Arthur Schnitzler and the Birth of Film
09/19/2012 - 6:30 PM
On the occasion of the 150th anniversary of Arthur Schnitzler´s birth, Dr. Lorenzo Bellettiniwill give a multimedia lecture on Schnitzler´s relationship with the emerging film industry in turn-of-the-century Vienna. The city was at the peak of its cultural influence and many of the innovations which would lead to modernity were under way: the birth of psychoanalysis, electric light, cars, airplanes, and film.
In his diaries, Schnitzler scrupulously documented his frequent visits to the cinema. He watched films by great German directors such as Murnau and Fritz Lang, but also Eisenstein, Hitchcock, and especially Charlie Chaplin, and admired the great international stars of that time.
He also wrote for the cinema. From the Copenhagen première of his Liebelei film onwards, Schnitzler wrote nine film scripts based on his writings, and left a number of sketches for new projects, including an unfinished murder mystery script. At the same time, films inspired by his work were produced in the United States, with or without his authorisation (such as Cecil B. De Mille’s The Affairs of Anatol, 1921, and Daybreak, 1931).
This multimedia lecture will use unpublished materials from Schnitzler’s vast archive at Cambridge University Library, especially his film scripts (as yet unknown in the U.S.), as well as music excerpts, historical photographs, and rare sound recordings of Schnitzler himself.
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