfect production, but L. does not seem to have much to say.
Die Bergkatze / Vuorikissa. DE 1921. D: Ernst Lubitsch. Fkl / Fh. An 95 min presentation, visual quality tolerable. An absolute L. favourite of mine, Pola Negri in great comedy form.
Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari. Fkl /Fh. [3] After 10 years gets stronger, feels even topical. Conrad Veidt is unforgettable as the sleepwalker.
Das Weib des Pharao / Faaraon vaimo. DE 1922. D: Ernst Lubitsch. Fkl / Fh. A 65 min compilation of a two-hour film, with texts in missing sequences, visual quality brilliant. A great spectacle, but the story is banal.
Rosita / Rosita. US 1923. D: Ernst Lubitsch. Mary Pickford. Fkl / Fh. A 100 min presentation of a Russian-language print, apparently shortened, I found the visual quality bearable (?). I liked it more than Dubarry, Boleyn, and Pharao. The Toledo carneval: might Bakhtin have seen this? My first Mary Pickford movie.
The Marriage Circle / Avioliiton ilveilyä. US 1924. D: Ernst Lubitsch. Fkl / Fh. A 110 min presentation of an apparently complete version but with a gray, low-contrast image. The total change of tack. Instead of spectacle, there is a focus on the essentials. Monte Blue seemed too childish, Florence Vidor wonderful.
Fun in Acapulco / Rytmiä ja riemua Acapulcossa. US 1963. D: Richard Thorpe. Elvis Presley, Ursula Andress. tv. The former trapeze artists now suffers from acrophobia.
The Elephant Man / Elefanttimies. GB/US 1980. D: David Lynch. John Hurt, Anthony Hopkins. Grand. An impressive mise-en-scène. The burning gas everywhere. The monster is believably unbelievable.
The Red Shoes / Punaiset kengät. GB 1948. Powell & Pressburger. H.C. Andersen. Fkl / Fh. Andersen's idea has been elaborated in a way that brings to mind Thomas Mann. The tragedy of art, the affinity of art to death.
The Edge of the World. GB 1937. D: Michael Powell. Half-doc. Fkl / Fh. The island in the Atlantic, the incredible waves, apparently inspired by Flaherty.
The Lion Has Wings. GB 1939. D: Michael Powell, Brian Desmond Hurst, Adrian Brunel. Fkl / Fh. Restrained war propaganda in the British style. It is nice to spot Ian Fleming, who resembles Bernard Lee as M.
Cristo si è fermato a Eboli 1 / Kristus pysähty Eboliin 1. IT/FR 1979. D: Francesco Rosi. tv. I was not impressed by the first episode.
Hellzapoppin / Hullunmyllyssä. US 1941. D: H.C. Potter. Filmstaden. A comedy for pure laughter only.
Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Poison. US 1958. D: Alfred Hitchcock. Wendell Corey and the poisonous krait reptile.
Monsieur Verdoux / Ritari Siniparta. US 1947. D: Charles Chaplin. tv. Verdoux's wife is lame, as the City Lights girl was blind. The moment of truth when Verdoux tells Marilyn Nash about the great economic crash, how he woke up and realized that he had been living in a dream world. Fun with Martha Raye, the girl he could not put away (also the insatiable woman in Hellzapoppin). Horrible ironies, catharthic in the end. I found this greater than The Great Dictator and Limelight.
Sullivan's Travels / Nauru kahleiden takana. US 1941. D: Preston Sturges. Joel McCrea. Fkl / Fst. A parody of social consciousness in Hollywood.
Lady Windermere's Fan / Hänen suurin kiusauksensa. US 1925. D: Ernst Lubitsch. Fkl / Fh. A fine print, a 110 min presentation. One of the very greatest L. films. How tensions are built and how they are suddenly condensed in a single gesture.
The Thief of Bagdad / Bagdadin varas. GB 1940. D: Michael Powell, Ludwig Berger, Tim Whelan. Fkl / Fh. Maybe I was not in the right mood for this.
49th Parallel / Pako. GB 1941. D: Michael Powell. Fkl / Fh. A great thriller, taut like Hitchcock, yet original. A team of Nazis flees through Canada to the USA. The episodes grow into a cross section of Canada.
Engel aus Eisen. DE 1981. D: Thomas Brasch. Cinema Paris, West Berlin. Boring.
Vertigo
/ Vertigo - punainen kyynel. US 1958. D: Alfred Hitchcock. Thalia 2, West Berlin, 16mm. Before the official re-release it was possible to see Peter Vollmann's print of Vertigo in West Berlin, it was maybe 10 min shortened, but not jarringly, and the colour seemed right. For the first time, mind-blowing.

THE FIRST FILMS

De första filmerna. Filmklubben / Filmstaden 1 April 1981
...
Lumière ca 1895, ca 10 min:
La Sortie des usines
Le Repas de bébé
Démolition d'un mur
L'Arroseur arrosé
L'Arrivée des congressistes
L'Arrivée d'un train à la Ciotat
Partie d'écarté
Barque sortant du port
...
Méliès (wonderful colour prints):
Le Voyage à travers l'impossible (1904) [2]
Le Chaudron infernal (1907)
Le Locataire diabolique (1909
...
miserable prints:
A Corner in Wheat (1909, D.W. Griffith)
The Great Train Robbery (1903, Edwin S. Porter)
Rescued from an Eagle's Nest (1903, Porter, a laughable eagle)
...
Cops. Keaton [3]
The Immigrant. Chaplin [3]