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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Shattered-Scherben (1921) & Warning Shadows-Schatten (1923)

Shattered - Scherben (1921)

Post-World War I German cinema offered some strikingly stylized films, such as The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and The Golem. This stark tragedy, told with practically no subtitles, and with the characters often pantomiming instead of speaking to each other, could fit into the same category as the first two films, except it's nowhere near as successful creatively. The daughter (Edith Poska) of a track-walker (Werner Kraus) is raped by the section inspector. The girl's mother is so ashamed of her fate that she wanders into a storm and perishes. The track-walker finds his wife's body and prepares to bury her. The girl breaks down and tells her father what has happened. In a fit of anger he chokes the inspector to death, and then hands himself over to the authorities. Carl Mayer, who wrote Caligari, was also the author of this story. ~ Janiss Garza, Rovi

One of the key films of the German kammerspiel movement, this silent work chronicles the tragic repercussions of a furtive love affair between a railway worker's daughter (Edith Posca) and her father's supervisor (Werner Krauss). Subtitles in English.

Kammerspielfilm is a type of German film that offers an intimate, cinematic portrait of lower middle class life. The name derives from a theater, the Kammerspiele, opened in 1906 by a major stage director Max Reinhardt to stage intimate dramas for small audiences. Few Kammerspiel films were made, but nearly all are classics. Kammerspielfilme (the plural form) formed a German film movement of the 1920s silent film period that was developed around the same time as the more commonly known Expressionist movement in cinema. The Kammerspielfilm was known as the "chamber drama" as a result of the influence from the theatrical form of the chamber play. It is characterised by its focus on character psychology and its lack of intricate set design. Also, unlike Expressionist films, Kammerspielfilme seldom used intertitles to narrate the story.

Original Score, Brian Pinette

Stars: Werner Krauss, Edith Posca and Hermine Straßmann-Witt
Director: Lupu Pick
Writers: Carl Mayer, Lupu Pick
Production Co: Rex-Film GmbH ... Country: Germany
Language: German (English intertitles) ... Release Date: 27 May 1921 (Germany) Also Known As: Shattered
Running time: 61 min

2 German Silent films gems on 1 DVD

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