Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau Foundation

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Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau Foundation
Friedrich-Wilhelm-Murnau-Stiftung
A picture of a German Film House of the Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau Foundation.
Named afterFriedrich Wilhelm Murnau
Formation1966; 52 years ago (1966)
TypeFilm Foundation
Legal statusActive
PurposeArchiving, maintaining, restoring, and educating the public on German cinema.
Location
  • Murnaustraße 6, 65189 Wiesbaden, Germany
Coordinates50°03′58″N 8°14′57″E / 50.066182°N 8.249061°E / 50.066182; 8.249061
ServicesArchival access, restoration, film and political education.
Official language
German
Managing Director
Ernst Szebedits
Key people
Award(s)Best Archive Restoration
2015 The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari
Websitehttps://www.murnau-stiftung.de/
[1][2][3][4][5][6]

The Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau Foundation (German: Friedrich-Wilhelm-Murnau-Stiftung)[needs IPA] is based in Wiesbaden and chartered[citation needed] to preserve and curate a collection of the works of Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau as well as a collection of other German films[7] totaling to about 6,000 produced between 1890 and 1960.[8][3] The foundation is owned by the Federal Republic of Germany.[citation needed] The "private non-profit foundation" was founded in 1966 out of fear that classic German cinema's original stock, and the rights to these films, would be sold off internationally. The stock was originally owned by Bertelsmann.[3]

History[edit]

As an archive and rights holder[citation needed] the Murnau Foundation curates a significant part of Germany’s movie heritage.[according to whom?] Its most important endowment is the unique, cohesive movie stock, which comprises copies and material as well as rights from the former production companies UFA, Decla,b Universum-Film, Bavaria, Terra, Tobis and Berlin-Film.[5][9] This outstanding inventory of cultural and film history – more than 6,000 silent movies and sound films (feature films, documentaries, short movies and commercials) – covers the period from the beginnings of motion pictures to the early 1960s, and includes movies by important directors such as Fritz Lang, Ernst Lubitsch, Detlef Sierck, Helmut Käutner, and Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau, the namesake of the foundation.[9] The best-known[according to whom?] titles include The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari from 1920, Metropolis[3] from 1927, The Blue Angel from 1930, The Three from the Filling Station from 1930, Münchhausen from 1943 and Große Freiheit Nr. 7 from 1944.[5]

Theaters[edit]

The foundation runs "the German Film House in a central location in the state capital of Hesse – Wiesbaden" as well as the "Murnau cinema theatre where films are shown to the public and a multi-function area where numerous events and exhibitions are held."[9]

Restorations and Film Stock[edit]

The foundation's most prominent film restoration was the 2010 re-release of Fritz Lang's Metropolis which was originally screened at the 60th Berlin International Film Festival.[3] It has additionally restored, with financial support from the prior owners of their film stock, Bertelsmann, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari which premiered "at the Berlinale in February 2014"[10] which it won an award for best archive restoration in 2015 from FOCAL International.[4][11][12][3] The foundation was also involved in the restoration of Fritz Lang's Destiny which had "faded and degraded almost beyond recognition."[13][14] The foundation maintains about 80%[15] of Germany's forbidden Nazi-era filmsa referring to this collection of 40 films[16] as "reserved" films which are "propagandistic productions created under Hitler, which may only be used for scientific evaluation in Germany and within the framework of political education."[17][18] This collection includes the notorious Jud Süß, Quax the Crash Pilot, Kolberg, I Accuse, and The Eternal Jew.[3][19][15]

Criticism[edit]

The treatment of reserved films by the Murnau Foundation has been met with criticism. Critics accuse the foundation of misusing copyrights for film censorship and not for the intended purpose of copyright law where, they argue, the government should institute a ban through legislation instead. Unlike the FSK, there are no legal evaluations for the decisions of the Board of Trustees. Critics also point out the opaque process of deciding which films should be reserved noting that there is no transparent criteria, the experts consulted are not publicized, and any reports used are not publicized. For instance, the film The Old and the Young King contains Nazi propaganda, however, was allowed to be screened publicly. Additionally, the nature of the reserved film screenings has been criticized, since the only option is to view them with accompanying expert supervision, commentary, and discussion.[15][16]

Notes[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Ernst Szedebits". Filmfestival Kitzbühel. n.d. Retrieved October 31, 2018. Ernst Szebedits, partner of new pegasos filmproduktion and longtime chairman of the Association of the Hessian Film Industry, was appointed by the Board of Trustees of the Murnau Foundation under the chairmanship of Eberhard Junkersdorf.
  2. ^ Johnson, Alex (July 15, 2015). "'Nosferatu' Director F.W. Murnau's Head Stolen From German Crypt". NBC News. Retrieved October 31, 2018. "We have received this news with disbelief," documentary film director Ernst Szebedits, managing director of the foundation, said Wednesday.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Hetebrügge, Jörn (July 2016). "50th anniversary of the Murnau Foundation: Keeper of the German Film Treasure". Translated by Jonathan Uhlaner. Goethe-Institut. Archived from the original on November 1, 2018. Retrieved October 31, 2018.
  4. ^ a b "Footage Award Winners Honoured at FOCAL International's 12th Annual Gala Awards Ceremony". FOCAL International. May 22, 2015. Retrieved November 1, 2018. Best Archive Restoration / Preservation Title Sponsored by ACSIL • Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari - Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau Stiftung (Germany)
  5. ^ a b c "Über Die Murnau-Stiftung" (in German). Murnau Stiftung. n.d. Retrieved November 1, 2018. Wichtigstes Stiftungskapital ist der einzigartige, in sich geschlossene Filmstock, der Kopien und Materialien der ehemaligen Produktionsfirmen Ufa, Universum-Film, Bavaria, Terra, Tobis und Berlin-Film – samt den damit verbundenen Rechten – aus über sechs Jahrzehnten deutscher Filmproduktion umfasst.
  6. ^ "Kuratorium". Murnau Stiftung. n.d. Retrieved November 1, 2018.
  7. ^ ""Metropolis" in der Urfassung". Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (in German). 6 March 2009. Retrieved 6 December 2011.
  8. ^ "Filmbestand der Murnau-Stiftung" (in German). Retrieved November 2, 2018.
  9. ^ a b c "Friedrich-Wilhelm-Murnau-Foundation". Arts in Exile. n.d. Retrieved November 1, 2018.
  10. ^ "Bertelsmann Brings Restored Film Classic 'The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari' to Paris". Bertelsmann. September 28, 2015. Retrieved November 1, 2018.
  11. ^ "'The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari' – A Classic Goes Digital". Bertelsmann. Retrieved November 1, 2018.
  12. ^ "Bertelsmann Presents Restored Movie Classic 'The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari' in New York: Highlight of the German Films Festival 'KINO! 2016'". Bertelsmann. April 12, 2016. Retrieved November 1, 2018.
  13. ^ Kramer, Fritzi (August 26, 2016). "Interview with Anke Wilkening of the Friedrich-Wilhelm-Murnau-Stiftung regarding the restored 'Destiny'". Movies Silently. Archived from the original on August 27, 2016. Retrieved November 1, 2018.
  14. ^ Brady, Tara (June 8, 2017). "Destiny: an eye-popping restoration of Fritz Lang's classic". The Irish Times. Archived from the original on August 1, 2017. Retrieved November 1, 2018. The Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau Foundation and its partners spent more than a year restoring the original colours and intertitles to a film that, since its 1921 heyday, had faded and degraded almost beyond recognition.
  15. ^ a b c Rodek, Hanns-Georg (January 31, 2012). "Wie viel Gift steckt noch in den 'Vorbehaltsfilmen'?". Welt (in German). Retrieved November 1, 2018.
  16. ^ a b Schmid, Hans (March 27, 2010). "Ich klage an!". Telepolis (in German). Retrieved November 1, 2018.
  17. ^ Westphal, Anke (March 5, 2014). "Hitlers Propaganda-Filme Wenn aus dem Einmarsch eine Heimkehr wird". Berliner Zeitung (in German). Retrieved November 1, 2018.
  18. ^ Heinzelmann, Herbert (September 21, 2006). "Ein Sonderfall deutscher Kulturgeschichte: Vom Umgang mit NS-Propagandafilmen". KinoFenster.de (in German). Retrieved November 1, 2018.
  19. ^ Sampson, Sally (1993). "The Limits of Liberty". Index on Censorship. 22 (10): 2–3. doi:10.1080/03064229308535609.

External links[edit]