FRANCE’S LUMIÈRE brothers may have gone down in history as the pioneers of cinema when they stunned Parisenne audiences by screening their films in 1895.
However the Germans may have got there first - the Lumière brothers first screened their films publicly in December 1895, but the German Skladanowsky brothers demonstrated their self-invented film projector in Berlin in November of that year.
Either way, the story shows that Germany has a long tradition of film making and has made an immense contribution to the history of cinema, a contribution that will be celebrated at this year’s Galway Film Fleadh.
The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari (1920 ) is regarded by many as the first horror film and an outstanding masterpiece of German Expressionist cinema.
This atmospheric tale of murder, madness, hallucination, and paranoia (accentuated by the jagged, stylised sets ), tells the story of Francis and his attempt to unmask the identity of Dr Caligari and his strange accomplice Cesare, whom he believes murdered his friend Alan. Watch for the great plot twist at the end. See it on Wednesday July 6 at 12.15pm.
Destiny (1921 ) is an allegorical tale of love, fidelity, and death directed by Fritz Lang. A young couple stop to rest in a small village inn, but the man is abducted by Death and imprisoned. The women goes to rescue him but she first must confront Death who tells her three stories. See it on Thursday 7 at 12.15pm.
The Last Laugh (1924 ) was an attempt by director FW Murnau to find a universal language for the cinema and to expand the expressive qualities of the camera. See it on Friday 8 at 12.15pm.
The Blue Angel (1930 ) stars Marlene Deitrich as dancer Lola-Lola who bewitches Immanuel Rath, an old bachelor and a professor at the town’s university. See this milestone of European cinema on Saturday 9 at 12.15pm.
There are plenty of new German films at this year’s fleadh, such as Above Us Only Sky (2011 ). Martha is in a relationship with Paul. She trusts and knows him inside out, that is until two policewomen appear at her door and everything changes. See it on Sunday July 10 at 5.30pm.
In Romeos (2011 ), Lukas may be right in the middle of male puberty but he was actually born a girl. This film gives an unusual insight into the subject of transgender and challenges conventional thought on such roles. See it on Thursday 7 at 9.30pm. The director Sabine Bernardi will attend.
In When We Leave (2010 ), German born Umay flees her oppressive marriage in Istanbul, taking her young son Cem with her. She hopes to find a better life with her family in Berlin, but they decide to return Cem to his father in Turkey. See it on Thursday 7 at 2.30pm.
Drei (2010 ) is about Hanna and Simon who have been a couple for 20 years. They have enjoyed a full life, but now find that they do not have very much left to do, achieve, or experience - that is until they fall in love with the same man! See it on Sunday 10 at 7.15pm.
Goethe! (2010 ), directed by Philip Stolz, tells of a complicated time in the poet’s life when he becomes engaged, only to find his beloved has already been promised to another man! See it on Wednesday 6 at 2.15pm.
The Poll Diaries (2010 ) is set against the backdrop of WWI and tells the story of an aristocratic German girl in Estonia who befriends a local anarchist. See it on Wednesday 6 at 9.15pm.