Saturday 12 February 2022

der totentanz

Premiering on this day in 1912 at the newly constructed “Glashaus” studio in the Neubabelsberg district of Potsdamm—what would become the production company—the silent picture in three acts, The Dance of Death, directed by Danish filmmaker Urban Gad with camera work by Guido Seeber, only is known to exist in fragments. The movie relates the tragedy of Bella Burk (Asta Nielsen) whose engineering husband (Oskar Fuchs) is badly injured during a factory mishap and is no longer able to support the family. Bella finds employment as in a vaudeville act as a singer and dancer, scandalising audiences and critics with her exotic belly dance which would have otherwise proved merely scintillating if it wasn’t ultimately a fatal mental breaking point for the new object of her affection and infidelity, the troupe’s composer, Czerneck, portrayed by Fritz Weidemann.