Century of Cinema: 1903

In 1903 Méliès was at the peak of his art, creating wonderful gems such as Le Royaume des fées, a film destined to be the centrepiece of a programme made up of several genres, always with its fair share of short comedies and visual tricks. While British pioneers were contributing to cinema with their innovative spirit, in the US – see Edwin S. Porter’s The Great Train Robbery – violence and plot-driven films were already happening.

In the same year, Pathé frères ambitiously rivalled the grand féeries with spectacular productions by Lucien Nonguet about historical figures (Napoléon, Marie Antoinette). Several Pathé titles – part of the Corrick (itinerant showmen) collection – will be presented in restored versions originating from gorgeously hand-coloured prints found in Australia. But there was more to cinema than just these international productions: local cinematographers have documented their 1903 in unique moving images. Prepare yourself to be charmed by the talented Herr Mohr, a bank employee from Kronberg, dancing in drag!

Curated by Mariann Lewinsky and Karl Wratschko.