Re-Watch: Frau im Mond [Woman in the Moon] (1929) + Tonkünstler-Orchester Niederösterreich / Timothy Brock

Frau im Mond
Director: Fritz Lang
Writer: Fritz Lang, Hermann Oberth, Thea von Harbou
Based on: Thea von Harbou‘s novel
Cast: Klaus Pohl, Willy Fritsch, Gustav von Wangenheim, Gerda Maurus, Gustl GstettenbaurFritz Rasp
Part of: Film and Music Cycle in the Konzerthaus
With music by Timothy Brock, played by the Tonkünstler Orchester Niederösterreich under direction of Timothy Brock
Seen on: 27.4.2017
[Here’s my first review.]

Plot:
Professor Manfeldt (Klaus Pohl) has spent his life researching the moon. He has theorized that it has huge gold reserves that could be harvested for earth should space travel ever be achieved. But academia laughed him out of work and into poverty. Now the only one who still believes in him is Wolf Helius (Willy Fritsch). After a mysterious man (Fritz Rasp) shows up at Manfeldt’s, trying to steal his research and putting pressure on them all, things are set in motion to finally finish a rocket and fly to the moon together with Manfeldt, his best friend, engineer Windegger (Gustav von Wangenheim), scientist Friede Velten (Gerda Maurus) and the mysterious man.

When I saw Frau im Mond for the first time, I was pretty annoyed with the music that came with it. So getting the chance to see it with different music (and that music performed live) was a good thing and made the film better.

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Eros in Ketten (1929)

Eros in Ketten [literally: Eros in Chains]
Director: Conrad Wiene
Writer: Louis Nerz, Conrad Wiene
Cast: Emmy Flemmich, Maly Delschaft, Walter Slezak, Christian Holt, Anita Dorris, Bert Torren, Lizzi Natzler, Trude Fiedler-Seitz
Seen on: 6.10.2016

Plot:
Maria (Anita Dorris) is the daughter of a good family, her father (Christian Holt) a magistrate. When Maria strikes up a friendship with Lilo (Maly Delschaft), she meets Heinz (Walter Slezak) and falls in love with him. So much so, that she actually sleeps with him against all conventions. When she ends up pregnant, she knows she has to get an abortion. But abortions are illegal and Maria is promptly arrested and forced to have the child.

The film’s sensationalistic title is bound to give people wrong ideas about the nature of the film. It’s not some kind of (BDSM) erotica, but a highly political take on the topic of abortions. I was surprised, but definitely not in a bad way.

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Frau im Mond [Woman in the Moon] (1929)

Frau im Mond
Director: Fritz Lang
Writer: Fritz Lang, Hermann Oberth, Thea von Harbou
Based on: Thea von Harbou‘s novel
Cast: Klaus Pohl, Willy Fritsch, Gustav von Wangenheim, Gerda Maurus, Gustl GstettenbaurFritz Rasp
Seen on: 05.06.2016

Plot:
Professor Manfeldt (Klaus Pohl) has spent his life researching the moon. He has theorized that it has huge gold reserves that could be harvested for earth should space travel ever be achieved. But academia laughed him out of work and into poverty. Now the only one who still believes in him is Wolf Helius (Willy Fritsch). After a mysterious man (Fritz Rasp) shows up at Manfeldt’s, trying to steal his research and putting pressure on them all, things are set in motion to finally finish a rocket and fly to the moon together with Manfeldt, his best friend, engineer Windegger (Gustav von Wangenheim), scientist Friede Velten (Gerda Maurus) and the mysterious man.

Frau im Mond has interesting, albeit by now quaint ideas and is a well made film, but I think that I would have liked it much better if it had come with different music – the score really got on my nerves after a while, making an already long film feel even longer.

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Blackmail (1929) + Stephen Horne

Blackmail [I saw the silent version of this.]
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Writer: Alfred Hitchcock, Benn W. LevyMichael Powell
Based on: Charles Bennett‘s play
Cast: Anny OndraJohn LongdenDonald CalthropCyril RitchardSara AllgoodCharles Paton
Part of: Film and Music Cycle in the Konzerthaus
With music by: Stephen Horne [autoplay warning]
Seen on: 15.02.2015

Plot:
Alice (Anny Ondra) has been dating Scotland Yard detective Frank (John Longden) for a bit, but she is a little bored by him. That’s why she accepts an invitation by an Artist (Cyril Ritchard). They spend an evening together and Alice agrees to visit his studio in the end. But there things go awry and the Artist tries to rape Alice. She fights him off and kills him. Dazed she runs away, only to be confronted with the deed when Frank takes up the investigation. He quickly connects the murder to Alice, but decides to keep it to himself. Especially when a witness (Donald Calthrop) turns up and tries to blackmail the both of them.

I came rather late to Hitchcock in my cinematic life and I still haven’t seen much, but with each of his film more I see, I appreciate him more as a filmmaker. His films aren’t always perfect, but they are always engaging. That is also true for Blackmail, especially with the musical support by Stephen Horne.

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