DAS LIED VOM LEBEN
T. l.: Il canto della vita R.: Alexis Granowsky. Sc.: Victor Trivas, H. Lechner, Walter Mehring. F.: Viktor Trinkler, Heinrich Belasch. Mus.: Franz Weihmayr, Friedrich Hollander, H. Adams. In.: Aribert Mog, Margot Ferra, Fritz Busch, Leo Monosson. P.: Film-Kunst AG, Tonbild-Syndikat AG. L.: 1511 m., D.: 54’ a 24 f/s.
A young girl tries to kill herself after been jilted in love. A young man rescues and falls in love with her. From catastrophe a newly-found zest for life. The story offers the opportunity to analyse from a cinematic perspective human condition, the mechanisms of nature and the unfathomable mystery of consciousness.
“Granowsky was born in 1890 in Moscow from a wealthy Jewish family. His professional origin is to be found in the theatre, and he made his apprenticeship with Max Reinhardt. After the Revolution Granowsky founded GOSET (Moscow’s Jewish Theatre). This effort is quite remarkable both for his antinaturalistic direction influenced by a plethora of very diverse theatrical forms, and the attempt to bring to light and disseminate Jewish culture. The unique instance of Jewish Happiness (1925) should be interpreted along these lines, a film adapted from the novel of a Jewish writer, Scholem Aleichem, with the contribution of Isaak Babel for the intertitles”.
“In 1928, after a tour abroad, Granowsky settled in Germany. Besides working extensively for the theatre, in 1930 he made Das Lied vom Leben, a film about the emancipation of traditional values and attitudes, but also the struggle for survival, where only solidarity can be of aid. Granowsky tried his hand with the options offered by cinema tricks, as remarked by Arnheim: ‘Anamorphic lenses, rotating multiple lenses, fast and slow motion takes, post-synchronised dialogue, composition of sound and noises, illustrated songs, mirror shots, a reverse sound-track, interrupted dialogue’”.
Jeanpaul Goergen, Künstlerische Avantgarde. Visianäre Utopie, in Fantaisies russe. Russische Filmmacher in Berlin und Paris 1920-1930, ed. by Jörg Schöning, München, Text + Kritik, 1995