Lewis Milestone directing Corinne Griffith and Charles Ray in The Garden of Eden

July 2–9, 2005

Few, if any, film festivals can match the extraordinary range of material on offer at Bologna’s Cinema Ritrovato, now in its 19th year as the leading showcase for film restoration. From an actuality of the Champs–Elysées circa 1898 to the director’s cut of Heaven’s Gate (1980), encompassing comedy shorts from 1905, Third Reich musicals and Phil Karlson’s 1958 Cinemascope Western Gunman’s Walk, this year’s festival opened up so many avenues of inquiry that the very multiplicity of options made the head spin. To view episodes two and three of the Louis Feuillade serial Tih-Minh (1918) meant missing Hugo Haas’ rarely screened Czech film Bilá Nemoc (1937); does one catch Lewis Milestone’s The Racket (1928), or instead Betsy Blair presenting I Delfini (Francesco Maselli, 1960)? Hard choices, when all of them are worth viewing.

Opening night brought together several of this year’s themes, with the screening of Battleship Potemkin (Sergei Eisenstein, 1925), beautifully restored under the guidance of Enno Patalas and with Edmund Meisel’s original score for the 1926 Berlin debut performed by Helmut Imig and the Orchestra del Teatro Comunale Bologna (Imig also presented the score at this year’s Berlin Film Festival). With 15 more shots than previously available prints, this reconstructed Potemkin is unquestionably the current definitive version.

Battleship Potemkin

The restoration of Eisenstein’s first true masterpiece conveniently coincides with the 100th anniversary of the Potemkin mutiny itself, tying together Bologna’s themes of recent restorations with an extensive program of films from 1905, curated by Mariann Lewinsky. Kicking off the latter investigation was the bonne-bouche before Potemkin, Lucien Nonguet’s Les Événements d’Odessa, part of a topical series of reconstructions headed “La révolution en Russie” about the breaking news coming from the Tsarist front. Shot in July 1905, just one month following the actual mutiny, the short, recently restored by the Finnish Film Archive and running circa five minutes, is a fascinating look at how contemporary events were turned into quickly potted tales for an international market. (1)

In eight programs fitted into seven mornings, Mariann Lewinsky presented a series of films, most exactly one hundred years old, divided into thematic categories such as “Time and narrative”, “Bodies”, etc. Not all films originally announced were in sufficiently good condition to be screened, so the program differed somewhat from the printed catalogue; Lewinsky chose not to be straitjacketed by the year 1905, selecting some films from the years immediately before or after if they suited the theme and spirit of the year. The range was remarkable, and the concept of highlighting films from 100 years ago (also done at last year’s festival, i.e. 1904/2004), is an invaluable means of investigating the cinematic Petri dish of those early days, when the whole concept of motion pictures was in a state of nascent flux.

Among the works worth singling out, Le Raid Paris-Monte Carlo en deux heures, besides an excellent example of Georges Méliès’ oeuvre, also contains what is probably the first cameo appearance on film, in the guise of music hall performer Harry “Little Tich” Relph, sufficiently famous at the time to dispense with any explanatory intertitle. (2) Other delights included the Pathé Le Déjeuner du savant, in which a hungry scientist scrutinises his would-be lunch under a microscope, only to dejectedly fall back on a piece of bread as the only comestible safe enough to eat, and the extraordinarily vulgar (albeit hilarious) Erreur de porte (Ferdinand Zecca, 1904), a piquant scrap of toilet humour. Also worth mentioning was the screening of two versions (one and three) of Rescued by Rover (Lewin Fitzhamon), placed side by side by the BFI and projected in a form of Cinemascope, enabling the viewer to instantaneously see the differences between the two versions that were filmed a few months apart.

World War II propaganda formed a major theme this year, in an expertly curated section that easily formed a festival on its own. Indeed, so extensive (though by no means exhaustive) was the selection that any interest in other programs necessarily excluded a number of the films in this section. I reluctantly missed Swedish, Russian, British, Hungarian and American features, shorts, and documentaries/newsreels. The usefulness of the organisers’ global approach cannot be overestimated, and should serve as a guideline for what I hope will be future retrospectives along similar lines.

Within the wartime series was the subsection “Singing in the War”, comprising a selection of wartime musicals (although at least one title in the section doesn’t quite fall into the musical genre). It’s debatable whether Lady in the Dark (Mitchell Leisen, 1944) was the wisest choice to make as the sole representative of American wartime musicals, but the German selections unquestionably fit the bill. Studies on Third Reich cinema have multiplied exponentially in the last ten years, and we’ve come a long way from the days when so-called “entertainment” pictures were considered too lacking in propagandistic content to warrant inclusion in serious studies. Karsten Witte, one of the pioneers of the current school of thought on Nazi films, cogently explored the values of the musical to the fascist regime:

Whenever production values decline, propaganda values gain in visibility. Rather than being lamented as degrading of the beautiful to the political – which is what is ultimately meant by the talk about the aestheticization of politics – this process should be criticized as decadence of the political, which conquers dreamlike territories of utopia in the musical and the revue film. (3)

Written with the assistance of none other than Goebbels himself, Wunschkonzert (Request Concert) (Eduard von Borsody, 1940) “provides an idealized self-portrait of National Socialism’s society of spectacle.” (4) Taking the enormously popular radio program “Wunschkonzert” as its focus, the film ties together the German homefront to the fighting soldiers on the battlefields, beginning in the exuberantly optimistic days of the 1936 Berlin Olympics and then jumping ahead to the more difficult realities of the early War years (although the Germans could still be optimistic in 1940). Through the requests sent in to the popular entertainers on the radio, a connection was established between mother and son, or husband and wife, which connected all of Germany into an über-front of hopeful expectation. (5)

Zarah Leander in Die große Liebe

Things are slightly less optimistic two long war years later, in Die große Liebe (The Great Love) (Rolf Hansen, 1942), when the armies weren’t always triumphant, and the homefront was increasingly subjected to air raids: “The Great Love must be seen as an immediate reaction to these political events and the public’s pessimistic response to them. The increase in public rhetoric advocating the value of sacrifice and the postponement of private happiness that accompanied the expanding war effort thus established the melodramatic conflicts driving the story.” (6) Starring the Third Reich’s most accomplished diva, Zarah Leander, the film follows the painful partings necessitated by the War when songstress Hanna Holberg falls for a handsome Luftwaffe pilot (Viktor Staal). It’s a film determined to portray the necessities of the kind of stiff upper lip made famous by their Anglo-Saxon cousins across the Channel (Goebbels longed for a Teutonic version of Mrs. Miniver): Hanna might be leading a rousing chorus of “Davon geht die Welt nicht unter” (“It’s Not the End of the World”) for the appreciative troops in occupied Paris, but she hasn’t quite come to that realisation herself. At the end of Die große Liebe, once Hanna accepts that she must play second fiddle to the Fatherland and patiently accept her lover’s long absences (he’s off bombing England), she can sing “Ich weiß, es wird einmal ein Wunder geschehn” (7) (“I Know a Miracle Will Happen Some Day”) and speak to the hearts of the millions of German women who also hoped for that miracle, a safely returned loved one and the end of the War. It’s hard to fathom how David Stewart Hull found the propaganda content of Die große Liebe “negligible”. (8)

The cult of Zarah Leander has survived intact and healthy, both in Germany and abroad. The Filmmuseum Potsdam recently hosted an exhibition, and the extraordinary website, created by Paul Seiler, is testimony to the sultry contralto’s hold, a fitting slap in the face to those who still think of her as a cut-rate Dietrich. Antje Ascheid has what I believe to be the best discussion of her career and its manifold contradictions, and her reading of Die große Liebe is well worth quoting:

The Great Love is the only Leander film that attempted to use her image for specifically propagandistic purposes. Not only does Hanna Holberg eventually abandon her career, thereby deferring to the demands of patriarchy, she does so without the alternative promise of ensuing marital bliss, thus conceding the additional requirements of war. Rather, the narrative teaches Hanna to accept pain and suffering as an inevitable burden, which must be carried with a sense of optimism and the determination to “keep going” no matter what: for the plot to achieve its (un)happy resolution, the responsibility to change rests on Hanna alone. (9)

Where Leander had talent, Marika Rökk had enthusiasm, and not much else. Despite a desire to emulate her idols Eleanor Powell and Ginger Rogers, Rökk remained perhaps the clumsiest-looking musical star of her period (if not beyond) – I can think of no other performer who consistently looks like she’ll topple over in the middle of a tap routine. And yet she too was a major star in the Third Reich’s firmament, represented in Bologna by the Agfacolor musical Die Frau meiner Träume (Georg Jacoby, 1944). Like Leander, Rökk plays an entertainer, but here she’s not so much giving up her man to the cause but chipperly pulling through and finding love despite the rations. Conceived much more as pure escapist entertainment (most Germans knew they were losing the War by ’44), the film can still tell us about both the mindset of the time and the propagandistic uses made of such superficial (though eminently enjoyable) productions. Picking up on Karsten Witte’s discussion of revue films, Eva-Maria Warth successfully argues:

Theories of the film musical which attempt to characterize the “entertainment” film in terms of a distinction between films with a realistic and those with an “escapist” relationship to reality seem, however, to depend upon a rather simplistic notion of mimesis. Although the sets and décor of film musicals seem to invite interpretations in terms of an alternative world…the effects of the film [Die Frau meiner Träume] are derived not so much from its distance from the lived world, but precisely from the way in which the film draws on and reworks the viewers’ actual experiences of everyday life in the real world of wartime Germany. (10)

The print screened at the festival was not the announced print from the Cinemateca Portuguesa, which was not in a condition to travel, but a mediocre print from Wiesbaden; the Gosfilmofond’s superior print will be used to make a restored version. Then perhaps we’ll be able to fully appreciate, in pristine, gloriously saturated Agfacolor, the Busby Berkeley inspired numbers that “certainly represent the zenith of all German musical comedy in the Nazi era.” (11)

Placing Stukas (Karl Ritter, 1940–41) in the musicals section is a bit of a cheat, as pilots singing “we are the black Hussars of the skies” in a final sequence as they merrily fly off to bomb England doesn’t really qualify it for the “musical” genre. Still, there’s no denying the importance of music in the film, nor its unabashed propaganda, which lead Cadars and Courtade to label it “the perfect illustration of the love of war… a martial operetta, in which the roaring of the squadrons and the exploding bombs provide the refrain.” (12) Though Ritter was one of the master propagandists for the regime, in Stukas he does not demonstrate the skills of a Hans Steinhoff. The film is unquestionably tedious for the first hour, never developing character and consequently never allowing the audience to attach itself to anyone on screen. But this is precisely what Ritter was after: “My movies deal with the unimportance of the individual. They contain this idea: All that is personal must be given up.” (13)

Only in the last 20 minutes or so does Stukas shake the viewer out of torpidity, when a nurse hits on the perfect idea to re-inspire her demoralised charge: take him to Bayreuth! There in the stalls, as the strains of Siegfried penetrate into his war-fatigued brain, he rises as one possessed by the spirit of the Fatherland, and without remaining for the rest of the opera, he rushes back to his base, only too happy to join his comrades as they take off for the tempting targets of London and Coventry.

Ritter’s statement “…the individual’s fate only has meaning when it can be placed at the service of the community, whereupon it becomes part of a people and nation” (14) could just as easily apply to some of the films coming out of Japan during the same period. Bologna screened Moyuru Ozora (Flaming Sky/Burning Sky) (Abe Yutaka, 1940), another film about wartime pilots which takes the abnegation of self in support of country to a fetishistic high. In his groundbreaking history of Japanese films of the period, Peter B. High discusses the transition the industry underwent: “As the Pacific War approached…, even constrained depictions of humanness of individual soldiers came under fire. The new Nazi war films, with their open disavowal of the worth of the individual, were often adopted as the standards of excellence….” (15) High also discusses the influences of American air force films, which continued to be released in Japan into late 1941.

The version screened in Bologna, on Beta, was of a lousy quality but with a fascinating pedigree: the transfer was made from an Italian subtitled version (Aquile del Giappone [Eagles of Japan]) sent by the Japanese government to their Italian fascist allies as a way of familiarising Mussolini’s subjects with the ways of the Children of the Rising Sun. While not every line of dialogue is translated, there are explanatory subtitles when events take a turn that might be perceived as peculiar to an Italian audience: hence when a fallen pilot’s body is incinerated, the subtitle reads “The Japanese cremate their dead.” I was very much struck by the appropriation of the traditional Scottish folksong “Comin’ Thro’ the Rye”, which the pilots sing, with Japanese words, three times in the film.

Marie-Louise Fock in Sellaisena Kuin Sinä Minut Halusit

If ever a director cries out for multinational research, it’s Abe Yutaka, whose list of wartime propaganda films includes Ano Hata wo Ute (Shoot that Flag/Dawn of Freedom) (1943), which used POWs, including Americans, as extras. Between c. 1915 and c. 1921 Abe was in Hollywood pursuing a career as an actor under the name Jack Abbe, or Jack Yutaka Abbe. Credits include an unbilled part in The Cheat (Cecil B. DeMille, 1915), and three years later he was starring in Frank Borzage’s Who’s to Blame (1918), as well as the anti-German film Mystic Faces (E. Mason Hooper, 1918).

To finish off films seen in the World War II propaganda section, mention must be made of the extraordinary Finnish melodrama Sellaisena Kuin Sinä Minut Halusit (The Way You Wanted Me) (Teuvo Tulio, 1944), in which Marie-Louise Fock, looking like an overweight Anna Sten with Madge Bellamy eye makeup and Joan Crawford lips, is dragged down the sordid path from innocent country girl to kept woman to cheap whore, all the while shot as if she’s Hedy Lamarr. The Finnish Film Archive has announced a 16 DVD collection of Finnish melodramas, with English subtitles, which will go a long way in opening up a chapter in that country’s film production that has apparently been unjustly neglected by the international community.

Still within a propaganda section, the First World War was not ignored. While some might argue that Abel Gance’s 1938 version of J’Accuse! is the superior one, his earlier, 1919 film contains a rawness, coming so soon after the Armistice, that carries an unshakable power. As soldiers write home from the water-logged trenches, intertitles quote from Lettres d’un soldat, blending fiction and non-fiction in a singularly moving way. Worth mentioning here is Verdun, Visions d’histoire (Léon Poirier, 1928), which combines actuality footage with fiction to create a powerful look at the battle. (16) Also screened was the exciting spy film The False Faces (Irvin V. Willat, 1919), in which an evil Lon Chaney battles Henry B. Walthall for possession of important government secrets that will help the Allies win the War. The Ince-trained Willat is an underrated director whose hard-punching films, difficult to see, deserve further study. (17) The festival inexplicably chose to screen an incomplete print from the Cinémathèque Française lasting 82 minutes, when a 97 minute version, with beautiful original art titles, exists and was released by Grapevine Video in 1999.

Rounding off this section, Stanley Kubrick’s great anti-war film Paths of Glory (1957) looked spectacular in its gorgeous newly restored print, projected on a monumental screen in Bologna’s Piazza Maggiore. There was something eminently satisfying about hearing the tenor tones of Adolphe Menjou’s mellifluous speaking voice bouncing off the medieval façades, his timbre echoing across the square in a more enveloping way than the other actors. Unfortunately, the festival chose to experiment as a coda to the Kubrick work by pairing the moving actuality footage En dirigeable sur les champs de bataille. Première partie: de Nieuport à Mont Kemmel (1918) with two electronic music DJs; the results, turning the war-scarred Flemish countryside into mere background to a discotheque, was nothing short of obscene.

Many today find it difficult to understand the enormous popularity of the French comic André Deed, better known by his character names Boireau and Cretinetti. An eccentric comedian forever stuck in a world of bad-boy childish pranks ill-suited to an adult playing with all his marbles (hence his monikers, including “Foolshead”), the opinion of The Moving Picture World in 1909, re. Cretinetti ficcanaso, to some degree still holds true today: “…the accidents are a bit too numerous. They get tiresome before they [sic] finished.” (18) At his best, such as in Come fu che l’ingordigia rovinò il natale a Cretinetti (1910), in which he wreaks such havoc in Heaven that God himself has to intervene, Deed is a sprightly mischief maker forever on the go. Film historian Jean Gili, in his just published monograph, has done an extraordinary job piecing together Deed’s difficult-to-trace career, uncovering a wealth of information on the troubled production history of the fascinating L’uomo meccanico (Deed, 1921), and even discovering Deed’s death date. (19)

One of Deed’s last big-title projects, although his is a secondary role, was the ten-part serial Taô (Gaston Ravel, 1923), undoubtedly one of the great pleasures of this year’s festival. With its far-flung settings of Indochina (filmed at the Marseilles Exposition Coloniale), West Africa and France, the serial can’t compete in sophistication with Louis Feuillade, but it has plentiful thrills and cliffhangers, plus a sense of overall fun that’s hard to knock.

Jeanne Rollette in Louis Feuillade's Tih-Minh

Unquestionably a superior serial however is Feuillade’s Tih-Minh, screened in all twelve episodes. Bologna’s dedication to the silent serial has been one of its greatest contributions, and Tih-Minh is a delight, chock full of plot twists and clever devices, “oriental” mysteries, and dastardly potions. (20) Surely among Hergé’s numerous cinematic influences for Tintin, Tih-Minh played a part. Both Taô and Tih-Minh share a star in the half-French, half-Vietnamese Mary Harald, an actress whose career would make an interesting journey of discovery. (21)

Lewis Milestone’s silents, though showered with praise by contemporaries, have been difficult to assess; the Festival gathered four of them, including the silent version of All Quiet on the Western Front (1930). The other three titles, Two Arabian Knights (1927), The Garden of Eden (1928) and The Racket (1928) only exist in fine-grain prints, so they were screened on DVD in versions produced by Flicker Alley (with bombastic recorded orchestral accompaniment by Robert Israel). Howard Hughes was the very young producer on the first and third titles – rights problems are holding up DVD sales, but The Garden of Eden is available, and it’s a charmer, with an eyebrow-raising lesbian characterisation by Maude George. The Racket, generally considered the first American gangster picture, especially deserves to be more widely seen (provided the Israel score is ditched), and its hard-boiled cynicism remains a powerful statement on the inescapable grasp of political corruption. Flicker Alley was also involved in the restoration of James Cruze’s fascinating The Mating Call (1928).

A quick overview of other featured restorations can start with the groundbreaking Asta Nielsen Afgrunden (Peter Urban Gad, 1910), now thanks to the Danske Filmmuseum digitally restored and containing a slightly longer version of the famous erotic dance sequence. The great Nielsen was also represented with the recently discovered Im Lebenswirbel (Heinz Schall, 1916); every missing film unearthed is reason for celebration, but a Nielsen film is especially cause for rejoicing.

Gloria Swanson, Rudolph Valentino, Elinor Glyn and Sam Wood on the set of Beyond the Rocks. Photo: Milestone Film & Video

The Nederlands Filmmuseum’s Biennal this past April premiered several titles making an appearance in Bologna, including Im Lebenswirbel, but the biggest publicity was reserved for their discovery of the Gloria Swanson and Rudolph Valentino starrer Beyond the Rocks (Sam Wood, 1922). (22) While not the great work some were unreasonably hoping for, it has numerous fine moments and Valentino’s performance in particular is sensitively drawn, more along the lines of his work with Rex Ingram (though Wood was no Ingram). Donald Sosin’s excellent accompaniment helped to exorcise the anachronistic Henny Vrienten score that premiered in Amsterdam (and Cannes); it is to be hoped that Milestone’s DVD release will offer a choice of musical tracks.

While certainly more specialised, the rediscovery in Vienna of the first Serbian feature, Karadjordje (Ilija Stanojevi, 1911) is noteworthy in helping to fill in the gaps of our knowledge of Balkan film. (23) A much better known example of Slavic cinema, Lev Kuleshov’s Po Zakonu (Dura Lex) (1926), looked great but to my mind failed to live up to its critical reputation. (24) Not so La Coquille et le clergyman (1928) in a breathtaking print (also premiered at the Nederlands Filmmuseum Biennial), with a splendid piano accompaniment by Donald Sosin. For too long Germaine Dulac’s groundbreaking work was only available in worn out versions, so seeing it on the giant screen in Bologna was a wonderful opportunity to appreciate the avant-garde masterpiece all over again.

Other silents worth mentioning in pristine copies were Broken Blossoms (D.W. Griffith, 1919), with a lovely score composed and conducted by Gabriel Thibaudeau, Fritz Lang’s bravura thriller Spione (1928), and the moving German-influenced Japanese Jujiro (Crossways) (Teinosuke Kinugasa, 1928). (25) Most certainly not screened in a praiseworthy print was the extraordinary British silent The Woman He Scorned (Paul Czinner, 1929), shown in Bologna under one of its many alternate titles, The Way of Lost Souls. Presented as a tribute to Raymond Borde of the Cinémathèque de Toulouse, the print was an inferior, battered version which is especially unfortunate considering a ravishing, longer print from the National Film and Television Archive in London was shown at Nottingham’s British Silent Cinema Festival just this past April. (26) Bologna’s decision to show it with the dreadful Fred Elizalde synchronised score slapped on when the producers feared that no one would go see a film in 1929 unless it could boast some kind of sound, was deeply unfortunate. As an example of Czinner’s artistry it’s hard to beat, and boasts one of Pola Negri’s finest moments: her swaggering performance in an extended bar sequence is nothing short of riveting, highlighting her uncanny sense of acting within three-dimensional space, even when the camera only focuses on her back.

Edna Purviance in A Woman of Paris

Among the showcased talkies, Paramount’s pre-Code The Wiser Sex (Berthold Viertel, 1932) features possibly Melvyn Douglas’ most colourless performance. Still, any chance to see Claudette Colbert and Lilyan Tashman should be grabbed, and the two women obviously had great fun playing off one another. The print of John Stahl’s lovely When Tomorrow Comes (1939), from the Cinémathèque Royale de Belgique and itself edited from a positive nitrate held by Gosfilmofond, appeared to be incomplete and was certainly considerably battered, but Stahl’s magic hand with Irene Dunne and Charles Boyer still managed to come through. Much better looking was the gloriously restored Jacques Tati marvel Mon oncle (1958), shown in its rarely seen English language version. Words, however, are really almost beside the point in Tati’s films – much like the voice of Charlie Brown’s schoolteacher in the “Peanuts” specials, intonations are enough to further along the visual hilarity.

Finally, the concluding film: Chaplin’s A Woman of Paris (1923), magnificently restored as part of Bologna’s “Chaplin Project” and with a perfect orchestral accompaniment, based on Chaplin’s compositions, by Timothy Brock. The Cineteca del Comune di Bologna is intimately involved with the Chaplin estate in restoring all of the comic genius’ films (this year a number of the Keystone shorts were screened, which will soon be available on a DVD to be released by the BFI), not to mention their exemplary work in making available a wealth of archival material. A preview of some of the papers to be given at the Charles Chaplin Conference, held in London just after the Cinema Ritrovato Festival (21–24 July), gave an idea of the terrific scholarship that appears to be reinvigorated by this exemplary Project. (27)


  1. For an analysis of La Révolution en Russie, see Alain Lacasse, Sonia Lemelin, and André Michaud, “La Révolution en Russie: Fiche signalétique/Découpage technique” in Pierre Guibbert, (ed.), Les Premiers Ans du cinéma français, Institut Jean Vigo, Perpignan, 1985. For a discussion of historical reconstructions and a comparison between the Nonguet and Eisenstein films, see Daniel Gerould, “Historical Simulation and Popular Entertainment. The Potemkin Mutiny from Reconstructed Newsreel to Black Sea Stunt Men,” TDR, vol. 33, no. 2, summer 1989, pp. 161–184. However, Gerould was analysing a shorter print of the Nonguet that runs only 2 1/2 minutes.
  2. Frank Scheide presented the cinema legacy of Little Tich at the British Silent Cinema festival in Nottingham this past April. Until a publication of the proceedings is available, the program notes can be downloaded from http://www.britishsilentcinema.com/2005_programme_notes.php.
  3. Karsten Witte, “Visual Pleasure Inhibited: Aspects of the German Revue Film,” New German Critique, nos 24–25, fall–winter 1981–82, p. 256. The article also contains a fine comparison between Die große Liebe and For Me and My Gal (Busby Berkeley, 1942).
  4. Eric Rentschler, The Ministry of Illusion: Nazi Cinema and its Afterlife, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, 1996, p. 21.
  5. For an especially balanced analysis of Wunschkonzert, see Jo Fox, Filming Women in the Third Reich, Berg, Oxford, 2000, pp. 79–91. Her discussion comes as a welcome relief after the jargon filled hyper-analysis of Linda Schulte-Sasse, who even interprets the Olympic Stadium: “With its solidity and concave shape, the stadium symbolizes a seemingly paradoxical containment and ecstatic dissolution (Entgrenzung) within contained boundaries, thus allowing each individual to merge ‘safely’ with the whole.” Linda Schulte-Sasse, Entertaining the Third Reich. Illusions of Wholeness in Nazi Cinema, Duke University Press, Durham, 1996, p. 293.
  6. Antje Ascheid, Hitler’s Heroines. Stardom and Womanhood in Nazi Cinema, Temple University Press, Philadelphia, 2003, pp. 198–99.
  7. Ironically, the lyrics for both songs were written by Leander’s friend Bruno Balz (1902–1988) while in a Gestapo prison. Klaus Kreimeier, The Ufa Story: A History of Germany’s Greatest Film Company, 1918–1945, Hill and Wang, New York, 1996, p. 317.
  8. David Stewart Hull, Film in the Third Reich. A Study of German Cinema 1933–1945, University of California Press, Berkeley, 1969, p. 248. For further discussion of Die große Liebe, see Mary-Elizabeth O’Brien, “The Spectacle of War in Die große Liebe” in Robert C. Riemer (ed.), Cultural History Through a National Socialist Lens: Essays on the Cinema of the Third Reich, Camden House, Rochester, NY, 2000, pp. 197–213.
  9. Ascheid, pp. 199–200.
  10. Eva-Maria Warth, “The Reconceptualisation of Women’s Roles in War-Time National Socialism: An Analysis of Die Frau meiner Träume” in Brandon Taylor and Wilfried van der Will (eds), The Nazification of Art: Art, Design, Music, Architecture and Film in the Third Reich, The Winchester Press, Winchester, 1990, p. 222.
  11. Pierre Cadars, Francis Courtade, Le Cinéma Nazi, Eric Losfeld, Paris, 1972, p. 246 [my translation]. A small exhibition on Marika Rökk ran at the Filmmuseum Berlin until 4 September 2005, selected from the quantity of material she left to the museum on her death in 2004. Unfortunately, there is no catalogue or checklist.
  12. Cadars, Courtade, pp. 209–10 [my translation].
  13. Quoted in John Altmann, “The Technique and Content of Hitler’s War Propaganda Films. Part II: Karl Ritter’s ‘Soldier’ Films”, Hollywood Quarterly, vol. 5, no. 1, autumn 1950, p. 66.
  14. Quoted in David Welch, Propaganda and the German Cinema 1933–1945, I.B. Tauris, London, 2001, p. 182.
  15. Peter B. High, The Imperial Screen. Japanese Film Culture in the Fifteen Years’ War, 1931–1945, University of Wisconsin Press, Madison, 2003, p. 218. High calls Abe’s film Burning Sky in some passages (and in the maddeningly cursory index), and in others The Flaming Sky. Such editorial sloppiness in no way diminishes the book’s importance. For another discussion of the film and wartime cinema in Japan, see Shimizu Akira, “War and Cinema in Japan” in Abé Mark Nornes and Fukushima Yukio (eds), The Japan/America Film Wars: World War II Propaganda and Its Cultural Contexts, Harwood Academic Publishers, Chur, Switzerland, 1994.
  16. On the history of Verdun in French cinema, see “Verdun et les batailles de 14–18”, Les cahiers de la cinémathèque, no. 69, November 1998.
  17. See Robert S. Birchard, “Conversations with Irvin V. Willat”, Film History, vol. 12, no. 1, 2000, pp. 29–48.
  18. Aldo Bernardini, Il Cinema muto italiano. 1905–1909. I film dei primi anni, Centro sperimentale di Cinematografia, Rome, 1996, p. 265.
  19. Jean A. Gili, André Deed. Boireau, Cretinetti, Gribouille, Toribio, Foolshead, Lehman…, Cineteca Bologna, Bologna, 2005. An original language French edition, possibly containing additional material, is anticipated in the near future. The 2002 Pordenone Festival screened both Come fu che l’ingordigia rovinò il natale a Cretinetti and L’uomo meccanico in their Italian avant-garde section.
  20. See Jacques Champreux, “Les films à épisodes de Louis Feuillade” in Jacques Champreux and Alain Carou (eds), Louis Feuillade: 1895, October 2000, hors série, pp. 156–60; and Francis Lacassin, Maître des Lions et des Vampires: Louis Feuillade, Pierre Bordas et fils, Paris, 1995.
  21. Jacques Richard, “Une troupe à géométrie variable” in Champreux and Carou, p. 247.
  22. See my article “Art of Seduction”, Sight & Sound, vol. 15, issue 6, June 2005, p. 5.
  23. The Jugoslovenska kinoteka has just released Karadjordje on DVD, and published a brief but extremely useful book in English: Dejan Kosanovic, A Short History of Cinema in Serbia and Montenegro. Part I: 1896–1945, Jugoslovenska kinoteka, Beograd, 2004.
  24. For a brief discussion and some contemporary reviews, see François Albèra, Ekaterina Khokhlova and Valérie Posener, Kouléchov et les siens, Editions du Festival international du film de Locarno, Locarno, 1990, pp. 113–27.
  25. See Mariann Lewinsky Farinelli, “Jujiro [Crossways / Crossroads / Shadows of the Yoshiwara / Incroci]”, 20th Pordenone Silent Film Catalogue, 13–20 October 2001, p. 40. The print screened at Pordenone/Sacile, from Japan’s National Film Center, may be slightly longer than that screened at Bologna, from the Cinémathèque Française.
  26. See the program notes, which includes William K. Everson’s 1987 Films in Review article.
  27. The Festival has just published a bilingual edition of Kevin Brownlow’s earlier study of Chaplin, packaged together with his seminal documentary of the same name: Kevin Brownlow, In Search of Charlie Chaplin, Cineteca Bologna, Bologna [bilingual edition / with first Italian edition, 2005, reprinting 1983 English text]. For the most recent article on A Woman of Paris, see Cecilia Cenciarelli, “Che fine ha fatto Marie St. Clair? Note su ‘A Woman of Paris’”, Cinegrafie 18, Cineteca Bologna, Bologna, 2005, pp. 87–100.

About The Author

Jay Weissberg is an American film critic living in Rome, Italy. He writes regularly for Variety.

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