Cinema Lumiere - Sala Officinema/Mastroianni > 11:30


Teuvo Puro, Jussi Snellman
Piano accompaniment by

Stephen Horne


Sunday 26/06/2022


Original version with subtitles


Film Notes

Since the early 1990s, the DFF – Deutsches Filminstitut & Filmmuseum has preserved film materials of Lotte Reiniger’s works in its collections and made them available in both analogue and digital forms.
Lotte Reiniger turned once again to a fairytale with the expressionist silhouette film Aschenputtel. On 9 March 1923 the “Film-Kurier” stresses the film’s well-captured atmosphere with its naive romanticism and immanent humour, and praises the design of the silhouettes who grasp the essence of the fairytale perfectly. Each of them becomes a character with its individual life. The story of the king’s son who seeks the unknown beauty who has been rejected from her family has been adapted in various film versions. Lotte Reiniger’s silent film from 1922 is based on the original story by the Grimm brothers.
The English distribution version was initiated by a friend of Lotte Reiniger and Carl Koch: Eric Walter White. This export version of the film was first shown at a Film Society event in London. It continued to run in London theatres to great acclaim.
The nitrate positive print with various tints that was the main source material has been deposited in the Bundesarchiv as property of Peter Cürlis, the successor of the film’s producer Hans Cürlis.
With special thanks to Christel Strobel and Anke Mebold.

Louise Burkart

Cast and Credits

Sog.: dalla fiaba omonima di Wilhelm e Jacob Grimm. Scen.: Lotte Reiniger. F.: Carl Koch. Animazione: Lotte Reiniger con la collaborazione di Toni Raboldt, Alexander Kardan. Prod.: Hans Cürlis per Institut für Kulturforschung e.V. DCP. Col. (da una copia nitrato imbibita / from a tinted nitrate print).


Film Notes

Minna Canth (1844-97) is widely acknowledged as Finland’s first significant female writer. She championed women’s rights and feminism, and drew social issues into her writings and discourse. The play Anna-Liisa, which she wrote in the last few years of her life, combines two of her staple themes: a rural setting and social issues. Anna-Liisa is a farmer’s daughter, who is about to marry Johannes. All seems well until a local old woman, Husso, reminds the girl about her past: she gave birth in secret to a child and got rid of it. The father was Husso’s son, Mikko, former farmhand at Anna-Liisa’s house, now a wealthy log driving manager come back to claim his own – Anna Liisa. Canth has turned what could be a tearjerker melodrama into a social statement. Her realism was shocking to the contemporary audience but it also seems ultra-melodramatic in its heightened contrast between different classes, sexes, and right and wrong. These contrasts were further simplified and enhanced in the film as Canth’s more nuanced full dialogue could not be used. Anna-Liisa, which was the first feature film produced by Suomi-Filmi, is quite on a par with contemporary films by Sjöström or Stiller in its use of cinematic expression. Puro confidently utilises flashbacks, dream sequences, and parallel plotlines. Nature is a protagonist, reflecting ambiance as in the seduction scene in the beginning, or as an interpreter of internal turmoil as Anna-Liisa collapses in the woods, the trees fall heavily on her. Anna-Liisa’s destiny was dictated by the rigid moral code of a late-1800s rural patriarchal society. Women were not allowed any premarital or sexual missteps. The pressure was so strong that a woman would rather commit infanticide than reveal her moral error. In Anna-Liisa’s case, this morality leads to her self-condemnation, a crisis that the melodrama emphasises with sadomasochist fervour.

Mikko Kuutti


Cast and Credits

Sog: dalla pièce omonima (1895) di Minna Canth. Scen.: Jussi Snellman. F.: Kurt Jäger, A.J. Tenhovaara. M.: Kurt Jäger, Teuvo Puro. Scgf.: Karl Fager. Int.: Helmi Lindelöf (Anna-Liisa), Greta Waahtera (sua sorella), Hemmo Kallio (suo padre), Meri Roini (sua madre), Emil Autere (Johannes), Mimmi Lähteenoja (Husso), Einari Rinne (Mikko), Axel Ahlberg (prevosto). Prod.: Erkki Karu per Suomi-Filmi. DCP. Col. (da una copia nitrato imbibita / from a tinted nitrate).