Tag Archives: cinema of Germany

A rainbow of silent film

Regular readers will have noticed that things have been pretty quiet around Silents, Please! for the last year or so. Partly, this was because I channelled a lot of energy into researching, writing and drawing my Feminist Media Histories article: a very … Continue reading

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Varieté at the NZIFF: An interview with composer Johannes Contag

Varieté (also known as Variety, Vaudeville and Jealousy) is one of the most prominent works of the Weimar cinema. Directed by E. A. Dupont for UFA in 1925, it is as famous for Karl Freund’s freewheeling cinematography as for the … Continue reading

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Book review: “The Film Explainer” by Gert Hofmann

My grandfather Karl Hofmann (1873-1944) worked for many years in the Apollo cinema on the Helenenstrasse in Limbach/Saxony. I knew him towards the end of his life, with his artist’s hat, his walking stick, his broad gold wedding ring that … Continue reading

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The film star performing the film star: Asta Nielsen in Die Filmprimadonna (DE 1913)

“Lower the flags in her honour; she is incomparable and without peer.” So wrote early film theorist Béla Balázs of Asta Nielsen in his 1924 book Der Sichtbare Mensch (The Visible Man). It is well-known that Nielsen was one of the first international … Continue reading

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Double trouble: Die falsche Asta Nielsen | The False Asta Nielsen (DE 1915)

Die falsche Asta Nielsen is a film that, barring a miracle, I will never see: no copies are known to exist. It’s a great shame, because it looks like a lot of fun! Asta in a double role, a comedy … Continue reading

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Asta Nielsen’s Hamlet (DE 1921)

What if Hamlet was actually … a woman? That is the central premise of the 1921 film adaptation of Shakespeare’s play, starring Asta Nielsen in the role of Prince Hamlet. The concept is drawn from an 1881 publication, The Mystery … Continue reading

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Das Liebes-ABC | The ABC of Love (DE 1916)

Asta Nielsen: great actress, or greatest actress? She’s by far one of my favourite things about the silent era. Much has been written about her vitality, her versatility, and her charisma, so I won’t belabour the point – but it … Continue reading

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