Talk & discussion Olaf Möller on Postwar German Film

Robert Siodmak: The Devil Strikes at Night (1957)


Goethe-Institut New York

30 Irving Place
New York, NY 10003

Robert Siodmak: The Devil Strikes at Night (1957)

In the context of the film series The Lost Years of German Cinema: 1949-1963, co-presented with the Film Society of Lincoln Center, film critic Olaf Möller talks with filmmaker Gina Telaroli about the program he originally curated for the 2016 Locarno Film Festival, including some of its highlights and their place in the history of German postwar film.

Olaf Möller lives in Cologne, writes about cinema, programs films for festivals and museums, and teaches film history in Finland.

“It’s a typically modest blurb [about Olaf Möller] that appears at the end of innumerable articles for international film magazines but behind it lie countless texts for festival catalogs, regular columns in Cinema Scope and Film Comment (where Möller has also served as a European editor since 2004), annual festival reports from Berlin, Venice, Rotterdam and Udine, books on filmmakers such as John Cook and Michael Pilz, selection duties for the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen and curatorial work on retrospectives and film programs for the Austrian Film Museum. He also happens to be the Other First Secretary and Minister of Spirituality of the Ferroni Brigade.

There are several qualities that Möller has brought to the proverbial table of film criticism since the beginning of the last decade: a) astute and well-informed writing, with an instantly recognizable style and his own brand of syntax and punctuation, balancing seriousness and humor without lapsing into dry academispeak or empty witticisms; b) unprecedented knowledge of the blind spots of film history and contemporary cinephilia, based on years of indefatigable investigation and championing of the unknown, unseen, ignored and forgotten directors and films; c) a total lack of snobbish territoriality that is all too frequent among some trailblazers; d) contempt for what currently passes as political correctness and politeness, never shying away from strong opinions (some of his favorite targets are cinephilia as a ‘cult of universal surface,’ ‘abstract humanism’ and a paternalistic approach to non-Western cultures), even if he occasionally puts off some of his readers and colleagues (no wonder one highly respected Australian critic has called him ‘Olaf the Mauler’).”—MUBI

At Walter Reade Theater, Möller will also introduce the films White Blood (Gottfried Kolditz, 1959) and The Glass Tower (Harald Braun, 1957) on November 15, 7:00 and 9:00pm respectively.

Gina Telaroli was born on an early Wednesday morning into the lap of Reagan, with her sun in Taurus and her moon in Capricorn. She is a Cleveland, Ohio-raised and currently NYC-based filmmaker, critic, programmer, and the video archivist at Martin Scorsese’s Sikelia Productions. Her feature and short film work has screened at the Film Society of Lincoln Center, Anthology Film Archives, BAM, the Museum of the Moving Image, the Cleveland Museum of Art, and the Cinemateca Portuguesa, among others. Her most recent film, This Castle Keep, premiered at the New York Film Festival. Currently she is in post-production on a new short film entitled The Making of Monte Veritá that she co-directed with filmmaker and researcher Erin Espelie. She is also working on an illustrated monograph about Henry King with filmmaker and translator Ted Fendt.