Horror and Magic in the Silent Golem Movies

Scene: the golem looks at a half-lying dancer

In the light comedy The Golem and the Dancing Girl from 1917, Paul Wegener satirizes his own 1915 film The Golem; photo: Deutsches Filminstitut, Frankfurt a. M./estate Paul Wegener – collection Kai Möller

In January of 1915 the figure of a golem appeared for the first time on the silver screen, on Berlin’s Kurfürstendamm. The public was captivated by a truly modern monster. At the same time, southeast of the Belgian city of Ypres battles of the First World War were raging. Following on the heels of this first silent golem movie came two more in 1917 and 1920, also debuting in Berlin. The lead role of the golem was played in all of them by Paul Wegener, who had also come up with the idea for the projects and written the screenplays.

In the current exhibition GOLEM (more on www.jmberlin.de/en/golem), a theme room has been dedicated to these three silent movies.  continue reading

Greek Jews During the Nazi Occupation

This year’s “Hellas Filmbox Berlin” (18–22 January 2017), a Greek film festival established in 2015 to highlight the current Greek film scene and present it to a German audience, features five films in the special history section on Greek Jews in the Holocaust and Greece under German occupation:  continue reading

A Golem is Going Around Berlin

The golem, a character from Jewish mythology, is currently present in an interesting exhibition at the Jewish Museum Berlin. But not only there.

Photograph of men dancing with dancing female robots

Yves Gellie, Human Version 2.08, Dancing Robot, Tohoku University, Japan; photo: Yves Gellie, galerie du jour agnès b

Guest article by Roberto Giardina, www.ildeutschitalia.com

In the foyer of the Museum for Communication, three robots – reminiscent of chess figures – are roaming around. They talk to the people walking up to them, stop and take a different route if you block their way, or accompany you when you walk next to them. Adults are just as fascinated as children. A visit to Berlin museums is fun, and doesn’t necessarily require you to speak German.

After playing on the ground floor at the Museum for Communication, you can visit the special exhibition on the Golden Section and have your forgotten school knowledge entertainingly refreshed (the exhibition Göttlich Golden Genial (godly golden genius) runs until 26 February, more on the Museum for Communication website (in German)).

Robots are fun to play with, but they have been the stuff of nightmares since time immemorial – will they take our jobs away from us soon?  continue reading