– Stefan Zweig in his last letter
As the human race straddles an unprecedented pandemic, hostile divisions and conflicts, fake news (and real news) and digital opportunism, we also discover new strengths and beauty of moral courage and perseverance. This programme celebrates the Austrian master of literature, Stefan Zweig (1881 – 1942), who is famed for his steadfast pacifism, insistence on vaster understanding and intricate reading on passion and desire.
Zweig experienced two world wars. As a famous Jewish-Austrian writer, Zweig’s books were censored, vilified and destroyed by the Nazi in the 1930s and 1940s. He left his hometown, Vienna, to escape German persecution, living in England and America before settling in his final destination, Brazil. When Zweig was in exile, a journalist asked how the writer thought of Germany, he answered, “I will make no prophecy. I would not speak against Germany. I would never speak against any country.”
Zweig’s work has served as the basis of many film adaptations and inspirations. This programme introduces some outstanding cinematic works that are based on his life and work – from his time (Angst by Hans Steinhoff) to the present (German Film Award-winning The Royal Game by Philipp Stölzl). There will be a special talk by Andreas Dahn, the visual effects artist of The Grand Budapest Hotel (dir. Wes Anderson).
Coinciding with the 80th anniversary of Zweig’s demise, this programme continues to celebrate his idealism – for he also created stellar literary moments for his past, present and future followers.
|21/7||(Thu)||19:45||Farewell to Europe|
|22/7||(Fri)||19:45||The Royal Game|
|23/7||(Sat)||16:45||Letter from an Unknown Woman|
|23/7||(Sat)||19:45||The Grand Budapest Hotel|
|After-Screening Talk: Magical Images of The Grand Budapest Hotel|
Farewell to Europe
Vor der Morgenröte – Stefan Zweig in Amerika
Maria Schrader tells episodically from the life of the world author, Stefan Zweig, who at the height of his career has to leave Austria fleeing from the Nazis. Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, New York and Petrópolis are stations of his exile, which despite safe refuge, friendly reception and overwhelming nature do not let him find peace, cannot replace his homeland. Zweig is a desperate, driven man, always on the move, but without arrival. A visually stunning historical film about a great artist in a time when Europe was on the brink of calamity, this is the story of a refugee – a tale of losing one’s home and searching for a new one.
The Royal Game
Shortly after handing in the manuscript of The Royal Game in 1942, Stefan Zweig chooses a double suicide with his wife. This last work is also his most famous: a swan song to the values of the once proud European culture. The remake now focuses on the story of Dr B and his time in solitary confinement at a Gestapo headquarter in Vienna. There, by chance, he comes across a chess book and learns entire games by heart. Unlike earlier film adaptations, Stölzl adheres less meticulously to the original: the depiction of the physical and mental collapse of an elite class that believes it is immune from the mob until the very end is just one of the new accents that this new film sets.
Letter from an Unknown Woman
Brief einer Unbekannten
Director: Max Ophüls
The Grand Budapest Hotel
After-Screening Talk: Magical Images of The Grand Budapest Hotel
Angst, Die schwache Stunde einer Frau
What is clearly stated in the literary model, the film may only hint at: Inge suffers under her husband, a successful lawyer who only looks out for his own benefit and career. Because their vacation together falls through, she travels alone to the French coast and falls in love with a young artist with whom she begins an affair. Apparently not unnoticed - because back in Berlin she becomes the victim of blackmail. But who could have an interest in destroying her marriage? Steinhoff's film focuses primarily on the back story and on the question of the value of marital fidelity. Contemporary critics were quite taken with it: "A chamber play reminiscent of the best works of Lubitsch and Cecil de Mille, but by no means a copy, instead revealing director Hans Steinhoff once again as an expert with an idiosyncratic talent."
West Germany, Italy | 1954 | 83 mins | DCP | B&W
Tickets will be available on POPTICKET.hk.
All Access Pass (one ticket each for all 7 screenings with 30% discount, service charge included) - $427Double Bill (15% discount for when tickets for following pairs of screenings are purchased together)
Programmes are subject to change without prior notice.
The following measures will be implemented for screenings, to combat the prevailing threat of Novel Coronavirus:
- All audience must wear face masks and comply with the requirements and restrictions announced by the Government
- No smoking, eating and drinking. Unauthorised photo-taking, audio and/or video recording is strictly forbidden
- Staff have the right to deny the admission of any person with temperature higher than 37.5°C