T. alt.: Grausige Nächte. Sog.: from the homonymous story (1912) by Anselma Heine. Scen.: Richard Oswald, Robert Liebmann. F.: Carl Hoffmann. Scgf.: Julius Hahlo. Int.: Conrad Veidt (the stranger), Anita Berber (the woman), Reinhold Schünzel (the former husband). Prod.: Richard Oswald per Film AG. 35mm. L.: 542 m. D.: 24’ a 20 f/s. Bn.
In 1919 Richard Oswald shot an anthology film, Unheimliche Geschichten, compiled of five parts and a frame story. The main cast is the same as in Oswald’s Anders als die Andern: Conrad Veidt, Reinhold Schünzel and Anita Berber. These three performers take on different roles in each episode. The first of these, Die Erscheinung (from the novella written by Anselma Heine), is characterised by an astonishing modernity due to its elliptical storytelling, the odd atmosphere and use of dreamlike imagery and structure. One could easily mention the term ‘proto-surrealist cinema’ in connection with this episode. While watching Die Erscheinung on the viewing table I really hoped that Unheimliche Geschichten would continue in the same vein, but no. The first episode is definitely the best. So we are being a little outrageous this year: we will present just the introduction and the first episode of Unheimliche Geschichten.