Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Das Rätsel von Bangalor / [The Mystery of Bangalore] (fragment)

(Pax-Film, DE 1918) (fragment) D: Alexander von Antalffy, Paul Leni; SC: Rudolf Kurtz, Paul Leni; AD: Paul Leni; cast: Gilda Langer (Elles, the Governor’s daughter), Harry Liedtke (Archie Douglas), Conrad Veidt (Dinja; not seen in surviving fragment); filmed: 1917; première: 11.1.1918 (Hamburg, Lessing-Theater), 7.2.1918 (Berlin, U.T. Kurfürstendamm); censorship date: 12.1917 (BZ.41322), 18.10.1922 (B.6633); orig.: 1808 m (1917), 1350 m (1922); restoration comparison, multiple versions, 35 mm, 108 m, ca. 5' (18 fps) (original fragment 12.4 m, 40", 18 fps), col. (tinted); from: Deutsche Kinemathek, Berlin / Haghefilm, Amsterdam. Introductory title in English. Restoration and tinting case study curated by Daniela Currò (Restoration) & Ulrich Ruedel (Scientific Research / Chemistry), Haghefilm Conservation / Haghefilm Foundation, Amsterdam, with Oliver Hanley, Deutsche Kinemathek, Berlin. Viewed at Teatro Verdi, Le Giornate del Cinema Muto, Pordenone, e-subtitles in English and Italian, grand piano: Donald Sosin, 4 Oct 2011.

Daniela Currò, Ulrich Ruedel (GCM Catalogue): "The sole fragment believed to exist of Das Rätsel von Bangalor (The Mystery of Bangalore) was identified in the collections of the Deutsche Kinemathek in Berlin via the “Lost Films” website in April 2009. The footage constitutes the only existing moving images of “Dr. Caligari’s muse”, Gilda Langer, a charismatic actress who appeared in just four films before her tragically premature death in 1920 at the age of 23. (Langer was in love with the writer Carl Mayer, inspired the character of Jane in The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, which she was to have played, and suggested the now-historic collaboration between Mayer and Hans Janowitz.) Although consisting merely of two interior shots, the surviving fragment still conveys a clear sense of the visual style of the film’s co-director and designer, Paul Leni, prefiguring his later achievements. The orange-tinted fragment was restored in 2011 by Haghefilm Conservation in Amsterdam for the Deutsche Kinemathek."

"The restoration was supported by the Haghefilm Foundation. New prints were created using what is likely to be the original dye-coloring chemistry on black-and-white silver gelatin material, and both modern photochemical and digital routes on chromogenic color stock in comparison. The brief surviving fragment will thus be screened in its entirety in the following restoration variants: (1) Orange G historical dye tint; (2) Desmet print; duplication on (3) internegative and (4) camera negative color stock; (5) digital intermediate route; and tinting with (6) Orange G compared to (7) modern food dye." DANIELA CURRÒ, OLIVER HANLEY, ULRICH RUEDEL

AA: Just one shot, location: restaurant, with a man and a woman in evening dress, behind a man wearing a turban. "Atmosphère". I would like to see this comparison again, and some of it side by side, but at first viewing 3, 4, and 5 seemed best.

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