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FILM SCREENINGS

  • The New Vienna

    1926. Austria. 12 min.

  • Ray of Sunshine

    1933. Austria. Paul Fejös. 87 min.

Saturday, April 19, 2014, 5:00 p.m.

Theater 1 (The Roy and Niuta Titus Theater 1), T1



  • The New Vienna

    1926. Austria. This (almost complete) fragment of an election propaganda film sponsored by “Red Vienna” Socialists portrays an all-too-brief Austrian tradition of Soviet-inspired filmmaking, which came to an abrupt end with the demise of the Social Democrat Party during the 1933–34 establishment of the Austro-Fascist Ständestaat. The film contrasts pre-1918 Vienna (the misery of the suburbs, the power of the church, the decadent lives of the bourgeoisie) with the arrival of “the New”: the construction of large housing complexes, with communal living among more than 60,000 workers’ apartments, of the sort so evocatively depicted in Ray of Sunshine (presented in this same program). Courtesy The Austrian Film Museum 12 min.

  • Ray of Sunshine

    1933. Austria. Directed by Paul Fejös. Screenplay by Paul Fejös and Adolf Lantz. With Annabella, Gustav Fröhlich, Paul Otto. Five years after his silent masterpiece Lonesome, a tender, lyrical portrait of young lovers adrift in the big city, the Hungarian-born Paul Fejös returned with great, if underappreciated, success to this theme in Ray of Sunshine, a proletarian romance set in Red Vienna. The delicate French star Annabella and popular German actor Gustav Frölich play a young Viennese couple facing the crushing anxiety of unemployment and poverty in the Depression-wracked city. They first meet on a Danube bridge in a shared moment of suicidal desperation, and while disappointment seems to follow them at every turn, they manage to eke out moments of joy and companionship among fellow striving families in a gleaming housing complex on Friedrich Engels Square, recently built by the Viennese socialist government. Fejös deserves to be better known, his fluid camera movements and working-class sympathies recalling the work of Murnau, Capra, Borzage, and Mamoulian. Courtesy Deutsche Kinemathek. 87 min.

In the Film exhibition Vienna Unveiled: A City in Cinema

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