Tartuffe (1925, F.W. Murnau)

A reminder, if needed, of how rigorous the film-maker can be (even more so than the theatre director, the musician, the novelist, no matter how unlikely the nature of his medium may make that seem). Moliere’s words are necessarily forsaken in an adaptation of his work during the silent era, but no matter for Murnau … Continue reading Tartuffe (1925, F.W. Murnau)

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Destiny (Der Mude Tod), Fritz Lang, 1921

In writing about a film like Lang’s one must succumb, for better or worse, to a cliché that has been in existence since shortly after F.W. Murnau released Sunrise, and it became clear that in those celluloid strips containing the look on Janet Gaynor’s face and the way the camera followed her down the frantic … Continue reading Destiny (Der Mude Tod), Fritz Lang, 1921

500 (or so) words on the World according to Fassbinder: Lola (1981, Rainer Werner Fassbinder)

Lola is Fassbinder in overdrive (“in the red” as star Armin Mueller-Stahl put it, although he seems to have forgotten about the blue his character is always clad in and which sums up the duality and the wildness of this film too). This film is not the fabled critic’s cliché of an “explosion of colour”, … Continue reading 500 (or so) words on the World according to Fassbinder: Lola (1981, Rainer Werner Fassbinder)

People On Sunday (Robert Siodmak and Edgar G Ulmer, 1930)

Directed by Robert Siodmak and Edgar G Ulmer, written by Curt Siodmak and Billy (or Billie) Wilder, shot by Edgar Schufftan and Fred Zinnemann, all while they were still young Berliners. People on Sunday is an act of democracy from a country about to plunge into the depths of something much darker. It is a … Continue reading People On Sunday (Robert Siodmak and Edgar G Ulmer, 1930)