The City without Jews: A Special Film Concert
Thursday, February 27, 2014, 7:00 p.m.
Theater 2 (The Roy and Niuta Titus Theater 2), T2
Includes the following films:
Sammy Scratches Himself
1919. Austria. Directed by Leo Stoll. With Josef Fleischmann, Heinrich Burg, Alexander Trebitsch, Grete Heid. This is an indelible artifact of the Budapest Orpheum Society, a popular and often scandalous Jewish-bohemian cabaret group that thrived in Vienna from 1889 to 1919 and produced at least two comic geniuses: actor Hans Moser and songwriter Armin Berg. Led by Josef Fleischmann in the role of “Sammy Storklegs,” members of the group perform a working-class farce about two dentist’s daughters, a Lonely Hearts ad, and two male friendly rivals roving through Vienna in search of a bride. Approx. 28 min min.
The City without Jews
1924. Austria. Directed by Hans Karl Breslauer. With Johannes Riemann, Hans Moser. Hugo Bettauer’s disturbingly prophetic 1922 novel about the systematic deportation of Viennese Jews, intended by the author as a satire of anti-Semitism, was transformed into this controversial Expressionist film two years later. With Austria’s turn to fascism in 1934 and its increasing acceptance of the political-economic demands made by Nazi Germany (even before the actual “takeover”), Bettauer’s dystopic vision would soon come to pass: Jews were scapegoated and, from 1938, sent into exile or to their deaths, leaving Vienna to become a cultural backwater. Bettauer was murdered by a former Nazi Party member in 1925. 80 min.
Setting the tone for this entire exhibition, these two astonishing rediscoveries of prewar Austrian Jewish cinema are presented with new original scores written and performed live with theremin, voice, and Taurus bass pedals by the award-winning, Austrian-born composer Dorit Chrysler, cofounder of the New York Theremin Society. Both films silent with German intertitles and English translation. Preserved by Filmarchiv Austria.
In the Film exhibition Vienna Unveiled: A City in Cinema
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