4

German Cinema of the Weimar Period, 1919-1929

THE PREWAR PERIOD

Prior to the First World War, the German cinema had reached a less advanced state of development than the cinemas of France, Italy, England, and the United States. Although the Skladanowsky brothers had unveiled their "Bioskop" projector in the Berlin Wintergarten in November 1895, almost simultaneously with the first Lumière Cinématographe projection, an indigenous German film industry had somehow failed to evolve in the fifteen years that followed. One reason for this seems to have been that in Germany, more than in the other nations of the West, the cinema became a cultural refuge for the illiterate, disenfranchised, and unemployed. Consequently, very few educated Germans took films or filmmaking seriously during these years, and most of the films shown in the early tent shows (Wanderkinos) and nickelodeons (Ladenkinos) were either imported from other countries or produced in Germany by fly-by-night showmen. Many early native films were frankly pornographic; almost all were technically crude.

One notable exception to this general tendency was the work of Oskar Messter (1866-1943), an inventor who had been instrumental in perfecting the Maltese cross movement for projection systems (see p. 9). In 1897, Messter established a small studio in the Berlin Friedrichstrasse and went on to produce hundreds of short entertainment films and actualités of a reasonably high caliber and some technical sophistication. He used close shots as early as 1903 and became one of the first directors anywhere in the world to light his sets artificially. Messter also experimented with synchronized sound, using the phonograph to produce Tonbilder ("sound-images")—a type of prenarrative cinema featuring famous stars of cabaret and, ultimately, classical opera and ballet— which upgraded the content of early German film between 1904 and 1908. In 1909 he ventured into the production of feature films (Grossfilme) with Andreas Hofer, directed by Carl Froelich, and devoted his energies to that form almost entirely until 1917, when his company and most others in Germany came under the control of the new government-subsidized conglomerate Universum Film Aktiengesellschaft (UFA). One historical interest of Messter's features is that they provided the film debuts of performers like Henny Porten, Emil Jannings, Lil Dagover, and Conrad Veidt, who became major stars in the twenties.

-102-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
A History of Narrative Film
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 1087

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.