Archive for October, 2009

Herman G. Weinberg

October 7, 2009

Number 1: This the first in a series exploring those who write about the cinema.  Many of these also do much more than “just write.”

Herman G. Weinberg and Fritz Lang in Montreal in 1967

Herman G. Weinberg and Fritz Lang in Montreal in 1967

On a visit to New York late last Summer, I found Herman G. Weinberg’s memoir A Manhattan Odyssey.  It was published in 1982 by NY’s Anthology Film Archives.   I read it on the way home and enjoyed it.

I’m familiar with his old experimental film Autumn Fire

Then there’s the case of the classic silent films Greed and The Wedding March.  Both films were directed by Erich Von Stroheim.  

They were both released in forms distant from what he’d intended.  He’d filmed more footage than the studio wanted to release so they ended up being butchered and reduced.

Weinberg assembled two books trying to reconstruct these films in book form.  He’d got ahold of a lot of stills and utilized them in giving a sense of the lost scenes.  It provided a picture of what these films could have been.

I’ve seen these films in their existing states.  I’ve also carefully studied these books.  They’re among the first film books to enter my library.

I’ve read The Lubitsch Touch, his study of film director Ernst Lubitsch. 

He has two other books out that I’d like to find.  One’s on Josef Von Sternberg.  The other’s called Saint Cinema: Selected Writings 1929-1970.

his early 1930’s experimental film: