Three essential films of early queer cinema, newly restored and presented in honor of Pride Month
Special repertory ticket price: $15 for all three films!
Mädchen in Uniform
dir. Leontine Sagan, 1931
NR, 87 min, Germany, in German with English subtitles
This artfully composed milestone of lesbian cinema – and an important anti-fascist film – was the first of just three films directed by Leontine Sagan. At an all-girls boarding school, new student Manuela and compassionate teacher Fräulein von Bernburg have a passionate and illicit romance.
“A moving portrait of burgeoning sapphic desire, rendered with great technical skill.” —Film at Lincoln Center
“One of the few genuine women’s films of the 30s.” —Chicago Reader
dir. Carl Theodor Dreyer, 1924
NR, 93 min, Germany, German intertitles with English subtitles
Danish film master Carl Theodor Dreyer’s Michael is a mature and visually elegant period romance decades ahead of its time. Michael takes its place alongside Dreyer’s better known masterpieces as an unusually sensitive and decorous work of art and is one of the earliest and most compassionate overtly gay-themed films in movie history. Collaborating with famed German cinematographers Karl Freund (Metropolis, The Last Laugh) and Rudolph Maté (Passion of Joan of Arc, DOA) Michael offers the first fully realized example of Dreyer’s emotionally precise, visually extravagant style that would be perfected in his subsequent masterworks such as Joan of Arc and Ordet.
“The picture speaks through its sumptuous decor, its subtle performances, and, perhaps most crucially, its compositions, expertly lensed by the influential cinematographer Karl Freund.” —Film at Lincoln Center
“Closeups of burning intensity and opulent tableaux of frozen horror suggest the great director’s transcendent theme, of divine grace granted and withheld.” —The New Yorker
Victor and Victoria
dir. Reinhold Schünzel, 1933
NR, 84 min, in German with English subtitles
In this dazzling musical romance, a young woman (Renate Müller), unable to find work as a music hall singer, partners with a down-and-out thespian (Hermann Thimig) to revamp her act. Pretending to be a man performing in drag, Victoria becomes the toast of the international stage. But she soon finds that her playful bending of genders enmeshes her personal and professional life in a tangle of unexpected complications. Produced in the final days of the Weimar Republic, Victor and Victoria received limited exposure in the United States, and is today best known by Blake Edwards’s 1982 remake and the 1995 Broadway production. Viewers will be delighted to discover that the original is every bit as charming and outrageous, reminiscent of the sly sex comedies of Ernst Lubitsch and Billy Wilder.
“An impressive blast of Weimar decadence…As the inevitable romantic complications ensue, what emerges is a movie with surprisingly tangled gender politics and a melancholy sense of romance, crossed with lively, creative musical numbers.” —Vulture
“Stands as a remarkable example of late Weimar popular cinema and easily takes its place alongside contemporary Hollywood work by Ernst Lubitsch.” —Senses of Cinema
TO VIEW THE FILM
- Click the button above to purchase entry to our digital screening Pioneers of Queer Cinema. Each $15 ticket provides entry to all three films in our secure virtual screening room created just for patrons of Pickford Film Center.
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