Fritz Lang: A City Looks for a Murderer (1931) | Sehenswert festival


September 19, 2017

This year’s SZEMREVALÓ /SEHENSWERT/EYEFUL Film Festival will take place September 21-30. This event is sponsored by the Goethe Institute, the Austrian Cultural Forum, and the Embassy of Switzerland, who are presenting the very best new films from the German-language world, now for the sixth time, in the original language with subtitles or interpretation.
Many films are to be shown with English subtitles.

The films are organized into four thematic groups:  Fritz Lang Revisited, Societal Fault Lines, Crises and Choices, and finally Legends.  Screenings will also include the first interactive cinematic film, Late Shift,  the evolution of whose plot will be decided by the viewers.

The group Fritz Lang Revisited will include a digital remaster of Lang’s 1931 classic M – A City Looks for a Murderer. Lang’s first talking movie is the quintessential masterpiece of prewar German film. With its obvious allusions to the social milieu of the Weimar Republic, and given its sarcastic depiction of manhunt and mass hysteria, it is no surprise that the Nazis found it subversive.

Liliom [Lily], based on a 1934 work by Ferenc Molnár, will be shown with English subtitles on Sunday, September 24, at 18:30. Also subtitled is the documentary From Caligari to Hitler, an exploration by director Rüdiger Suchsland of the psychological construction inherent in the films of the Weimar Republic. This will run on Friday, September 22, and Wednesday, September 27, both at 18:30. This documentary seeks out the traces in film of a society whose nightmarish images of war and apocalypse sent it spiraling into depression. Commenting on this will be two major directors of today’s German cinema, Fatih Akin and Volker Schlöndorff.

Societal Fault Lines will include the Dardennes brothers’ Marija, a Swiss film in a dry style, for the English-speaking audience, on Friday, September 22 at 18:00, and Monday, September 25 at 20:30. The story involves a young Ukrainian woman who makes a living as a maid while dreaming of having her own hair salon. Each month she sets aside a little money, but on the day she is let go out of the blue, her dream goes up in smoke, forcing her to look for other options. In doing so, she proves able to make everything secondary to her new goal, including her body, her human connections, and even her own feelings.

Another work from Switzerland, this time in the Crises and Choices group, is the English-language Late Shift, which became iconic for its age, with showings on Wednesday, September 27 and Saturday, September 30, both at 20:00. In this, the world’s first interactive feature film, the talented college student Matt must prove his innocence when he has been forced to take part in the robbery of a London auction house. The audience will decide what happens next: using their mobile telephones, they can vote on what the protagonist’s next steps should be. Late Shift is the first feature film made in the CtrlMovie interactive format, mixing film with the world of computer games to produce a special experience.

The second English-subtitled film in this group is Freddy/Eddy, to be shown on Friday, September 22, at 20:45, and Wednesday, September 27, at 18:00.  The protagonist is living through the darkest days of his life when his childhood imaginary friend shows up unexpectedly. How can you prove someone exists, when in fact you have just made him up? Finally, on Saturday, September 23 at 18:30, and Monday, September 25 at 18:00, Tizenhét [Seventeen] deals with unfulfilled desire, first sexual experiences, the power games that love brings on, and a gradual discovery of identity.


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