Asphalt Out Of The Rubble: Berlin On Film
One of the last great German Expressionist films of the silent era, Joe May's Asphalt is a complex cinematic love story set in the traffic-strewn Berlin of the late 1920s.
A well-dressed lady thief (Betty Amann) steals a precious stone from a jewellery shop. The aged jeweller prefers to let the young woman go, but the policeman who catches her explains he is obliged to pursue the case further. She tries to seduce the policeman (Gustav Fröhlich), and he gradually succumbs to her charms, but her criminal background dooms their relationship when an argument leads to murder.
Joe May’s sensual drama of life in the Berlin underworld is in many ways the perfect summation of German filmmaking in the silent era: a dazzling visual style, a psychological approach to its characters, and the ability to take a simple and essentially melodramatic story and turn it into something far more complex and inherently cinematic.
Musical accompaniment by John Sweeney. Introduction by Andrew Kelly, director of the Festival of the Future City.
Director: Joe May
Cast: Gustav Frölich, Betty Amann, Albert Steinrück, Else Heller, Hans Adalbert von Schlettow
PG / Germany / 94 mins / £8.50 (full) £5 (concession) + booking fee
This film screening is part of Out Of The Rubble: Berlin On Film, a series produced as part of the 2023 Festival of the Future City. The season looks at German cinema through the twentieth century. The season is presented with Watershed and South West Silents.
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