1st March - 31st March 2024
A Short Laugh
Comic Characters in the Supporting Programme of 1934
In 1931, under the title "Lob der Charge" (In Praise of the Charge), the Berlin film critic Rudolf Arnheim praised the special quality, wit and stubbornness of the supporting actors in the cinema of the Weimar Republic who were acclaimed by the audience. He was thinking especially of comedians such as Siegfried Arno, Szöke Szakall and Otto Wallburg, all of whom had to flee Germany after the National Socialist seizure of power because of their Jewish origins. Following on from our film series Lob der Charge (In Praise of the Charge) in April 2023, which was devoted to German sound film comedy between 1930 and 1933, we now ask: What happened to the comic charge actors who remained in Germany in the early Nazi era? Which types were in demand from then on? What was allowed and what should be laughed at after Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels had gained control over German filmmaking? What was funny in the "Third Reich"? Kurz gelacht explores these questions and focuses on a corpus of films that was growing rapidly at the time: the short comedies in the supporting programme of the long feature films. In 1934, we again encounter stars of the cabaret stage and popular supporting actresses such as Dodo van Doeren, Blandine Ebinger and Grethe Weiser, Werner Finck, Rudolf Platte and Theo Lingen.