Opium, by Robert Reinert
Created at the end of the First World War, now released on DVD by Edition Filmmuseum. The guilty conscience of colonialism: A Chinese who takes revenge on white men who seduced his wife. Scientists addicted to opium – addiction as a punishment. A hospital like the one in “Caligari”. Conrad Veidt is a doctor there. After an accident, he can no longer speak and has to communicate with writing tablets. With Robert Reinert, successful producer and director, 1872 to 1928, everything is monumental and monstrous, the buildings and the emotions. The film has been restored in the Munich Film Museum, where the silent film festival comes to an end this weekend. On the DVD there are a few more minutes from Reinert’s archaic two-part “Dying Peoples”. The film is probably lost, only this ‘trailer’ remains and a longing for what is lost. Fritz Goettler
Johann Sebastian Bach has already been accused of having fallen completely out of time with his weakness for classical counterpoint, for complex joint structures and virtuoso constructions. In the 19th century it was valued as a timeless size. The pianist Yaara Tal is now moving Bach back into his time, on the one hand, by juxtaposing all kinds of fugue compositions by famous descendants with his preludes from the Well-Tempered Clavier and thus functionalizing the stylistic difference to the historical distance. It is amazing how one can achieve such different results with the same means, the same compositional specifications. For example, if you listen to Bach’s A minor Prelude and have roughly in your ear what the following fugue sounds like, Frédéric Chopin’s A minor fugue completely pulls you in a different direction. Even his own son, Wilhelm Friedemann Bach, whose C minor fugue comes closest to his father’s style, is always looking for little stylistic evasive maneuvers in which he pursues his own artistic will. However, the theme – it is that of the “musical sacrifice” – does not let the apple fall too far from the tree. Even less well-known talented musicians get their rights here, such as Prince Louis Ferdinand of Prussia, who died at the age of 34 in the war against Napoleon. The praise comes from Beethoven that he does not play “like a royal or princely, but like a capable piano player”. His “Fugue à quatre voix pour le piano” in G minor also shows his compositional skills. Of course, such a compilation would be incomplete without the contemporaries. In addition to Lyonel Feininger, who is better known as a painter and Bauhaus member, the internationally teaching composer Reinhard Febel also stands for the unbroken tradition of all composers of all times to deal closely with Bach. Febel wrote “Tempus fugit” for Yaara Tal, and she dedicates herself to the work, as well as the rest of the works by Hummel, Alkan, Schumann and Arensky with the dedication and passion that musically follows the pursuit of maximum precision. Helmut Mauró
Max Reinhardt’s glamorous life
When the Salzburg Festival comes to an end on August 31, its 100th anniversary celebrations – which have been extended by one year due to Corona – will finally come to an end. What remains of it? Definitely this opulent volume about its most influential and colorful co-founder: “Max Reinhardt. A life as a festival” by Sibylle Zehle (Brandstätter-Verlag), published last year as a birthday treat, but regardless of the anniversary, a book for connoisseurs and one for 50 euros Investment for life.
Just leafing through it is a pleasure for the senses, the 303 pages are so beautiful and rich in finds and are so fantastically illustrated. And no matter which of the five sections you feel like dedicating yourself to, whether it’s Reinhardt’s time in Salzburg first or his youth in Vienna and then the Berlin years or maybe the two chapters about the exile in America – it’s all good and possible by leaps and bounds and does not need to be read chronologically. You can rummage through Reinhardt’s rich cosmopolitan life like in an old chest from the attic, which in this case is also a plump theater fund.
One learns theater history en passant. Max Reinhardt (1873-1943), who came from a Jewish family in Vienna, started out as an actor before embarking on a fabulous career as a visionary director and theater entrepreneur in Berlin, starting with his famous “Midsummer Night’s Dream” from 1905 when he was 32 years old. The Reinhardt-Bühnen, later expanded to Vienna, form a large corporation, and the boss receives in his office “like in the audience room of a monarch” (as Fritz Kortner described it). In 1918 the theater zampano bought Schloss Leopoldskron in Salzburg, expanded it into one of the “most beautiful, liveliest enclosures in the world”, as not only he himself thought, and finally resided there for 18 years like a prince. Reinhardt’s production of Hofmannsthal’s “Jedermann” founded the Salzburg Festival in 1920. The famous, rich and beautiful, who came from all over Europe and also from Hollywood, received the grand seigneur in his magnificent baroque rooms. Every detail was right. The photos by Leopoldskron are amazing, often double-page spreads.
The magnificent volume, bound in linen, is primarily a pictorial biography and society report, with gossip, eyewitness reports and detailed knowledge from diaries and letters. Nothing against it! To find out that the bon vivant Reinhardt was traveling with a diva’s luggage and took his own bedding in a crocodile leather suitcase is just as interesting as learning about the divorce war with his first wife, about his second marriage to Helene Thimig or about Reinhardt’s grandiose extravagance and his own eternal financial difficulties. Then the end of this glamorous life, in the increasingly bitter years of emigration. Reinhardt’s “Midsummer Night’s Dream” in the Hollywood Bowl, his death in New York. And who buys his director’s books? Marilyn Monroe. Christine Doessel
The Godard minute
During the summer holidays, Jean-Luc Godard made a gorgeous appearance in France. The radio station France Culture has produced a series in which well-known French directors were allowed to talk for an hour each time about the film that changed their perspective forever. Title of the series, which is also available as a podcast: “Les films qui ont changé nos regards”. In the first episode, the director Patricia Mazuy, who was nominated four times for the César, spoke about Godard’s “Le Mépris / The Contempt”, in the second Philippe Le Guay spoke about “The Third Man” by Carol Reed and so on. And at the end of each episode there was the “minute Godard”, in which the master explained succinctly why the director, whom you had just been listening to for an hour, is a failure. Whereby he mostly referred to them as “faiseur”, as blenders. After all, he thought the same thing with his own films: the only ones he could still endure today were the last four. Felix Stephan
At the beginning of the week, the topic came up in the features conference on Loriot’s tenth anniversary of his death, which is due this Sunday. Do you have to do something? As with the quarreling gentlemen in the bathtub (“The duck stays outside”), two camps quickly formed: An older “Oh what?” Faction, which Loriot found frumpy, and a younger “There used to be more tinsel” faction, which was of the opinion that Vicco von Bülow should be remembered at every opportunity. One would have suspected these assessments exactly the other way around. Why do younger people in particular miss a sense of humor that tried to find something funny about post-war Germany and had to import a lot for it? From Wilhelm Busch’s caricatures from the 19th century, in which the Hoppenstedts broke through floors, to Monty Python from Great Britain. “Laughing after the air raid shelter” was what the contemporary historian Christoph Classen called it in a volume of essays about Loriot (Text + criticism IV / 21). Loriot held up “a mirror to the prudish and bigotry of the Adenauer era,” writes Classen. This time of the economic miracle and double standards, which was often involuntarily funny then as now, seems to be rebounding in all its automotive absurdity in the face of climate change. There is a drawing by Loriot from the 1960s, a car that was already old-fashioned at that time is filled up, really up to the top, the gasoline is already up to the driver’s nose, and he just says: “I think it’s enough now .. . “You could still print that as it is in the newspaper today.
What is currently missing, however, is not this smirky social criticism, but the way in which it was applied. When Mrs. Hoppenstedt proudly declares that with the yodel diploma she wants to have “something of her own” as a woman, then that is not only beautifully absurd, but also reveals a lot about the roles of women and education at this time. Loriot wrapped such criticism so skillfully and warmly that you could only be angry if you had thought for a moment after laughing. This pause, this emotional brake on thoughts, is what we want today for self-proclaimed Twitter courts and highly jazzed election debates. Nicolas friend