Liebelei. 1933. Germany. Directed by Max Ophüls. Image courtesy of The Austrian Film Museum
  • Liebelei

    1933. Germany. Max Ophuls. 88 min.

  • (Liebelei) [Fragment]

    1914. Denmark. August Blom, Holger-Madsen. 15 min.

Monday, March 31, 2014, 4:00 p.m.

Theater 2 (The Roy and Niuta Titus Theater 2), T2

  • Liebelei

    1933. Germany. Directed by Max Ophuls. Screenplay by Curt Alexander, Hans Wilhelm, Max Ophuls. With Magda Schneider, Wolfgang Liebeneiner. A favorite Schnitzler theme—an illicit affair founded on illusory love and doomed to betrayal—assumes an even darker cast in the last film that Ophuls would make in his native Germany before fleeing the Nazis and emigrating to Paris. Often regarded as a breakthrough in his privileging of camera movement, music, and sound over dialogue, Liebelei was for Ophuls the most “simple, calm, tranquil” of all his films. “Liebelei embodies what Edmund Wilson defined as Schnitzler’s gift for ‘lightly handled tragedy,’ and Ophuls’s own lightness of style is as beguiling here as it later was in Schnitzler’s La Ronde. Amid the waltzes, the cafes, the elaborate staircases and winding back streets, the moments of emotional consequences are marvelously detailed” (Nora Sayre, The New York Times). Schnitzler, who died a year before the film’s release, would never see his dream of a brilliant, non-verbal cinematic adaptation realized. Courtesy the Academy Film Archive and Rialto Pictures. In German; English subtitles. 88 min.

  • (Liebelei) [Fragment]

    1914. Denmark. Directed by August Blom, Holger-Madsen. Screenplay by Arthur Schnitzler. With Valdemar Psilander, Christel Holch, Augusta Blad. A rare and tantalizing fragment of the first Schnitzler film adaptation. As scholar Jan-Christopher Horak observes, “Schnitzler’s play Liebelei was first performed in 1895 at Vienna’s prestigious Burgtheater. As early as 1912, Schnitzler’s keen interest in cinema led him to begin negotiations with the Nordisk Film Company. At the time he hoped to have his own script produced without recourse to written titles, ‘since only by experimenting with the cinema in its purest form can a standard equal to that of literature be achieved.’ However, [Blom] and Holger-Madsen’s Liebelei, with the famous Danish actor Vlademar Psilander, was released with titles, and a Danish setting. Schnitzler was disappointed but not angry.” Courtesy the Danish Film Institute and Nordisk Film. 15 min.

In the Film exhibition Vienna Unveiled: A City in Cinema

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