<i>The Case of Lena Smith [Fragment].</i> 1929. USA. Directed by Josef von Sternberg
  • Prater

    2007. Austria. Ulrike Ottinger. 107 min.

  • The Case of Lena Smith [fragment]

    1929. USA. Josef von Sternberg. 4 min.

Friday, April 18, 2014, 8:00 p.m.

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

  • Prater

    2007. Austria. Written and directed by Ulrike Ottinger. With Elfriede Jelinek, Elfriede Gerstl, Ursula Storch. Ottinger, a leading figure in German cinema since the 1970s, has always been drawn to the mechanics and “machines” of desire. The Prater, Vienna’s world-famous amusement park, is one such machine, an inspiration to many generations and types of artists. Transforming this mythical place into a beguiling cinematic experience—with “tour guides” such as Nobel laureate Elfriede Jelinek—Ottinger meshes the Prater’s history and lore with her present-day observations. In the blink of an eye, Vienna becomes a miniature Venice with canals, the Rialto Bridge, and the Ducal Palace. We meet the descendants of the "man without a torso," who established several amusement venues with his wife and children in 1900. Contemporary teens defy gravity with their acrobatic hip-hop moves to Eastern European rap. The tea dance turns into a wild disco for lonelyhearts. Ejection seats, carousels and scooters vie in spectacular fashion with the starry night sky. And towering over all is the Riesenrad, the giant Ferris wheel that looks out over the rooftops of Vienna, and where, in The Third Man, Orson Welles delivered his famous bit of Nietzschean cynicism to Joseph Cotten. Courtesy Kurt Mayer. In German; English subtitles. 107 min.

  • The Case of Lena Smith [fragment]

    1929. USA. Directed by Josef von Sternberg. Screenplay by Jules Furthman. With Esther Ralston, James Hall, Gustav von Seyffertitz. Surviving only as a four-minute fragment, Sternberg’s most autobiographical film was already considered a masterpiece at the time of its release by progressive critics in France, Germany, and the United States. The existing footage—a beautiful and masterful expression of Sternberg’s visual techniques—is from the extended “Midsummer Night” sequence at the Prater where our heroine, a Schnitzlerian Wiener Mädel, loses herself (and finds love) among the pleasure-seeking crowds. Courtesy The Austrian Film Museum. 4 min.

In the Film exhibition Vienna Unveiled: A City in Cinema

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