Daily Archives: February 7, 1992

The Oyster Princess

Ernst Lubitsch’s first feature-length comedy (1919), about an American millionaire trying to acquire a noble title for his daughter by marrying her off to a Prussian prince, is an unalloyed delight–a perfect rejoinder to those critics who maintain that Lubitsch only found “the Lubitsch touch” after he moved to Hollywood in the 1920s. The satire is sharp, and the visual settings are sumptuous and gracefully handled; with Ossi Owalda, Harry Liedtke, and Victor Janson. (Film Center, Art Institute, Columbus Drive at Jackson, Saturday, February 8, 8:30, 443-3737)… Read more »

Images of the World and the Inscription of War

A fascinating 1988 film essay about photography by Harun Farocki. One of Germany’s most interesting independent filmmakers, he combines the freewheeling imagination of a Chris Marker with the rigor of an Alexander Kluge, and has a materialist approach to editing sound and image that suggests both Fritz Lang and Robert Bresson. Central to the argument of this film are some aerial photographs of Auschwitz taken by American bombers looking for factories and power plants and missing the lines of people in front of the gas chambers–which are contrasted with Nazi photographs and images drawn by an Auschwitz prisoner, Alfred Kantor. Farocki’s provocative reflections on these and related matters and his highly original fragmentization and manipulation of music make this an excellent beginning to a long-overdue retrospective of his work, which until now has not been available in the U.S. Farocki will be present for a discussion; cosponsored by the Goethe-Institut. (Chicago Filmmakers, 1229 W. Belmont, Wednesday, February 12, 7:30,281-8788) … Read more »