Herr Lubitsch Goes to Hollywood: German and American Film After World War I
Ernst Lubitsch, the German filmmaker who left Berlin for Hollywood in the 1920s, is best remembered today for the famous "Lubitsch touch" in such masterpieces as Ninotchka, which featured Greta Garbo's first-ever screen smile, and Heaven Can Wait. Kristin Thompson's study analyzes Lubitsch's earlier silent films of 1918 to 1927 in order to trace the mutual influences between the classical Hollywood film style as it had evolved in the 1910s and the German film industry of the same period, which had emerged from World War I second in strength only to Hollywood.
During World War I, American firms supplied theaters around the world as French and Italian films had become scarce. Ironically, the war strengthened German filmmaking due to a ban on imports that lasted until 1921. During that period of isolation, Lubitsch became the finest proponent of German filmmaking and once Hollywood films appeared in Germany again Lubitsch was quick to absorb their stylistic traits as well. He soon became the unique master of both styles as the golden ages of the American and German cinema were beginning. This innovative study utilizes Lubitsch's silent films as a means to compare two great national cinemas at a vital formative period in cinema history.
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Chapter One Lubitschs Career
Chapter Two Making the Light Come from the Story Lighting
Chapter Three Subduing the Cluttered Background Set Design
Chapter Four Guiding the Viewers Attention Editing
Chapter Five Peeking at the Players Acting
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action actors American films Augen der Mumie back-lighting Berlin camera Carmen Fig characters cinematographer comedies continuity create cut-in dark studios director editing Ernst Lubitsch Expressionist eyeline matches Eyman F. W. Murnau Figure fill light Filmtechnik Flamme Fig Forbidden Paradise Fig foreground Fürstin Demidoff German cinema German filmmakers German films Grossstadt Fig Hektor Dalmore Fig Hollywood films Horak influence intertitles Katastrophe eines Volkes Lady Windermere’s Fan lamps Landstrasse und Grossstadt Liebschaften des Hektor long shot looking Lubitsch touch Lubitsch’s films Madame Dubarry Fig Marriage Circle Menjou montage sequence Moving Picture World Mumie Mâ Fig Pickford Pola Negri Prince in Old production Puppe Raoul Robert Florey Rose Bernd Rosita Fig scene screen direction set design shadow shows space Stindt Student Prince stylistic Sumurun Fig techniques Three Women Fig three-point lighting United Artists V-pattern Warner Bros Weib des Pharao weisse Pfau Fig Windermere Windermere’s Fan Fig Woman of Paris