Hackney Picturehose

Our new evening class at Hackney Picturehouse: From Berlin To Hollywood

Delve into the world of film theory with our new evening class at Hackney Picturehouse which explores the impact of immigrant European filmmakers on Hollywood from the 1930s.
From Berlin To Hollywood 
Tuesdays from 3 November – 15 December, 7.00 – 9.00
(Please note there will be a week’s break on 24 November)
In 1930 a group of young filmmakers including Billy Wilder, Fred Zinneman, Robert Siodmak and Edgar Ulmer made a fresh, imaginative film called People On Sunday (Menschen Am Sontag), a 73-minute mix of fiction and documentary. 
There was already an established pattern of European filmmakers moving to Hollywood, but the Nazis coming to power in 1933 caused many creative people to flee Germany. Those who made Menschen Am Sontag would all establish careers in the US and, together with other émigrés from Europe, bring ideas and styles which would fundamentally change and enrich Hollywood production.

This course will explore this migration and its far-reaching effects on cinema culture.

Tickets for the full course can be purchased here or see below for details and tickets for individual sessions.

Tickets are available for the full six-week course, or for each individual week.
Tickets: £70 / £65 concessions / £60 Members for the full course
Weekly sessions are £12 / £11 concessions / £10 Members
Tue 3 Nov, Wk 1 Book now
Introduction, extracts and screening of People On Sunday (in the education room).
Tue 10 Nov, Wk 2 Book now
Ernst Lubitsch’s Trouble In Paradise (1932). Lubitsch had left UFA in Berlin to make films in Hollywood. This is a sexy, elegant pre-Hays Code comedy and establishes the context of European filmmakers in the US. Lubitsch became head of production at Paramount and helped many of the émigrés to find work.

Tue 17 Nov, Wk 3 Book now
Edgar Ulmer’s Detour (1945). The émigrés brought many of the elements which constitute film noir, as seen in this film. “This movie… lives on, haunting and creepy, an embodiment of the guilty soul of film noir. No one who has seen it has easily forgotten it.” – Roger Ebert.

Tue 1 Dec, Wk 4 Book now
Robert Siodmak’s The Killers (1946). After leaving Germany, Siodmak made Snares (1939), which has clear links with his Hollywood films like Phantom Lady (1944), The Spiral Staircase (1945), The Killers (1946) and Criss Cross (1949), films which established the themes and style of classic US noir.

Tue 7 Dec, Wk 5 Book now
Fred Zinneman’s High Noon (1952). Zinnemann moved to US in 1934, establishing a career with films like The Search (1948), From Here To Eternity (1953), Oklahoma (1955), Day Of The Jackal (1973) and High Noon, which has been claimed as allegory by left and right.

Tue 15 Dec, Wk 6 Book now
Billy Wilder’s The Apartment (1960). Given his first writing job by Lubitsch writing and directing films like Double Indemnity (1944), Sunset Boulevard (1950) and Some Like It Hot (1959), Wilder established a massive Hollywood reputation. The Apartment has clear links with People On Sunday and the sharp early US Lubitsch comedies.


This evening course will include one full screening (week 1), screenings of extracts and lots of discussion – all taking place in our education room. Beginner’s level – no prior knowledge required. Course attendees must be 18 or over.

Led by John Digance, Lecturer in FIlm & Media Arts

If you want to join the mailing list for film theory courses at Hackney Picturehouse and Crouch End Picturehouse, please email your name and postcode to adulteducation@picturehouses.co.uk

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