Germany | 1925 | 112 min | 14A
One of the more recently discovered masterpieces of German Expressionism, VARIETÉ (aka VARIETY) is a breathtaking daredevil act of jealousy, obsession, and murder with unforgettable performances from Emil Jannings and the luminous Lya De Putti.
With camerawork from the celebrated Karl Freund (METROPOLIS, DRACULA) and filmed within Berlin’s famed Wintergarten Theatre, VARIETÉ is “a sophisticated melodrama with a unique setting and gorgeous imagery that marries burlesque theatricality and cinematic perspective” (Christopher Machell, CineVue).
Imprisoned for murder, former trapeze artist and sideshow barker Boss Hueller (Jannings)recounts his crime to the warden. Conveyed via flashback, we see Huller’s abandonment of his wife (Maly Delschaft) and child for the young, sultry Berta-Marie (De Putti). The two run off together and Huller forms a new touring trapeze act, with his lover as the star attraction. But when Artinelli (Warwick Ward)—a new performer—joins the show, tragedy ensues.
A film that inspired both Murnau’s SUNRISE and von Sternberg’s THE BLUE ANGEL in theme and visuals, VARIETÉ is an essential masterwork in the German Expressionist movement. Not to mention that the trapeze stunts featured in VARIETÉ, performed by real-life daredevil Alfredo Cordona have to be seen to believed! – ALICIA FLETCHER
Director: E.A. Dupont
Cast: Emil Jannings, Mary Delschaft
ABOUT THE SILENT REVUE SERIES
Established as Silent Sundays by founding programmer Eric Veillette in 2009, Silent Revue is Toronto’s only year-round film series dedicated to silent cinema. Monthly screenings (more…)
Silent Revue is curated by Alicia Fletcher
Featuring live accompaniment by Tania Gill
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