If you are a fan of vintage films or international films, or if you are a history buff, put this trio of FREE screenings on your calendar for next week. See the real Weimar-era Berlin, not the Cabaret musical version.
Berlin on Film: Showing Life, Love, and Culture in Weimar-era Berlin explores the reality of how Jewish Berliners shaped the city before 1933 – including those, like director Billy Wilder, who escaped to Hollywood.
The films – one each night next Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, are introduced by scholars of German-Jewish and film history. The films are FREE, but registration is required to ensure space.
The screenings are at the Leo Baeck Institute, and part of the current exhibit Berlin, Stolen Heart, about the Jewish experience in Berlin in the 1920s and 1930s.
- Tuesday, September 13, 6:30 p.m.
Menschen am Sonntag – Years before they became major players in Hollywood, a group of young Jewish filmmakers made this effervescent, sunlit silent about a handful of city dwellers enjoying a weekend outing, which offers a rare glimpse of Weimar-era Berlin. With commentary by film scholar Noah Isenberg (The New School). (Germany, 1930. dir. Robert Siodmak, Edgar G. Ulmer, Billy Wilder, Fred Zinnemann)
- Wednesday, September 14, 6:30 p.m.
Mendelsohn’s Incessant Visions – He drew sketches on scraps of paper and sent them from the WWI trenches to a young cellist in Berlin. She thought he was a genius and helped him become the busiest architect in Germany. Gavriel Rosenfeld (Fairfield University) introduces this cinematic meditation on Erich and Louise Mendelsohn. (Israel, 2011. dir. Duki Dror)
- Thursday, September 15, 6:30 p.m.
Grand Hotel – In this lavish adaptation of the Austrian-Jewish writer Vicki Baum’s genre-defining 1929 novel, “Menschen im Hotel,” plots and intrigue unfold among a cast of colorful Weimar-era characters. With commentary by film scholar Noah Isenberg (The New School). (USA, 1932. dir. Edmund Goulding). This book and film inspired the Hollywood version, starring John Barrymore, Lionel Barrymore and Greta Garbo.
This free film series is co-presented by Leo Baeck Institute and Deutsches Haus at NYU, with additional support from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).
Location: Center for Jewish History – 15 West 16th Street