Film Screening Déjà Revue - German Films from the 1950s
Signature Event of Germany @ Canada 2017Presented by the Goethe-Institut
August 24 + 25 + 27
Did you know that Toronto's Revue Cinema on Roncesvalles Avenue was the go-to place for the German community after WWII? They showed the ever-popular Heimatfilms coming out of Germany in the 1950s and 60s – mostly escapist musicals & romcoms, but also social dramas featuring star actors and some of the best directors of the time. We dug three of those classics that have stood the test of time out of the Goethe-Institut's own 35mm archive to show you as a "Déjà Revue":
August 24, 7pm: The Captain from Köpenick (Germany 1956, 93 min), directed by Helmut Käutner, with Heinz Rühmann, Martin Held, Hannelore Schroth
Heinz Rühmann, perhaps the best known German actor of the 20th century, who controversially kept working under the eye of the Nazi propaganda ministry, starred in popular and (lastingly) successful comedies such as THE THREE FROM THE FILLING STATION (1930) and THE PUNCH BOWL (1944), which half of Germany still watches each New Year's Eve. At age 54, he took the role of his life as the Captain of Köpenick, a district in the east of Berlin. Based on a true story and the 1931 play by Carl Zuckmayer (as well as the first film version by Richard Oswald), it's the story of the Berlin shoemaker Wilhelm Voigt who donned an old captain’s uniform, “arrested” the mayor of Köpenick and “confiscated” the city treasury containing over four thousand marks. He exploited the blind obedience to state authority because, under the regulations of bureaucracy, there was no place for him. People have been laughing about the daring prank and empathizing with the “Captain from Köpenick” for nearly a century, up to Frank Beyer’s TV version in 1997.
August 25, 7pm: The Sinner (Germany 1951, 100 min), directed by Willi Forst, with Hildegard Knef, Gustav Fröhlich, Robert Meyn
Singer-actress Hildegard Knef had her breakthrough with the controversial role of the prostitute Marina in THE SINNER, the most scandalous movie of 1950s German cinema – as much because of the first nude scene on screen as well as the discussions around censorship it raised. Marina, who has become a prostitute under unfortunate circumstances, finally meets the love of her life. But Alexander, a painter, is fatally ill and might only survive if he undergoes a very expensive surgery. To get the money for the operation, Marina starts to work as a prostitute again. As a tough femme fatale, Knef projected an equally ambiguous and daring image of women as her friend Marlene Dietrich. She briefly rose to Hollywood fame but was not willing to sell out and returned to Germany for a long and illustrious career as a singer and actor.
August 27, 4pm: Teenage Wolfpack (Germany 1956, 97 min), directed by Georg Tressler, with Horst Buchholz, Karin Baal, Christian Doermer
Berlin in the 1950s. No longer able to stand the petty bourgeois tyranny of his father, 19-year-old Freddy has left home. Risen to the top of a youth gang, he leads a life of crime. One day, while preparing his "biggest coup ever", his younger brother asks Freddy if he can help out his father, who is badly in debt. But a planned post office robbery goes wrong. In order to reassert himself as gang leader and to prove to his girlfriend Sissy that he is a man, Freddy breaks into a villa. Surprised by the owner, the situation escalates. Lead actor Horst Buchholz was firmly established as the German James Dean, the young and rebellious mod rocker who embodied the new, Americanized West Germany after the war. Buchholz quickly went on to Hollywood fame starring in John Sutrge’s THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN (1960) as well as Billy Wilder’s ONE, TWO, THREE (1961).
Praise for THE CAPTAIN FROM KÖPENICK
“A remarkably well played tragicomedy, lightened by comical moments and warm humour, solid in representing this particular milieu and the atmosphere. A satirical lecture about the omnipresence of the Prussian uniform that makes a mockery of a world view.” – Lexicon of International Film
Praise for THE SINNER:
“An unique masterpiece of ‘ultra-realism’, an exciting story about mutual give and take, about sex and feelings, about cool self-determination and complete self-abandonment – it froths like sweet champagne, and goes to the audience’s heads, leaving them pleasingly intoxicated.” – KinoTageBuch
Praise for TEENAGE WOLFPACK:
“Motivated by the success of American models like REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE, this film is characterized by shots in original locations and uncompromising representations of the young rebels’ behaviour. No subsequent remake succeeded in expressing the seriousness and quality of the original, which owes its success to hitherto unknown actors like Karin Baal.” (later in Fassbinder’s Lola) – Lexicon of German Film
Ticket sales are made through the Revue Cinema. Tickets can be purchased online or at the box office, opening 30 minutes prior to the start of the screening.
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