Archive for June 28th, 2011

by Allan Fish

(Germany 1929 121m) not on DVD

Aka. Mutter Krausens Fahrt ins Glück

Having nothing left to lose

p  Willi Münzenberg  d  Phil Jutzi  w  Willy Döll, Jan Fethke  story  Otto Nagel, Heinrich Zille  ph  Phil Jutzi  ed  Elfriede Bottrich  m  Paul Dessau, Wolfgang Sternberg  art  Karl Haacker, Robert Scharfenberg

Alexandra Schmitt (Mother Krause), Holmes Zimmermann (Paul), Ilse Trautschold (Erna), Gerhard Bienert (lodger), Vera Sacharowa (prostitute), Friedrich Gnass (Max), Fee Wachsmuth (the kid),

It’s surely one of the best kept secrets in German cinema.  How many people recognise Phil Jutzi’s Mother Krause as one of the major works of Weimar Germany?  How many people recognise Phil Jutzi?  If you do, it’s more than likely to be as the director of the first 1931 adaptation of Berlin Alexanderplatz.  That film is now readily available as an extra on Criterion’s box-set of Fassbinder’s gargantuan TV remake, and it’s rather a mixed bag, as one might expect for such an abbreviated version of the original book.  That wouldn’t get Jutzi more than a footnote in film history, yet he deserves more than that.  Today, if asked to name a pivotal left wing communist influenced German film to come out of Weimar Germany, chances are you would name Dudow’s Kuhle Wampe.  I’ll be damned, however, if Mother Krause isn’t an even better film. (more…)

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