In September 1924, a first showing of Carl Theodor Dreyer’s Michael elicited thunderous applause from the audience in Berlin. 82 years later, on 11 February 2006, the Retrospective will premiere a newly restored version of the film at the Volksbühne am Rosa Luxemburg Platz on occasion of the 56th Berlinale. The screening will be accompanied by music performed by the “ensembleKONTRASTE” under the direction of Pierre Oser.
With Michael, Dreyer brilliantly staged a story of love and passion, power and intrigue. The relationship of painter Claude Zoret (Benjamin Christensen) to Michael (Walter Slezak) reflects the complexity of inspiration and dependency between master and muse, father and foster son. With the arrival of Princess Zamikoff (Nora Gregor), a ménage à trois begins involving power, deceit and loneliness.
Michael is adapted from a novel of the same name by the homosexual writer Herman Bang, whose “shimmering impressionism” (Thomas Mann) is considered a highlight of Danish narrative art at the turn of the 20th century.
With this screening, the Retrospective continues its successful collaboration with the Volksbühne. The Danish Film Institute, which was in charge of the restoration, and the Friedrich-Wilhelm-Murnau-Stiftung are also partners in this event.
The Retrospective is also showing Zur Chronik von Grieshuus (At the Grey House – A Romance of the Moors) by Arthur von Gerlach (Germany, 1923-25) on February 10 at CinemaxX 8. This silent film was restored by the Friedrich-Wilhelm-Murnau-Stiftung in collaboration with the Bundesarchiv-Filmarchiv.
Guests and Events for this year’s Retrospective
Swedish actress Harriet Andersson became a cult figure for an entire generation over night with her role as Monika in Ingmar Bergman’s Sommaren med Monika (Summer with Monika - 1952/53). In 2005 Swedish journalist Jan Lumholdt published a book of interviews with Harriet Andersson. On February 13 they will both be the guests of the Filmmuseum Berlin and talk about the star’s outstanding career.
Talks and discussions on film will be held at the Filmmuseum at 6 pm daily. A highlight of these will be a panel discussion on this year’s Retrospective publication. Elisabeth Bronfen and Claudia Lenssen – two of the 23 women writers who contributed to the Retro-book “Traumfrauen. Stars im Film der Fünfziger Jahre” – will speak on the presentation of femininity in American and European cinema of the 1950s.
- A lecture by Marisa Buovolos on “Film and Fashion”: it will cover dramaturgical, aesthetic and psychological aspects of body and costume. In partnership with the “film-dienst”.
Four events will call attention to new books and DVDs:
- Hans Helmut Prinzler will speak with Volker Noth, editor of a book filled with photos of Berlin’s cinemas and their neighbourhoods: “Kinos. Berlin um die Ecke und Entdeckungen unterwegs”.
- Two outstanding examples of non-commercial DVD editions will be presented: a scholarly edition of Metropolis and the DVD “Marshall Plan Films”.
- A three-volume work edited by Peter Zimmermann and published by Reclam on the history of documentary film in Germany – “Geschichte des dokumentarischen Films in Deutschland 1895–1945 – will be presented together with a programme of films at CinemaxX 8. In partnership with the Haus des Dokumentarfilms in Stuttgart.
The Instituto di Cultura Italiano di Berlino is dedicating an exhibition to one of the Retrospective’s “Traumfrauen”: “Ciao Anna! – Hommage an Anna Magnani”. It will show private photos, shots from rehearsals and stills from her successful films.
For more information about events at the Filmmuseum Berlin and films of the Retrospective go to: www.filmmuseum-berlin.de and www.berlinale.de
Press screenings for the Retrospective will be held on January 23 and 24.
January 19, 2006