DER MANDARIN: A SPECIAL FILM CONCERT
Thursday, March 6, 2014, 7:00 p.m.
Theater 1 (The Roy and Niuta Titus Theater 1), T1
Includes the following films:
1918. Austria. Directed by Fritz Freisler. Screenplay by Freisler, Paul Frank. With Harry Walden, Carl Goetz, Nectar Flondor. Michael Loebenstein, formerly of the Austrian Film Museum, writes, “Part of a wave of Austrian films about hypnosis, sexual deviance and (postwar) traumatic disorders and lunacy, Der Mandarin is the tale of arrogant Baron von Stroom (played by the marvelous Karl Götz) who forges a pact with magic forces through a small mandarin. Success with women leads to the baron’s fall and into Vienna’s asylum, where he recounts his story. Mixing a pre-Expressionist tale with the theme of postwar male anxiety, Der Mandarin also provides today’s audiences with a record of Vienna in the late 1910s—dark, suburban alleys, Jugendstil architecture and the salons of an aristocracy already in demise.” What survives of the Austrian feature is a shorter Italian distribution print, Il Mandarino, preserved by George Eastman House and The Austrian Film Museum. Italian and English intertitles. 60 min.
The Proclamation of the German-Austrian Republic
1918. Austria. Approx. 5 min.
1920. Austria. Two films documenting a watershed moment in Austrian history: as the Great War ends and poverty pervades Vienna, the first Republic replaces the Habsburg monarchy. The first film depicts jostling crowds as they celebrate in front of the Parliament. The second, longer film, is a rare and beautiful example of detailed real-world observation, without any of the structuring devices typical of newsreels: With indelible glimpses of the Jewish quarter, the Prater, the Naschmarkt (open-air food market), and bourgeois flâneurs promenading in the city center in 1919–20, Vienna’s urban space is meticulously and unhurriedly laid out, as if intended not just for the contemporary public, but also for future historians of cosmopolitan city life. Both films courtesy The Austrian Film Museum. Approx. 24 min.
Long believed lost, Der Mandarin is an important rediscovery of Austrian silent cinema. Two of contemporary Vienna’s most innovative musicians, Martin Siewert and Burkhard Stangl, have composed an original score for the film—commissioned especially for this exhibition—that they will perform live on March 6 in an exclusive world premiere. Siewert and Stangl’s music for the cinema has included award-winning collaborations with Gustav Deutsch, Billy Roisz, and Michaela Grill.
In the Film exhibition Vienna Unveiled: A City in Cinema
Sign up for now to receive MoMA's biweekly Film E-News