Weimar Revisited at the Berlinale

Early & Silent Film

The Berlinale, or Berlin International Film Festival, is one of the great Film Festivals. It has a vast and varied programme. Alongside the offerings of world cinema, mainstream productions, documentaries and experimental fare are well designed retrospective programmes. This year, in a treat for cinephiles, the Festival offered a focus on the era of Weimar Cinema, German film production from 1918 to 1933.

“In the heyday of German film-making, a variety of styles developed such as Expressionism and New Objectivity, inspired in part by American methods, a division of labour developed which led to greater professionalism and specialisation in many film production jobs.”

‘Expressionism’ is fairly well-known as a film movement, Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari  (The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, 1920) is the famous example. The ‘New Objectivity’ was an artistic movement which in some ways was a reaction against Expressionism. The films espoused a more naturalistic style…

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Hippie exploitation films

1960s: Days of Rage

The Trip (1967)

Hippie exploitation films are 1960s exploitation films about the hippiecounterculture with stereotypical situations associated with the movement such as marijuana and LSD use, sex and wild psychedelic parties. From almost the beginning, Hollywood also got in on the action and produced a number of extremely lurid hippie exploitation films masquerading as cautionary public service announcements, but which were in fact aimed directly at feeding a morbid public appetite while pretending to take a moral stance. Often depicting drug-crazed hippies living and freaking out in ‘Manson family’ style communes, such films as The Hallucination Generation (1967) and Riot on Sunset Strip (1967) depicted ‘hippie’ youths running wild in an orgy of group sex, drugs, crime and even murder. Other examples include The Love-ins, Psych-Out, The Trip, and Wild in the Streets. One of the strangest of these films is the horror film

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Hunter S. Thompson, The Art of Journalism No. 1

1960s: Days of Rage

“In an October 1957 letter to a friend who had recommended he read Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead, Hunter S. Thompson wrote, ‘Although I don’t feel that it’s at all necessary to tell you how I feel about the principle of individuality, I know that I’m going to have to spend the rest of my life expressing it one way or another, and I think that I’ll accomplish more by expressing it on the keys of a typewriter than by letting it express itself in sudden outbursts of frustrated violence. . . .’ Thompson carved out his niche early. He was born in 1937, in Louisville, Kentucky, where his fiction and poetry earned him induction into the local Athenaeum Literary Association while he was still in high school. Thompson continued his literary pursuits in the United States Air Force, writing a weekly sports column for the base newspaper. After two…

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Crying – Roy Orbison (1962)

1960s: Days of Rage

“By the time 1962 rolled around, Roy Orbison had established himself as one of the leading lights out of Nashville. He was a little left of Johnny Cash and a little right of Elvis. But it took Orbison a little while to realise this place within the musical landscape; his voice was reminiscent of the King’s and his look presented nothing particularly new either. He toiled away under the guidance of Sam Phillips at Sun Studios, Memphis, for a few years and only minor hits were the result. It wasn’t until he met songwriting partner Joe Melson, that things really began to fall into place for Roy. He moved to Monument Records in 1960 where the focus in the studio was centred around exploiting the quality and range of his voice. Orbison also made the key decision whilst at Monument, to insist that orchestral accompaniment be employed as part of…

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