Sunday, April 22

Special Engagements ArchiveElements of Cinema (previous events)

People on Sunday

Free Screening – Passes Not Required

Elements of Cinema!

Special Free Screening and Discussion!

PEOPLE ON SUNDAY (1930) dir. Robert Siodmak and Edgar G. Ulmer w/Erwin Splettstösser, Brigitte Borchert, Wolfgang von Waltershausen, Christi Ehlers, Annie Schreyer, Kurt Gerron, Valeska Gert, Heinrich Gretler, Ernö Verebes [73 min; DCP]
Years before they became major players in Hollywood, a group of young German filmmakers—including eventual noir masters Robert Siodmak and Edgar G. Ulmer and future Oscar winners Billy Wilder and Fred Zinnemann—worked together on the once-in-a-lifetime collaboration PEOPLE ON SUNDAY (Menschen am Sonntag). This effervescent, sunlit silent, about a handful of city dwellers (a charming cast of nonprofessionals) enjoying a weekend outing, offers a rare glimpse of Weimar-era Berlin. A unique hybrid of documentary and fictional storytelling, PEOPLE ON SUNDAY was both an experiment and a mainstream hit that would influence generations of film artists around the world.

The film will be proceeded by A BRONX MORNING (1931) by Jay Leyda [Runtime: 11 min]

This special free screening is a part of our Elements of Cinema series and will be followed by a discussion with the audience.

Guest Speaker: Peter J. Schwartz

Peter J. Schwartz is Associate Professor of German and Comparative Literature at Boston University, where he also teaches courses on film. He is the author of After Jena: Goethe’s Elective Affinities and the End of the Old Regime (2010), and of articles on Goethe and his age, the Faust tradition, Georg Büchner, the films of Michael Haneke, and Aby Warburg’s archive of World War I – the so-called Kriegskartothek. He’s also recently written an iconographic study of Chinese Communist paper money and Soviet silent film. His translation from the German of André Jolles’s classic work of genre theory, Simple Forms (1929), came out with Verso Books in 2017, and he is currently working on essays about Aby Warburg and cinema, Warburg’s thinking on the relationship of propaganda and divination, and dialogues with the Devil in Goethe, Dostoevsky, Melville, Thomas Mann, Gombrowicz and elsewhere.



Elements of Cinema logoELEMENTS OF CINEMA is a monthly free screening and discussion series presented by the Brattle Film Foundation. ELEMENTS OF CINEMA is supported in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Art Works.