Lil Dagover - News Poster


Giveaway – Win Fritz Lang’s Der müde Tod

Eureka Entertainment releases Der müde Tod [a.k.a. Destiny], Fritz Lang’s visually ambitious, cinematic allegory starring Lil Dagover and Bernhard Goetzke, as part of the Masters of Cinema Series in a definitive Dual Format (Blu-ray & DVD) edition on July 24th, and we have three copies to give away. Read on for details of how to enter…

Before directing numerous genre defining masterpieces such as Metropolis, M, and Spione, Fritz Lang was already defying cinematic conventions with Der müde Tod (literally, The Weary Death).

A young woman (Lil Dagover) confronts the personification of Death (Bernhard Goetzke), in an effort to save the life of her fiancé (Walter Janssen). Death weaves three romantic tragedies and offers to unite the girl with her lover, if she can prevent the death of the lovers in at least one of the episodes. Thus begin three exotic scenarios of ill-fated love, in which the woman must somehow reverse the course of destiny: Persia,
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Destiny review – Fritz Lang's amazing dream of longing and fear

Lang’s mysterious silent melodrama from 1921 is a parable about love and death that captivates with its ambition, enigma and sophistication

The only response to this 1921 silent movie by Fritz Lang, now restored and rereleased, is a kind of amazement – at its ambition, its enigma, its combination of innocence and sophistication. As so often with early cinema and silent cinema, you see the kinship with fable and fairy story, but also find yourself suspecting that it is somehow silent cinema that is truly aware of the medium’s possibilities; these seem to elude the more evolved, yet earthbound realist cinema that comes later.

Destiny is a parable fantasy: a young woman (Lil Dagover) is horrified when her fiance (Walter Janssen) is led away by the implacable figure of Death (Bernhard Goetzke) who has recently bought a plot of land that he has turned into a walled garden for his captured souls.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Sliff 2016 – Fritz Lang’s Destiny (1921) with Music by The Rats and People Motion Picture Orchestra Nov. 5th

Fritz Lang’s Destiny (1921) with Music by The Rats and People Motion Picture Orchestra screens November 5th at 7:30 at Webster University’s Moore Auditorium (470 E Lockwood Ave,) as part of this year’s this year’s St. Fritz Lang’s Destiny Louis International Film Festival. Ticket information can be found Here.

There’s nothing better than seeing a silent film with live music and you’ll have the opportunity Saturday November 5th at 7:30 at Webster University’s Moore Auditorium. There’s a new restoration of Fritz Lang’s Destiny (Der müde Tod 1921) a dizzying blend of German Romanticism, Orientalism, and Expressionism and Cinema St. Louis will be screening it at this year’s St. Louis International Film Festival. The film will be accompanied live by The Rats and People Motion Picture Orchestra, who will debuting their new original score for the film.

Destiny marked a bold step for Fritz Lang,
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Sliff 2016 – The St. Louis International Film Festival Schedule Announced

The schedule for the 25th Annual Whitaker St. Louis International Film Festival (Sliff) has been announced and once again film goers will be offered the best in cutting edge features and shorts from around the globe. The festival takes place November 3-13, 2016.

Sliff kicks off on November 3 with the opening-night selection St. Louis Brews, the latest home-brewed documentary by local filmmaker Bill Streeter, director of Brick By Chance And Fortune: A St. Louis Story (read my interview with Bill Here)

According to Sliff, the festival will feature more than 125 filmmaking guests, including honorees: Actress Karen Allen (Raiders Of The Lost Ark, Animal House), director Charles Burnett (Killer Of Sheep, To Sleep With Anger), winner of the Cinema St. Louis Lifetime Achievement Award; and director Steve James (Hoop Dreams).

Full information on Sliff films, including synopses, dates/time, and links for purchase of advance tickets is available on the Cinema St.
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Joshua Reviews Fritz Lang’s Destiny [Blu-ray Review]

Few filmmakers have had a decade-long run quite like director Fritz Lang did from 1921-1931. Featuring films like Metropolis, Spies and lest we forget arguably his greatest film, 1931’s M, Lang’s run throughout the ‘20s and into the ‘30s is a collection of films that any director would kill to have listed on his iMDB credits page.

And one of the films that started this series is maybe the director’s most underrated masterpiece, 1921’s silent epic Destiny. One of the “weirder” entries in the filmography of Fritz Lang, this neo-surrealist horror/drama tells the story of a woman as she encounters the physical manifestation of death, a black cloaked-man (Bernhard Goetzke), after he steals away her main squeeze (Walter Janssen). Attempting to get him back at all costs, Death offers the woman three chances to save her lover, tasking the woman (played by Lil Dagover) with saving the
See full article at CriterionCast »

Joshua Reviews Fritz Lang’s The Spiders [Blu-ray Review]

In an age of franchises and “cinematic universes” that seems to number in the thousands, it should come as no shock that the idea of feature length, serialized motion pictures date back to the earliest days of silent cinema. However, while most cinephiles are obviously familiar with franchises like James Bond and Star Wars, and even lay people are cognisant of the Marvel “Cmu”, few people outside the realm of film scholarship mention the silent serials like Louis Feuillade’s Fantomas. Even when legendary auteurs are the creative forces behind them.

Such is the case with Fritz Lang and his superb action/adventure serial, The Spiders. Drawing inspiration from the aforementioned Feuillade series, this 1919 serial was originally intended to be a four part epic, with only two “episodes” being filmed. Broken into The Golden Sea and The Diamond Ship, the story introduces us to a man named Kay Hoog (Carl de Vogt
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The Spiders (1919)

When Fritz Lang began in film he was a better writer than director. This lavish two-part thriller sees him concocting a multi-genre mashup, shoehorning cowboy action thrills and an exotic lost Incan civilization into dagger-and-poison serial skullduggery. The Spiders Blu-ray Kino Classics 1919 / B&W / 1:33 flat / 173 min. / Street Date August 23, 2016 / Die Spinnen / available through Kino Classics / 29.95 Starring Carl de Vogt, Ressel Orla, Lil Dagover, Georg John. Cinematography Karl Freund Designers Otto Hunte, Carl Ludwig Kirmse, Heinrich Umlauff, Hermann Warm Music (2012) Ben Model Produced by Erich Pommer Written and Directed by Fritz Lang   There appears to be nothing new under the sun, even if lovers of Indiana Jones don't realize that most everything he did, had been done long before in silent serials. I have a lazy habit here of claiming that Fritz Lang invented most of the basic ideas we see in every adventure genre except the western. But these
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Death doesn't take a holiday in this, the granddaddy of movies about the woeful duties of the Grim Reaper. Fritz Lang's heavy-duty Expressionist fable is as German as they get -- a morbid folk tale with an emotionally powerful finish. Destiny Blu-ray Kino Classics 1921 / B&W / 1:33 flat / 98 min. / Street Date August 30, 2016 / Der müde Tod / available through Kino Lorber / 29.95 Starring Lil Dagover, Walter Janssen, Bernhard Goetzke, Rudolf Klein-Rogge, Georg John. Cinematography Bruno Mondi, Erich Nitzschmann, Herrmann Saalfrank, Bruno Timm, Fritz Arno Wagner Film Editor Fritz Lang Written by Fritz Lang, Thea von Harbou Produced by Erich Pommer Directed by Fritz Lang

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari takes the prize for the most influential work of early German Expressionism, but coming in a close second is the film in which Fritz Lang first got his act (completely) together, 1921's Destiny (Der müde Tod). A wholly cinematic
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Will Women's Right to Vote Signal the End of the Family?: Socially Conscious Rarities

Women suffrage movie 'Mothers of Men': Dorothy Davenport becomes a judge and later State Governor in socially conscious thriller about U.S. women's voting rights. Women suffrage movie 'Mothers of Men': Will women's right to vote lead to the destruction of The American Family? Directed by and featuring the now all but forgotten Willis Robards, Mothers of Men – about women suffrage and political power – was a fast-paced, 64-minute buried treasure screened at the 2016 San Francisco Silent Film Festival, held June 2–5. I thoroughly enjoyed being taken back in time by this 1917 socially conscious drama that dares to ask the question: “What will happen to the nation if all women have the right to vote?” One newspaper editor insists that women suffrage would mean the destruction of The Family. Women, after all, just did not have the capacity for making objective decisions due to their emotional composition. It
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Fritz Lang’s Silent Epic ‘Destiny’ Returns In Trailer for Restoration

It can be said with little hesitation, and without even looking at the slate of what’s to come, that the restoration of a Fritz Lang film will be among any year’s finest cinematic offerings. The Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau Foundation deserves real credit, then, for bringing us a new version of his 1921 epic Destiny, here presented in a recolored edition that reflects Lang’s original intentions and with a new score by Cornelius Schwehr.

After premiering at this year’s Berlinale, the movie will begin running next month, courtesy of Kino. Ahead of that is a preview featuring a pull-quote from none other than Luis Buñuel — and if it’s good enough for him, who are you to pass this up?

See the preview below:


A young woman (Lil Dagover) confronts the personification of Death (Bernhard Goetzke), in an effort to save the life of her fiance (Walter Janssen
See full article at The Film Stage »

Fritz Lang's 'Destiny' heads to Us

  • ScreenDaily
Fritz Lang's 'Destiny' heads to Us
Exclusive: Restored version of 1921 classic will get limited theatrical in late spring.

Kino Lorber has acquired all Us and Canadian rights to the digital restoration of Fritz Lang’s Destiny (Der Müde Tod), which received its world premiere in Berlinale Classics on Friday.

Lil Dagover plays a young woman who meets Death (Barnhard Goetzke) and is given three chances to reverse destiny and find her missing fiancé.

Destiny will get a limited theatrical run in late spring ahead of a multi-platform release.
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Leni Riefenstahl’s Impossible Dream: Tiefland, Fantasy and the Fuhrer’s Shadow

Part I. A Filmmaker’s Apotheosis

April 20th, 1938 marked Adolf Hitler’s 49th birthday. In the past five years, he’d rebuilt Germany from destitute anarchy into a burgeoning war machine, repudiated the Versailles Treaty and, that March, incorporated Austria into his Thousand-Year Reich. In Nazi Germany, fantasy co-mingled with ideology, expressing an obsession with Germany’s mythical past through propaganda and art. Fittingly, Hitler celebrated at the Ufa-Palast am Zoo in Berlin, Germany’s most prestigious cinema.

There, Nazi officials and foreign diplomats joined dignitaries of German kultur. Present were Wilhelm Furtwangler, conductor of Berlin’s Philharmonic Orchestra; Albert Speer, Hitler’s architect and confidante; actor Gustaf Grundgens, transformed from Brechtian Bolshevik to director of Prussia’s State Theater; and movie star Emil Jannings, Oscar-winner of The Lost Command and The Blue Angel, now an Artist of the State. Also Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels, who nationalized German cinema in
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The Forgotten: "Monte Cristo" (1929)

  • MUBI
1929 was the end of silent cinema in France, the process of conversion beginning in earnest for the following year's releases. So what height of expressiveness had the French movies reached?

Quite a bit, if Henri Fescourt's epic three-and-a-half-hour-and-change adaptation of Dumas' The Count of Monte Cristo is anything to go by. The novel is a cracking yarn, a bit of a warhorse perhaps but always reliable and dramatic, full of crimes, revenges, outrageous coincidences and spectacular reversals in the best nineteenth-century tradition. One would expect a movie to be, at best, bold and operatic, at worst, staid and stagey. But Fescourt, who had already made a vast version of Les misérables (1925), manages to combine the best of commercial cinema's dramatics with the innovations of the impressionist filmmakers, to create something strikingly modern.

Stop me if you've heard this before: hero Edmond Dantès is maligned by a fellow sailor, snitched on by a romantic rival,
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The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari | Blu-ray Review

Kino Classics refurbishes Robert Weine’s 1920 landmark title The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, the film that marked the birth of German Expressionism as well as the flagship of the horror film genre. Tempered by bookends meant to diminish interpretations of parallelism between insanity and authority, its stark, jagged angles and ingenious uses of shadows predates the dark beauty of film noir, featuring fantastic set designs that still rival the ability of contemporary film. Eerie, carnivalesque, and as arresting as ever, it’s a title worthy of this remastered revisit.

The story of Caligari, developed by Carl Mayer (responsible for Murnau’s Sunrise and The Last Laugh) and Hans Janowitz, is incredibly simple. Basically, the eponymous doctor happens to have control of a sleepwalker that does nefarious deeds for his master, namely murdering inhabitants of the small hamlet late at night. There is a slight twist to the proceedings, though it
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New on Video: ‘The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari’

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari

Directed by Robert Wiene

Written by Carl Mayer and Hans Janowitz

Germany, 1920

In the period of Germany’s Weimar Republic, a unique and volatile pre- and post-war era within a window of less than 20 years, the German people were experiencing a torrent of new ideological, social, and political shifts. What was once traditional and normal was giving way to the modern and unusual. What was typically viewed as quintessentially German was now being inundated by outside influences, by strange and foreign people and their imported cultural baggage. Whether or not these elements were as directly and obviously portrayed in movies as some like Siegfreid Kracauer and Lotte Eisner would argue (quite convincingly in many ways), there can be little doubt that film was influenced to one degree or another by this state of the German populous. The times were surely changing, and in no film
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Top 100 Horror Movies: How Truly Horrific Are They?

Top 100 horror movies of all time: Chicago Film Critics' choices (photo: Sigourney Weaver and Alien creature show us that life is less horrific if you don't hold grudges) See previous post: A look at the Chicago Film Critics Association's Scariest Movies Ever Made. Below is the list of the Chicago Film Critics's Top 100 Horror Movies of All Time, including their directors and key cast members. Note: this list was first published in October 2006. (See also: Fay Wray, Lee Patrick, and Mary Philbin among the "Top Ten Scream Queens.") 1. Psycho (1960) Alfred Hitchcock; with Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Vera Miles, John Gavin, Martin Balsam. 2. The Exorcist (1973) William Friedkin; with Ellen Burstyn, Linda Blair, Jason Miller, Max von Sydow (and the voice of Mercedes McCambridge). 3. Halloween (1978) John Carpenter; with Jamie Lee Curtis, Donald Pleasence, Tony Moran. 4. Alien (1979) Ridley Scott; with Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skerritt, John Hurt. 5. Night of the Living Dead (1968) George A. Romero; with Marilyn Eastman,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Review Round-Up: The Pigman from Das Cabinet to The Void

With so many films released on the run up to Halloween it’s been hard to keep up with reviews, so we’re going to play catch-up with another review round-up looking at some recent releases in brief. This time round we have reviews of Das Cabinet Des Dr. Caligari, Saints & Soldiers: The Void, The Island of Doctor Moreau, and The Pigman Murders.

Das Cabinet Des Dr. Caligari

Stars: Werner Krauss, Conrad Veidt, Friedrich Feher, Lil Dagover, Hans Heinrich von Twardowski, Rudolf Lettinger | Directed by Robert Weine

Synopsis: At a local carnival in a small German town, hypnotist Dr. Caligari presents the somnambulist Cesare, who can purportedly predict the future of curious fairgoers. But at night, the doctor wakes Cesare from his sleep to enact his evil bidding…

My thoughts: Along with Last Year in Marienbad and The 400 Blows, Das Cabinet Des Dr. Caligari was one of those “important” films that I,
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Movie Review – The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (a.k.a. Das Cabinet des Caligari), 1920.

Directed by Robert Wiene.

Starring Werner Krauss, Conrad Viedt, Friedrich Fehér, Hans Lanser-Rudolff, Hans Heinrich von Twardowski and Lil Dagover.


At a local carnival in a small German Town, hypnotist Dr. Caligari presents the somnambulist Cesare, who can purportedly predict the future of curious fairgoers. But at night, the doctor wakes Cesare from his sleep to enact his evil bidding…

The history of cinema harks back to few films that are as important and iconic as Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari. An expressionist masterpiece, Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari is, for a limited time, back in the cinema. Re-mastered and screened from August 29th, the cinematic experience is a rare treat as the hand-painted backdrops and subtle face make-up can be seen up-close and appreciated in the way it was intended (perhaps even better). As filmmaking was finding its feet,
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Das Cabinet Des Dr. Caligari Review

Director: Robert Wiene.

Cast: Werner Krauss, Conrad Veidt, Friedrich Feher, Lil Dagover.

Certificate: U.

Running Time: 77 minutes.

Synopsis: A man named Dr. Caligari (Krauss) shows up in town displaying his somnambulist (Veidt) who makes dark predictions. After murders begin to happen in town, suspicion falls on Caligari.

Usually labelled as the first true horror film, Das Cabinet Des Dr. Caligari deserves its title as well as standing up today. This latest reissue may be rated U, but don’t let that fall you in the slighest. Das Cabinet Des Dr. Caligari remains an artistic piece of true horror which, despite its age, still manages to create unsettling emotions as well as offering up plot twists before they were cool.

Sometimes it’s hard to judge a silent film, out of fear that too much relies on reviewing the film based on what it achieved and how it would have played
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Maximilian Schell obituary

Actor and director who brought dark good looks and a commanding presence to his roles

Austrian by birth, Swiss by circumstance and international by reputation, Maximilian Schell, who has died aged 83, was a distinguished actor, director, writer and producer. However, he will be best remembered as an actor, especially for his Oscar-winning performance in Stanley Kramer's Judgment at Nuremberg (1961) – an early highlight among scores of television and movie appearances. He also directed opera, worked tirelessly in the theatre and made six feature films, including Marlene (1984) - a tantalising portrait of Dietrich, his co-star in Judgment, who is heard being interviewed but not seen, except in movie extracts.

Schell courted controversy and much of his work, including The Pedestrian (1973), dealt with the second world war, its attendant crimes and the notion of collective guilt. In 1990, when he was offered a special award for his contributions to German film, he refused to accept it.
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »
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