Cinema Lumiere - Sala Scorsese > 21:30


Hermann Kosterlitz

(In case of rain, the screening will be canceled)


Film Notes

When we meet Eva Wild (Franziska Gaal), she and her grandfather have just been evicted from their humble flat. Together, they try to make ends meet in a world that has only contempt for the poor. A thief stealing Eva’s last dress turns out to be a blessing in disguise: now dressed as a boy and calling herself Peter, she embarks on several schemes that might eventually turn her fortune.
The European outpost of Universal Pictures, lead by Hollywood legend Joe Pasternak, was the most important producer of German-language exile cinema. Between 1933 and 1936, several films were made in Hungary and Austria, most of them directed by Hermann Kosterlitz and/or starring Franziska Gaal. Peter, the first collaboration of the two, is perfectly attuned to the charms of its star, and it also features the work of several other Jewish artists banned from German screens, such as comedians Otto Wallburg and Felix Bressart, screenwriter Felix Joachimson and composer Ni- kolaus Brodszky. Transforming the experience of displacement into art is also the film’s near-utopian theme. While refraining, like most German-language exile films, from explicit political commentary, the gentle crossdressing comedy, not unlike the work of Capra and Chaplin, lays bare the social meaning of fantasy play. To desire to be somebody else means to desire to change the world. And sometimes, it might just work. As one of the songs in the film puts it: “Funny is the world, like a dream / Sometimes you can hardly recognise yourself / You are never quite the way you like to be.”

Lukas Foerster

Cast and Credits

T. alt.: Péter. Sog.: Sándor Nádas. Scen.: Felix Joachimson, Johann von Vásáry. F.: Stefan Eiben. M.: Viktor Gertler. Scgf.: Márton Vincze. Mus.: Nicholas Brodszky. Canzoni: Fritz Rotter. Int.: Franziska Gaal (Eva/Peter), Hans Járay (Robert Bandler), Etha von Storm (Mary), Felix Bressart (il nonno), Anton Pointner (Steffani), Imre Ráday (il ladro), Otto Wallburg (il signor Zöllner). Prod.: Universal-Film GmbH. DCP. Bn