Weimar Film Still Image

Louise Brooks in G.W. Pabst's Pandora's Box (1929)

Note from the Editors

We’re pleased to present the Spring Edition of WeimarCinema.org.

While the previous edition focused on building an online archive for research and teaching, this edition serves as a forum for online publishing on Weimar cinema in its broadest sense. The new essays experiment with various forms of writing, ranging from short thought-provoking pieces about individual films to articles about filmmakers, genres, and theoretical debates in their international context.

We invite readers to contribute to the Fall Edition 2023, which is planned for early October. If you would like to be notified about future editions and further updates, please join our mailing list.


Essays from
Tom Gunning on a forgotten late Expressionist film and its return as an American horror flick;
Pamela Hutchinson on G.W. Pabst’s Weimar films through the lens of film noir;
Leonardo Quaresima on marketing “expressionism” in Weimar cinema and the applied arts;
So Mayer on queer Weimar cinema and its rich British connections;
Tatjana Hramova on Samuel Beckett’s debt to Fritz Lang’s Weimar films
Michael Cowan and Anton Kaes on the mostly unknown genre of Weimar Shorts.
In Dossiers, Oksana Bulgakova explores the embattled reception of Eisenstein’s Battleship Potemkin in Berlin in 1926. The dossier contains an introductory text and extensive archival documentation (in German) of censorship records, reviews, and the debates the film triggered about art and politics in general.


Dr. Mabuse Today: The Centennial of Fritz Lang’s Dr.Mabuse, the Gambler

Screen vol. 64, Issue 1 (Spring 2023), 82-128.

A dossier edited by Ido Lewit, with essays by Iris Lupa, Maxfield Fulton, Thomas Leitch, Frances Guerin, and Regina Karl.

Babylon Berlin: Weimar Oggi

Sesto San Giovanni: Mimesis Edition, 2023


Mission 1929 - Das Online Game appeared in January 2023 as part of the outreach program of The House of the Weimar Republic, which opened in Weimar at the republic’s centennial in 2019 and is dedicated to all things Weimar. The interactive online game (in German) wants to teach young Germans how precious democracy is and how quickly it can vanish. The online game is accompanied by an interactive Online-Lernmodule (learning platform) featuring several short films about Revolution und Aufbruch; Krisen der Anfangsjahre; Die goldenen Zwanziger; Die Zerstörung. The game is also promoted by a YouTube trailer. See also Browsergame Mission 1929.

All Quiet on the Western Front wins four Oscars – for best camera, film music, and production design, as well as the Oscar for best International Feature Film in 2023. See the acceptance speech here. The BBC interview with the lead actor is here. Deutsche Welle produced a short feature about the politics of this film, and several hundred users responded. All Quiet on the Western Front was produced by Netflix and directed by the German director Edward Berger. It currently streams on Netflix in German with English subtitles. The film is an adaptation of the influential American film with the same title from 1930. Both are based on internationally famous antiwar novel Im Westen nichts Neues by Erich Maria Remarque published in 1929. Read about the highly contested German reception of this American film in the polarized climate of Germany in December 1930 in this dossier. The reaction to this antiwar film in 1930 was even more heated than the debate about Potemkin in 1926. See the dossier on Potemkin’s German reception here.

German cinema and the effects of inflation in 1923 is the topic of a new film series, Die Freudlose Gasse: Die Auswirkungen von 1923 im Kino der Weimarer Republik, presented by the Deutsches Filmmuseum Frankfurt (DFF) in May 2023. See details (in German) here. The film series accompanies a new exhibition with the title “ ``Weimar, weiblich: Frauen und Geschlechtervielfalt im Kino der Moderne, 1918-1933” at the same venue from March 29 to November 12, 2023. More details (in German) here.

Babylon Berlin Season 4, co-produced between paid television network Sky and German public broadcasting company ARD, was shown on Sky in late 2022; it’s expected to start in Germany on ARD not until Fall of 2023 and on Netflix some time in 2024. Read the latest on this delay here.

ON SET. Filmstadt Berlin is a new app from the Stiftung Deutsche Kinemathek that allows you to explore film locations and sets of Weimar films with the help of Augmented Reality (AR). Check here. See also the smartphone version in Google Play Store.

Memories of Desire, a 2019 autobiographical film by Victoria Schultz is an example of the international afterlife of German Expressionism. This rarely-seen film was the subject of a recent blog post by the Finnish film critic, Antti Alanen. Commenting on the black and white, sharp-contrast film, he writes: “The mode has affinities with the Kammerspiel films of the Weimar Republic such as Schatten and the whole théâtre intime cycle written by Carl Mayer. These are films of interiority, starkly abstracted with stylized characters, spaces often overwhelmed by large shadows.” See also Schultz’s website.

Phantome der Nacht. 100 Jahre Nosferatu is the title of a new exhibition by the Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin (Sammlung Scharf-Gerstenberg) between December 16, 2022 and April 23, 2023. For more details, check here.

Babylon Berlin Season 4 premiered in Germany on Sky Atlantic on October 14, 2022. No date has been set for the subtitled version on Netflix. While Seasons 1-3 have focused on events in 1929, Season 4 concentrates on 1930/1931. For more details about Season 4, check here(Guardian), here(trailer), here(short episode list), and here(Reddit discussion thread).

Weimar, weiblich: Frauen und Geschlechtervielfalt im Kino der Moderne, 1918-1933 is the title of a new exhibition at the Deutsches Filmmuseum Frankfurt. It is planned for the end of March 2023. More details (in German) here.

Women in German Dissertation Prize 2022: Mary E. Hennessy, Handmaidens of Modernity: Gender, Labor and Media in Weimar Germany. 2021. U of Michigan, PhD dissertation. See Feminist German Studies (Volume 38, Number 2) Fall/Winter 2022, 132.

1923 -- This fateful year is the subject of no fewer than seven books published in 2022 (a year ahead of its centennial). For the political, social, and cultural context of films produced at the time, see the following titles:
Volker Ulrich: Deutschland 1923. Das Jahr am Abgrund. Munich: C.H. Beck Verlag, 2022;
Jutta Hoffritz: Totentanz. 1923 und seine Folgen. Hambug: HarperCollins Verlag, 1922;
Peter Süß: 1923. Endstation. Alles einsteigen! Berlin: Berenberg Verlag, 1922;
Peter Longerich: Außer Kontrolle. Deutschland 1923. Wien/Graz: Molden Verlag, 2022;
Peter Reichel: Rettung der Republik? Deutschland im Krisenjahr 1923; Munich: Hanser Verlag, 1922:
Christian Bommarius, Im Rausch des Aufruhrs. Deutschland 1923. Munich: DTV, 2020;
Nikolai Hannig and Detleve Manes, eds. Krise! Wie 1923 die Welt erschütterte. Berlin: Wbg Academic, 2022.
See also a review of the first five titles by Alexander Gallus, Das Weimarer Doppelgesicht, in: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (November 28, 2022).

Nicolas Cage paid homage to The Cabinet of Caligari, in his 2022 Film The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent. The homage was depicted in a scene, which did not make the final cut (it was too artsy for the studio), but can be viewed here. The black-and-white scene imitated the silent film's setting and lighting. According to IndieWire (June 2022), Cage said: “I always designed my performances with the cinematic dream of getting back to silent film performance in general, and German Expressionism in particular.”

All Quiet on the Western Front, a filmic adaptation of Erich Maria Remarque’s blockbuster anti-war novel “Im Westen nichts Neues” (1929) by the German director Edward Berger, premieres in a subtitled version on Netflix on October 27, 2022. This film is also Germany’s entry for the 2023 Oscar for Best Foreign Film. See reviews of the German film in USA Today, NPR, and New York Times. The Dossier on the German reception of the 1930 American adaptation is available here.

A new restoration by the Deutsche Kinemathek of Razzia in St. Pauli (Werner Hochbaum 1932) premiered this fall at the 2022 Budapest Classics Film Marathon.

The Haunted Screen is the title of a six-part narrative podcast about Weimar cinema (available through Apple or Google Podcasts and Spotify). The six episodes are written and presented by Travis Mushett, professor of film & media at Fordham University. They run between 60 and 90 minutes each and concentrate on the classic films and directors. They are remarkably well researched and easy to listen to. A brief article about the podcast can be found here. (Thanks to Rick Rentschler for the tip.)

The Pordenone Silent Film Festival is the world’s leading international silent-film festival. Each October, many hundreds of archivists and scholars from around the world meet to see the most recent restorations of silent films. The festival has screened more than than 300 films from the Weimar Republic since it began in 1982. For a complete database of Weimar films shown between 1982 and 2018, click here.

Fritz Lang made a brief audio recording (“Leitworte”) about the universal language of cinema to mark the premiere of Metropolis in January 1927. The recording, transcript, and translation are here

Filmportal.de offers a succinct introduction to Weimar film in English (with valuable links to historical documents in translation). Check here

Geschichte des dokumentarischen Films in Deutschland, vol. 2, the authoritative 673- page history of documentary cinema in the Weimar Republic, is now available online. Edited by Klaus Kreimeier, Antje Ehmann and Jean-Paul Goergen, it was published by Reclam in 2005. Vol. 1 (Kaiserreich) and vol. 3 (Drittes Reich) are also online. Vol. 4 (nach 1945) is in production.

Zensurkarten -- An extensive collection of German film censorship records is now digitized and available online. (Thanks to Oliver Hanley for sharing this information here).