Cinema Lumiere - Sala Officinema/Mastroianni > 18:00


Introduced by

Janneke van Dalen (Österreichisches Filmmuseum)

Piano accompaniment by

Donald Sosin and Antonio Coppola


Friday 01/07/2022


Original version with subtitles


Film Notes

“The madrigal of summer seas, Attuned to sweet rehearsal; And dreams, gowned in a twilight breeze, – Love’s gage, universal.” The first intertitle sets the exalted tone of this ‘enchanted’, romantic tale, in which a man, gazing over the sea with his love, recounts a dream he had. His dream is imagined through a series of paintings of fantastical scenes full of symbolism. In the 18 February 1922 issue of “Moving Picture World”, Fritz Tidden described The Enchanted City as “A distinctively worthwhile, artistic novelty, which establishes a new standard for comparison for moving pictures”. Such high praise for the film’s inventiveness can be explained by the fact that it uses a new technique of combining live action with painting. Warren A. Newcombe had a background in fine arts and printmaking and entered film production as a painter. He directed only two short films, but became successful in the area of matte painting and special effects. He worked with D.W. Griffith and for MGM, among others, and became known for a technique he developed in which live action was seamlessly merged with matte painting.

Janneke van Dalen

Cast and Credits

F.: Roy Foster. Prod.: Warren A. Newcombe, E.W. Hammons. 35mm. L.: 241 m. 19 f/s. Bn


Film Notes

Blind Husbands, Erich von Stroheim’s directorial debut for Universal, remains the only film ‘Mr Von’ was able to complete without interruptions by his producers and studio. Set in the Tyrolean Alps, it pits old-world eroticism against the detached rationalism of contemporary American marriage. The film firmly establishes Erich von Stroheim’s mastery of visual storytelling: the drama between the married couple and ‘the other man’ (Erich von Stroheim in his signature role as an aristocrat and military officer) plays out almost entirely through suggestive closeups and a montage of gazes. This restoration of Blind Husbands brings us closer to the original 1919 version than before. All previously known versions of the film descend from an abbreviated re-release of the film produced in 1924 and preserved by MoMA, New York. However, the discovery by the Österreichisches Filmmuseum in Vienna of an original nitrate release print – together with the MoMA print and the original screenplay and continuity script found in the archives of Universal Studios – has permitted a careful reconstruction of Stroheim’s singular vision, restoring some seven minutes to the film’s length. For the restoration, original film elements from the Austrian Film Museum and MoMA were digitised in 4K by ARRI Munich and Listo Media in Vienna. After confirming the sequence and length of shots based on the production documents preserved by Universal, two short intertitles not preserved in the MoMA version were digitally recreated and inserted. The continuity script suggests that colours (achieved through tinting and toning) played a crucial role in the film’s narrative and pacing. Since the original colours are not preserved in either the Austrian or American versions, they were digitally reconstructed, based on the available documentation and research by our colleagues at MoMA into Stroheim’s Foolish Wives and the colour schemes of other Universal productions from the same period.

Janneke van Dalen, Michel Loebenstein

Cast and Credits

Sog.: from the drama The Pinnacle by Erich von Stroheim. Scen.: Erich von Stroheim. F.: Ben F. Reynolds. M.: Frank Lawrence, Eleanor Fried. Int.: Sam De Grasse (dottor Armstrong), Francelia Billington (Margaret Armstrong), Erich von Stroheim (tenente Eric Von Steuben), Gibson Gowland (Sepp), Fay Holderness (la cameriera), Valerie Germonprez (la sposa in luna di miele), Jack Perrin (lo sposo in luna di miele). Prod.: Carl Laemmle per Universal Film Manufacturing. DCP. D.: 100’. Bn.