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Monday, 16 November 2015

Von Stroheim & Joe May films at the WEA

It's not often that a screening of genuine rarities comes along and in this case, the rarity factor is diminished by availability on DVD but the double bill screening presented by the WEA Film Society at its theatrette at 70-72 Bathurst Street at noon is quite something. Some extracts from Leth Maitland's program notes set out the details.

Blind Husbands 
Der Rache der Berge (Blinde Ehemänner), the restored Austrian version of the American
film Blind Husbands USA 1919 100m tinted music soundtrack D: Erich von Stroheim
[credited as director and writer as Erich Stroheim]
This edition presents the film in its gorgeous tinted Austrian release version, It features German-language intertitles and English subtitles. This print of the film is the longest and oldest version available today. Shot lengths are often slightly longer. The film includes shots omitted from surviving American versions. As part of the show. The Austrian Film Museum (das Ă–sterreichische
Filmmuseum) has prepared a ten-minute comparison between versions which will also be shown.

Then comes....

(Germany 1929 89m) bw orchestral soundtrack D: Joe May, “Joe May’s sensual drama of life in the Berlin underworld is in many ways the perfect summation of German filmmaking in the silent era: a dazzling visual style, a psychological approach to its characters, and the ability to take a simple and essentially melodramatic story and turn it into something more complex and inherently cinematic.” — anonymous Internet Movie Database plot summary.


  1. So many of the current Australian crop of film societies are running on established US features when they can access dvd like these easily from National Collection in Canberra. Where is the challenge to their audiences?

  2. After viewing the film and the most informative accompanying doco (the WEA F S ensures no stone is unturned) I can report the BLIND HUSBANDS restoration shown at WEA, plus the comparison documentary was produced and supervised by by Michael Loebenstein now CEO of our National Film & Sound Archive.


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