This is the recently discovered first reel of Murnau’s otherwise “lost” film that was discovered in Italy a few years back and then later restored by the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia, Roma. It was first screened at Pordenone in 2010.
Based on a novel by Wolfgang Geiger that echoes the story of Carmen and written by Hans Janowitz , Maritsa is set in a vague borderland has as its protagonist and his beautiful young Maritsa, wild and passionate, played by the Tzwetta Tzatschewa Bulgarian origin. In the first roll of film she is seen working in a country teeming with shady characters involved in trafficking and running away in search of a new life. An expressive use of landscape, mysterious connections that are created through the assembly, the money as the main engine of human actions and a vampire bent on nature – embodied here by Maritsa – now anticipate Nosferatu . —Centro sperimentale di cinematografia
To this day German filmmaker F. W. Murnau remains one of the most influential directors of cinema. After studying art and literature history at the University of Heidelberg, he became a student of director Max Reinhardt until serving in World War I as a combat pilot. During a flight, he accidentally strayed into Switzerland and stayed there till the war’s end. He made his directorial debut in 1919 back in Germany; although he made several films over the next three years, most of them have been lost. Murnau first gained international renown with Nosferatu the Vampire in 1922. Unlike others, Murnau filmed this still chilling masterpiece on location. His next film, The Last Laugh (1924), utilized unique camera techniques that later became the basis for mise-en-scene. He continued making German films, notable for their pessimism and pervading sense of doom, until he moved to Hollywood in 1926 to work for Fox studios. His first American film, Sunrise: A Story of Two Humans (1927), is considered… read more