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VARIETY

Sunday, January 29 at 1:00

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(1925, E.A. Dupont) Ex-trapeze artist Emil Jannings (The Blue Angel and first Best Actor Oscar-winner) decides to chuck wife, family, and his peep show/carnival when hoochie-coochie dancer Lya de Putti, the orphan he’s taken in, looks like his ticket back to the big time. But when they form a smash act in the air with a dashing high flyer, it’s a triangle on the ground – and the hefty Jannings is the “catcher” of the act. A landmark of German expressionism, oft-censored on first release, with visual pyrotechnics by the great Karl Freund, DP of Metropolis, The Last Laugh, and… I Love Lucy! New DCP restoration.  

The digital restoration was undertaken by the foundation Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau Stiftung, working with the Filmarchiv Austria, using nitrate prints from both the US Library of Congress and the Filmarchiv Austria.

Reviews

“Flawlessly done…From the razzmatazz of the music hall milieu to the details of the couple’s squalid little room; and he used these with the appurtenances of the expressionists — the superimpositions, the camera angles, the lighting. The combination was a winning one for foreign audiences.”
– David Shipman

“[Director] Dupont and his celebrated cinematographer Karl Freund employ a web of complex camera movements to depict people who are fundamentally entrapped. Vertiginous circus-set scenes give way to compositions framed tightly around Jannings’s expansive face as Huller realizes with twitch-and-glower-filled horror that he might lose his passion’s object once again… The restoration offers the complete Variety in crisp, gold-and-bronze-tinted images that evocatively suggest the dangers of pursuing material success.”
– Aaron Cutler, Brooklyn Magazine