Hände (original title)
Stella F. Simon and and Miklos Bandy’s 1927–28 16mm film, Hands: The Life and Love of a Gentle Sex, is a short, experimental, feminist film whose aesthetic is drawn from American and European modernist photography movements and early avant-garde film traditions.
In a prelude, among a sea of hands, two find each other, a female and a male. She reaches toward him. In the next part, “The Individual,” the two hands move expressively, then the male hand grabs the female arm at the wrist, holding tight. He lets her go, and she leads in a more playful and sensuous exploration of the other and of the space around them. Fingers entwine and the male hand again becomes grasping. Other hands reappear with seeming conformity of movement. In the third part, “Balance,” many hands caress and explore a bowl; it breaks. Are repair and restoration possible: the female hand provides guidance.
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Director: Miklos Bandy
Writer: Stella F. Simon (idea by)
Polizeibericht Überfall (original title)
The film centers on the struggles of a German citizen who happens upon a counterfeit coin lying in a gutter. The opening sequence of the movie gives a brief glimpse into the notion that the coin might be “cursed,” as another passerby is struck down by a car while reaching for the coin in the middle of the road. Although the finder of the coin is at first glad, he soon regrets ever having picked it up.
Director: Ernö Metzner
Writers: Grace Chiang, Ernö Metzner
Stars: Heinrich Gotho, Eva Schmid-Kayser, Sybille Schmitz
Rennsymphonie (original title)
Hans Richter (April 6, 1888 — February 1, 1976) was a painter, graphic artist, avant-gardist, film-experimenter and producer. He was born in Berlin into a well-to-do family and died in Minusio, near Locarno, Switzerland.
‘Race Symphony (1928)’ belongs to a different style of film-making, most popular popular in the 1920s, known loosely as “City Symphonies.” Documentaries such as ‘Berlin: Symphony of a Great City (1927)’ and ‘The Man With a Movie Camera (1929)’ celebrated the working-class mechanics of society, often shunning intertitles and instead using diverse optical effects – such as double-exposures, dissolves, split-screen and slow-motion – to communicate story and mood. Richter’s entry runs just seven minutes, and documents a typical day at the German races, where sophisticated people turn up in droves to place a bet, watch the horses and celebrate a well-deserved win.
Director: Hans Richter
Writer: Hans Richter
Semi-abstract art film of neon signs
City lights contrasted with total darkness in this experimental short film.
A short film by French director Germaine Dulac.
‘In this film, the title translated as ‘Those Who Make Themselves,’ we follow a destitute drunk woman who appears to yearn for the life of a prostitute or to engage in some sort of tryst. It is also possible that she is simply despondent over rejection by a lover. She appears to fail at everything she tries and eventually walks down a staircase into the Seine river. It’s a very simple film that manages to convey a deep sense of loneliness.’
Director: Germaine Dulac
Stars: Lilian Constantini, Georges Vallée
A Czechoslovakian avant-garde film. A visual symphony of Prague by night.
Directed by – Svatopluk Innemann
An introductory title informs the spectator that the film will be composed of four series of images, ‘the motorbike, the woman, the mountain and abstract blocks’, elements which serve as the starting point for Dekeukeleire to construct his film according to very precise parameters. The rhythm is given by a mathematical fragmentation of the film’s running time, divided up into temporal segments where the four repertories of images succeed each other in every possible combination with no respect for either melodic line or dramatic tension.
Director: Charles Dekeukeleire
Writer: Charles Dekeukeleire
Star: Yvonne Selma