The Steel Beast

Imported Print!

One of the first programmers to rediscover films made under the Third Reich, Langlois helped bring to light this 1935 German Surrealist-inspired work, “perhaps the most singular film made under the Third Reich” (La Cinémathèque française). “Commissioned to celebrate the centennial of the Nuremberg-Fürth line, this film by a great German photographer from the twenties, Willy Otto Zielke, was a work of the avant-garde that was banned by the Third Reich for its decadent aesthetics. Zielke was influenced by Surrealism, and the film's originality is to be found in its unusual narrative organization, a daring collage of abstractions, rhythms, and historical commentary, all supported by the music of Peter Kreuder. With accentuated angles, a rotating camera, superimpositions, eroticized details of machines, and a prologue edited and framed so as to place the railways in perspective with the industrial world, this is a film with echoes of Dziga Vertov—the commissioned propaganda film that becomes an aesthetic experience” (Dominique Païni, La Cinémathèque française)

Directed by Willi Ziehlke. With Ariberg Mog. (1936/37, 70 mins, In German, Print from W.K.E.)