Cloth $82.75 ISBN: 9789053567098 Published March 2005 For sale only in the United States, its dependencies, the Philippines, and Canada

Herr Lubitsch Goes to Hollywood

German and American Film after World War I

Kristin Thompson

Herr Lubitsch Goes to Hollywood
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Kristin Thompson

Distributed for Amsterdam University Press

224 pages | 200 halftones | 6-1/4 x 9-1/2 | © 2005
Cloth $82.75 ISBN: 9789053567098 Published March 2005 For sale only in the United States, its dependencies, the Philippines, and Canada
Ernst Lubitsch, the German filmmaker who left Berlin for Hollywood in the 1920s, is best remembered today for the famous "Lubitsch touch" in such masterpieces as Ninotchka, which featured Greta Garbo's first-ever screen smile, and Heaven Can Wait. Kristin Thompson's study analyzes Lubitsch's earlier silent films of 1918 to 1927 in order to trace the mutual influences between the classical Hollywood film style as it had evolved in the 1910s and the German film industry of the same period, which had emerged from World War I second in strength only to Hollywood.

During World War I, American firms supplied theaters around the world as French and Italian films had become scarce. Ironically, the war strengthened German filmmaking due to a ban on imports that lasted until 1921. During that period of isolation, Lubitsch became the finest proponent of German filmmaking and once Hollywood films appeared in Germany again Lubitsch was quick to absorb their stylistic traits as well. He soon became the unique master of both styles as the golden ages of the American and German cinema were beginning. This innovative study utilizes Lubitsch's silent films as a means to compare two great national cinemas at a vital formative period in cinema history.
Lubitsch: The Filmmaker's Filmmaker
Lubitsch's Place in Two National Cinemas
The Standard Story: Germany Escapes Hollywood's Influence
1. Lubitsch's Career
Studying the Conditions of Influence
Lubitsch and the German Film Industry
Lubitsch's Reputation in the 1920s
Areas of Stylistic Influence
2. Making the Light Come from the Story: Lighting
Different Lighting Equipment
Different Conceptions of Lighting
Lubitsch and the German Norm
Germany's Discovery of Three-point Lighting
Lubitsch Masters Three-point Lighting in Hollywood
Three-point Lighting and Expressionism
3. Subduing the Cluttered Background: Set Design
Classical Norms of Set Design
Lubitsch and German Set Design
Herr Lubitsch Goes to Hollywood
Lubitsch's Work with His Hollywood Art Directors
4. Guiding the Viewer's Attention: Editing
Lubitsch the Editor
Editing in Postwar German Films
Lubitsch's Hollywood Films
5. Peeking at the Players: Acting
The Survival of Pantomimic Acting in Post-War German Cinema
Lubitsch's German Features
Lubitsch's Hollywood Features
6. Mutual Influences
Equipping for Influence: The Modernization of German Studios
German Cinema Goes Hollywood
Contemporary Discussions of American-Style Techniques
Distinctively German Devices and Their Impact
Epilogue: The Lubitsch Touch
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