9th Silent Film Days: Incursion of the Fantastical
Thu, 10.03.2011 – Sun, 13.03.2011
The title of the 9th Silent Film Days assumes that something exists beyond our profane everyday world and is capable of breaking into it. Whatever this is, perhaps it only exists in our imagination and enhances our sensual perception and expands our horizon accordingly.
A book by Jacques Leutrat plays a key role in the program’s concept. In the book Leutrat refers to Sigmund Freud’s essay "The Uncanny," which claims that when something we know well returns from a world from which there is actually no return, that which is familiar becomes uncanny.
Film is able to present various ways and means of breaking into our mundane world. A broad selection of films offers viewers a look.
In Nosferatu, ghosts begin to haunt the hero after he crosses a bridge in a coach. Doors, mirror, and window are the visual transitions from the one world to the other. Likewise uncanny is the loss of unconditional qualities. In the opening film "The Student of Prague," the title character has to accept the loss of his shadow (which is his own fault) and its transformation to a doppelganger of sorts.
The film version of Gogol’s "The Overcoat" by Russian directors Grigori Kosinzew and Leonid Trauberg works by means of exaggeration and the grotesque. The piece of clothing mentioned in the title begins to lead a life of its own. The theoretical attempt to clearly grasp the fantastical conceptually reaches its borders in films such as "Shadows" by Arthur Robison and "Destiny" by Fritz Lang, the festival’s final film. In Lang’s film, a woman pleads with death to bring her husband-to-be back to life. Exchanging his life for another is the only possibility. This is meant to clearly show the fact that a return from the world of the dead is impossible and is tied solely to horror.
In "The Fall of the House of Usher" Jean Epstein presents an uncanny atmosphere using recordings from nature and water. His film confronts the essence of art: the protagonist paints a portrait of his wife. The more "realistic" the likeness becomes, the more her life forces weaken, which ultimately leads to her death. Her life has passed over to the portrait.
And finally, included are films that play or parody forms of the fantastical film. "The Cat and the Canary" by Paul Leni is a thrilling horror comedy that fulfills all clichés. "Dr. Pyckle and Mr. Pride" with Stan Laurel is an amusing parody of "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde." The parody follows the model closely so that the viewers can understand all of the innuendos.

Short films from the early days of cinema for young people 10 and older will be presented under the title Fairies and Magicians: an early version of "Alice in Wonderland," "A journey to Jupiter," "Japanese acrobats," and "Aladdin and His Magic Lamp." Many of these films were produced as hand-colored films; viewers can look forward to an extraordinarily colorful program, which again will be accompanied by the Ensemble Saiten-Wind of the Badischen Konservatoriums.

All films in the main program will be accompanied musically by the Karlsruher Improvisations-Ensembles with Holger Ebeling and Frieder Egri as well as Günter Buchwald from Freiburg. New are Sabrina Hausmann and Marc Pogolski on piano. The Karlsruhe Silent Film Days will take place in 2011 for the first time in a cooperation of Déjá Vu – Film e. V. and Kinemathek Karlsruhe e. V.


Thu, March 10, 2011

7 p.m.: Opening, Studentenhaus, Adenauerring 7
The Student of Prag (D: Hanns Heinz Ewers/Stellan Rye)

Fri, March 11, 2011

5 p.m., ZKM_Media Theater
Shadows (D: Artur Robison)

7.30 p.m., ZKM_Media Theater
The Fall of the House of Usher (D: James Sibley Watson Jr.)
Vampyr (D: Carl Theodor Dreyer)

10 p.m., Studentenhaus, Adenauerring 7
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (D: John S. Robertson)
Dr. Pyckle and Mr. Pride (D: Scott Pembroke & Joe Rock, with Stan Laurel)

Sat, March 12, 2011

5 p.m., ZKM_Media Theater
Premiere: Vierte Beobachtung (short silent film by T. Heise’s film class at the University of Arts and Design Karlsruhe, composition by the University of Music Karlsruhe)
The Overcoat (D: Grigori Kosinzew/Leonid Trauberg)

8 p.m., ZKM_Media Theater
The Thieving Hand
Orlacs Hände (D: Robert Wiene)

8 p.m., Studentenhaus, Adenauerring 7
Culinary Cinema
Nosferatu, D: Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau

Sun, March 13, 2011

2.30 p.m. Children’s films, ZKM_Media Theater
Fairies and Magicians (short film program)
Films: Die Reise zum Jupiter, Der Schmetterlingsfänger, Japanische Akrobaten, Alice in Wonderland, and others

4 p.m., ZKM_Lecture Hall
Special program
Muta Passione [Silent Passion ] (D: Pasqualino Suppa)
5:30 p.m. The Cat and the Canary (D: Paul Leni)

8 p.m., Studentenhaus, Adenauerring 7
Destiny (D: Fritz Lang)
Organization / Institution
ZKM ; Studentenhaus