What better way to start another thrilling Fall-Winter silent season at the Schloss theatre than watching one of the weirdest and most unusual German silent oeuvres ever made?..
"Von Morgens Bis Mitternachts" ( From Morn To Midnight ), a film directed by Herr Karlheinz Martin in the silent year of 1920, was inspired by the eponymous oeuvre by Herr Georg Kaiser. The film depicts the story of a bank cashier who is bewitched by the visit of a rich Italian lady to his counter. He comes to realize how ordinary his life is but his decision to change things brings about his personal downfall.
"Von Morgens Bis Mitternachts" is quintessential German Expressionism; unfortunately, the film didn't receive the praise and honours that it deserved because it was never shown in German cinemas ( the film had a cinema release only in Japan ). That wrong can now be rectified thanks to the superb restoration work done by the longhaired youngsters at the "Edition Filmmuseum" who cleaned and restored the blurry copy that was all that was available for years, rescuing from oblivion and Expressionist darkness this exceptional film.
Darkness, a nightmarish mood and even debauchery are key elements in both story and scenery as we watch our hero meet his doom in this strange city full of bizarre people. The art design of the film is absolutely outstanding; its calculated primitivism accentuates powerfully the oneiric theatrical atmosphere. An air of decadence can be seen also in the costumes, strange and otherworldly in unique Expressionist fashion. The acting is in the same vein and Frau Roma Bahn, performs four different roles.
Technically, "Von Morgens Bis Mitternachts" is outstanding and uses many special effects of that early silent time: double exposures, animated scenes, distorted images. Nonetheless, it is still highly theatrical but the mix of expressionism and avant-garde techniques makes for a near hallucinatory experience.
"Von Morgens Bis Mitternacht" is an absolute one of a kind work; unconventional, uniquely imaginative and experimental, avant-garde and very modern in conception for its time.
And now, if you'll allow me, I must temporarily take my leave because this German Count must enjoy the exclusive aristocratic pleasures from midnight to morn.
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