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People On Sunday

Robert Siodmak, Edgar G. Ulmer

Years before they became major players in Hollywood, a group of young German filmmakers—including eventual noir masters Robert Siodmak and Edgar G. Ulmer and future Oscar winners Billy Wilder and Fred Zinnemann—worked together on the once-in-a-lifetime collaboration People on Sunday (Menschen am Sonntag). This effervescent, sunlit silent, about a handful of city dwellers (a charming cast of nonprofessionals) enjoying a weekend outing, offers a rare glimpse of Weimar-era Berlin. A unique hybrid of documentary and fictional storytelling, People on Sunday was both an experiment and a mainstream hit that would influence generations of film artists around the world.

“The mark of a professional is reliability; the talented amateur delivers wonders as happy accidents but lacks the technique to be malleable or, for that matter, predictable. An amateur is a force of nature, which is why a satisfying performance by an amateur is overwhelming and awe-inspiring, as seen in the 1930 silent film “People on Sunday”.” – Richard Brody, The New Yorker

“…A breezy, comic, yet documentary-inflected narrative about a group of Berliners on a weekend outing. In its use of non-actors, in its casual approach to storytelling, in its sensual directness, and its almost anthropological take on its time and urban setting, People on Sunday is seen today by scholars as a forerunner of both Italian neorealism and the French New Wave.” Sundance Now

Showing

  • 8/11 | 7:00PM
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