Zweigroschenzauber (1929) Poster

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8/10
"A Commercial in Picture Rhymes"
Karel K.25 November 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Twopence Magic is one of the most interesting German avant-garde shorts. Hans Richter shot this movie in the break of the twenties and thirties in the crucial time of film abstraction. The subtitle of movie sounds "a commercial in picture rhymes" and spectator can use this line as the key for the interpretation of movie. It works with the different concepts of advertisement and poem. In the quasi-record of a magician's show {or solicitor's dreaming} there is an associated zone of dramatic and flustering pictures what is near to surrealist imagination (association is meant as the visual rhyme). There are fragments of documentary notations of many human actions linked by the visual or semiotic similarity. Movie works with the expectation of lyrical or intellectual achievement and ironical frustration: forms of art could be used for a propagation of a magazine.
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2/10
Nothing magical about this film
Warning: Spoilers
"Zweigroschenzauber" or "Two Pence Magic" is a 2-minute film by German director Hans Richter from 1929. It's still an early career effort, even if Richter was already in his 40s when he made this. The film starts with a magic trick, but that's only the first seconds. Quickly afterward, we see all kinds of random scenes, some of them linked together. We see boxers, planes flying etc. In the end, we realize that this is actually a commercial. It's a silent black-and-white film, but it's absolutely inferior to American movies from that time. The quality is so low and the contents are so uninteresting and far too much for 2 minutes that I would even say there are 19th century American, British and French films that are already superior to Richter's work here. Not recommended.
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