Wilkommmen, Weimar!

Metropolis, 1926

Weimar to Hollywood

Sydneysiders who love a bit of German expressionist film are in luck. In conjunction with the Mad Square exhibition at the Art Gallery of NSW—Modernity in German art 1910-1937—comes the Weimar to Hollywood film series. Kicking off today (Aug. 18) with Expressionist classic The Cabinet of Dr Caligari, the series focuses on films by directors Fritz Lang and FW Murnau, but also includes those by GW Pabst and Josef von Sternberg.

The season includes Nosferatu, M and The Big Heat. And best of all, the movies are free. But from a fashion and style perspective, the following four films have Miss Prescott most excited…

Pandora’s Box (1929)
Directed by GW Pabst
Costumes by Gottlieb Hesch

This is the film that launched Louise Brooks to international acclaim—and her black bob to one of the most recognisable haircuts of all time. Brooks plays chorus girl Lulu, with a jazz age wardrobe par excellence.

The Blue Angel (1930)
Directed by Josef von Sternberg
Costumes by Tihamer Varady

One of Marlene Dietrich’s most iconic roles, as cabaret singer Lola Lola, and the one that then led her to Hollywood. We can’t wait for Lola Lola’s nightclub ensembles, all  top hat, frilled knickers and suspenders.

Scarlet Street (1945)
Directed by Fritz Lang
Costumes by Travis Banton

After Lang was lured to Hollywood, he created a series of film noir and crime dramas, including this one, starring Joan Bennett (above) and Edward G. Robinson. As a kept woman, Bennett’s character Kitty ups the glamour, courtesy of duped admirer Robinson.

Metropolis (1926)
Directed by Fritz Lang
Costumes by Aenne Wilkomm

Decandent set pieces aside (see top), Metropolis‘s style is also remembered for providing arguably the most memorable costume of this entire era—and one that is still instantly recognisable today—the futuristic fembot.

The film season runs from August 17–November 6. For more information, including dates and screening times, click here.


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