Ernst Lubitsch from Berlin

Ernst Lubitsch from Berlin - Ernst Lubitsch film retrospectiveMarking the 60th death anniversary of Berlin-born film genius Ernst Lubitsch (1892-1947), Berlin's Kino Babylon Mitte is holding a month-long retrospective (March 1-27) of the director's films, “Lubitsch from Berlin.” The schedule consists of 23 silents (including at least one in which Lubitsch worked only as an actor) and 17 talkies, ranging from his early German comedies to his most acclaimed Hollywood fare.

Next weekend, March 10-11, Kino Babylon will offer two sets of silent film marathons: 12 Lubitsch silents on Saturday and 9 on Sunday.

Among the Saturday entries are the 1918 version of Carmen, a sensational worldwide hit for both the director and star Pola Negri; the 1918 gender-bending comedy Ich möchte kein Mann sein / I Don't Want to Be a Man, starring the German Mary Pickford, Ossi Oswalda; and the 1921 historical drama Das Weib des Pharao / The Pharaoh's Wife, starring superstar Emil Jannings (who, during his brief Hollywood stint, became the first best actor Academy Award winner).

Among the Sunday films are the wistful 1927 romance The Student Prince in Old Heidelberg (above), one of Lubitsch's best silent films, boasting top-notch performances from Ramon Novarro and Norma Shearer; the 1919 version of Madame DuBarry, another box office sensation of global proportions, starring Pola Negri in the title role and Emil Jannings as Louis XV; and the delightful Lady Windermere's Fan, Lubitsch's nearly flawless 1925 adaptation of Oscar Wilde's play, with a superb Irene Rich, plus Bert Lytell, Ronald Colman, and May McAvoy.

The silent films will have live musical accompaniment by various artists, including Carsten-Stephan Grath v. Bothmer, Aljoscha Zimmermann and Sabrina Zimmermann, and the German Babelsberg Film Orchestra.

Robert Fischer's 2006 documentary Ernst Lubitsch in Berlin - from Schönhauser Allee to Hollywood, will also be screened.

Last Thursday, Nicola Lubitsch, the director's daughter, was on hand to unveil a plaque commemorating her father's old residence at Schönhauser Allee 183.

See also: Ernst Lubitsch retrospective at the 2006 San Sebastian Film Festival

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