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Destiny
(Der müde Tod: Ein deutsches Volkslied in 6 Versen)

Live Piano Accompaniment by Robert Humphreville
Screening on Film
Directed by Fritz Lang.
With Lil Dagover, Bernhard Goetzke, Walter Janssen.
Germany, 1921, 35mm, black & white, silent, 100 min.
German intertitles with English subtitles.

Little-seen today, Destiny has had an outsized influence on film history. Not only was its visual style crucial to establishing the look of German expressionist cinema, but the film additionally had a major impact on Hitchcock, Dreyer, Buñuel and Michael Powell. The German title translates as “Weary Death,” and the film is made up of three episodes, each with an extravagantly different setting in time and place, and a framing story, in which a young woman begs Death to return her lover, which he agrees to do if she can save the life of another young man whose life is in danger. Each episode thus depicts the woman’s futile attempts to change unswerving Destiny. The film’s unshakable fatalism, often seen as an echo of the catastrophe of World War I, would shape almost all of Lang’s subsequent work.

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The Complete Fritz Lang

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The Dark Worlds of Fritz Lang – Part One

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Devour the Land: Cinema, landscape, history.