Not many filmmakers can claim to have practically invented a film genre, much less a director not considered great or important. Arnold Fanck, however, embodies that paradox, for he certainly merits the title of the father of German film’s equivalent to the American Western, the “mountain film”. A genre popular in the 1920s and 30s, mountain films, not to be confused with the later and better known “Heimat” films, typically featured spectacular on-location photography of dangerous climbs as brave heroes and heroines conquered Germany’s lone frontiers. German literature and art do have precedents for the genre, but Fanck nonetheless deserves much credit for developing a popular, expressive genre which marks a vivid contrast with the studio-dominated productions of the period. Film history has also underrated Fanck’s talents, which captured some astonishing images.
A geologist by training, Fanck—often billed as “Dr. Arnold Fanck”—began making documentaries with “Das Wunder des… read more
Born in Bohemia to Viennese parents, director G. W. Pabst made only one American film in his career, yet became the darling of U.S. critics and movie historians for a handful of brilliant silent works. Pabst studied at Vienna’s Academy of Decorate Arts, then embarked on a theatrical career in 1906. He worked as a stage director in Europe and briefly in New York with a German-language company until World War I. Back in Vienna in the early 1920s, Pabst was one of the vanguards of the experimental theater movement. This led to an interest in the less-confining vistas of film. Establishing himself as a movie director in 1923, Pabst made his mark by turning out productions of pessimistic realism, intermixed with unstressed impressionism. He directed Garbo in A Joyless Street (1925), then helmed the pioneering Freudian drama Secrets of a Soul (1926). Pabst helped create the “Louise Brooks mystique” by casting the expatriate American actress in two of his most elaborate (and most heavily censored… read more
Tarantino put me up to this. That guy is a huge movie buff. His love made me wanna see this bad so that when I've re-watched Inglourious Basterds I can understand that masterpiece a little better. Coming from Pabst this has to be a masterpiece. I mean it HAS to be. I wonder where Tarantino's seen this?Did he see it on Film Print? VHS? Film Fest? DVD?Hum...still, have to see this one day. I must, have to, shall, will.