The dancer, Diotima, meets an engineer and skier, Karl, in his cottage in the mountains where they fall in love and have an affair. When Karl's young friend, Vigo, meets her she gives him ... See full summary »
Junta is hated by the people in the village where she lives, especially by the women, who suspect her of being a witch. Only she can climb the nearby mountains to a cave high up, whence a ... See full summary »
Thymiane is a beautiful young girl who is not having a storybook life. Her governess, Elizabeth, is thrown out of her home when she is pregnant, only to be later found drowned. That same ... See full summary »
A group of German infantrymen of the First World War live out their lives in the trenches of France. They find brief entertainment and relief in a village behind the lines, but primarily ... See full summary »
Georg Wilhelm Pabst
In the Mont Blanc Observatory works Hannes. The only contact to the outside world is a pilot and Hella over the morse-code-radio. As Hella climbs the mountain with her father, the father ... See full summary »
Frau Kusters is preparing dinner late one seemingly ordinary afternoon in her seemingly ordinary kitchen in Frankfurt, Germany. Mrs. Kusters wants to add canned sausages to the stew, her ... See full summary »
Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Leni Riefenstahl complained that directors Arnold Fanke and G.W. Pabst put her through a grueling shoot and claimed that they were deliberately cruel to her. Never-the-less this would be her most critically acclaimed performance. See more »
At around 53-54 minutes Dr. Johannes Krafft's ice axe appears and disappears between shots. See more »
This 1928 movie is filmed entirely in black and white with minimal German dialogue. The White Hell of Piz Palü opens with the male protagonist, Dr. Johannes Krafft, who mountain climbs with his wife on their honeymoon. At the sight of an avalanche, he laughs arrogantly. Nature seems to retaliate, and moments later Dr. Krafft's wife slips, plummeting down a small, deep crevice. The encounter with forces of nature initiates Dr. Krafft's grief-driven search effort to rescue his wife.
Dr. Krafft is later joined by another couple, Maria Maoni and Hans Brandt. Collectively, they embark on an epic journey to conquer nature's untamed forces. Replete with majestic scenes of snowy mountains, blowing clouds and untainted lands, this film is the perfect example of a Bergfilm. The film takes place in the Dolomites, a section of the Italian Alps. Arnold Fanck, the director, is also the father of the Bergfilm and provides a genuine representation of the German mountain film. Nature functions as its own character, exerting its powerful forces upon the mountain climbers.
The landscape scenes and vast openness present in this film contribute to its aesthetic representation of the mountains. The plot is simplistic and the lack of actual conversation compels the viewer to focus his/her attention on nature as a driving force. Even though there is no color, the white, snowy mountainous setting speaks volumes and invites the viewer to see the innocence of white as a darker shade of hell.
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