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Imagination, Innovation, Spectacle

Variety

+ intro by film historian and filmmaker Kevin Brownlow

Varieté

This rarely-seen silent film about a trapeze artist will have you up there with him, holding your breath...

Image from Variety + intro by film historian and filmmaker Kevin Brownlow

Germany 1925
Dir EA Dupont
With Emil Jannings, Lya de Putti, Warwick Ward
95min
Digital
English subtitles
Certificate PG
With live piano accompaniment by Stephen Horne (13 May)

Rarely screened in the UK, this great German silent stars Emil Jannings as Boss, a middle-aged circus acrobat whose life is derailed by a seductive stranger (Lya de Putti). His frankly erotic obsession plays out against a backdrop of seedy showbiz glamour, culminating in trapeze scenes shot at Berlin’s world-famous Wintergarten. Karl Freund’s vertiginously mobile camera work, which captures the aerial exploits – and emotional turmoil – of Boss and his fellow performers, will have you up there with them, holding your breath...

Print and permission courtesy Friedrich-Wilhelm-Murnau-Stiftung.

Also available on BFI Player.

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