Marlene and Hitch

Today's tourist program included a visit to the German film museum at Potsdamer Platz. They have two current exhibits, one on Alfred Hitchcock and one on Loriot.

We started off with a visit to the grave of Marlene Dietrich just around the corner from us. We took the train over to Potsdamer Platz, meeting another film-crazy, non-German friend. We started up in the Hitchcock exhibition.

Wow. The precision and detail that he prepared for shooting a film was just tremendous! He only had typewriters and telegraphs for communication, but had all sorts of people involved in his productions and he planned his camera angles down to the tiniest of details.

Marlene played in a number of his films, so it was cool to see her there.

Hitch planned the sound design with just as much detail, for example, using Oscar Sala's Trautonium for producing the horrible bird sounds for "The Birds". He also used many matte paintings done in excrutiating detail for shooting many scenes that he could not otherwise do.

There was a film corner showing interview Hitchcock gave German television stations - in German, he was very accomplished at speaking German. And they had a selection of his cameo appearances in his films.

We shall have to have a Hitchcock film evening very soon!

The Germans continued to the Loriot exhibition, non-Germans just do not get Loriot, so I went right to the film history bit. The other non-German decided to give Loriot a try, but joined me in the history part within 10 minutes.

Germany had such a rich early history in movie making, but after the Third Reich used it for its propaganda it never really seems to have recovered. Oh, there's the occasional good filmmaker here and there, but I think Iceland has the same number - and far, far fewer people.

There were rooms and rooms dedicated to Marlene Dietrich: her clothes, jewellry, luggage, letters, fotos, etc. One had a bit of the feeling of being a voyeur. But the letters were fascinating to read.

By the time I hit the after-war films, I was on overload, so I just zipped through the East/West part, that will have to wait for another day, and we all met back up at "Billy Wilder's" for coffee/late lunch.

Very much worth a visit if you are in Berlin and like film!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sounds fascinating -- thanks for the heads-up, oh Wise one!