© DFF – Deutsches Filminstitut & Filmmuseum, Frankfurt am Main, Bildarchiv

BRD, IT, FR 1960 | Director: Fritz Lang | Script: Fritz Lang, Heinz Oskar Wuttig | Cast: Wolfgang Preiss, Dawn Adams, Peter van Eyck, Werner Peters | Production: CCC-Filmkunst / Cei-Incom | b/w | 35mm | 104 min | german OV with dutch SUB | EYE Film Institute Amsterdam

The name Luxor for the hotel in the film already sets the tone. The grand hotels of German film post-1945 are no longer at the same level as before the war, but in Fritz Lang’s dramaturgy, they still have their function. The Luxor of 1960 corresponds to the Olympic in Spione (Spies) of 1928. The detective stories have turned into thrillers. The Luxor is the operational headquarters of the crime. The hunter and the hunted live in the same building. The women, used as bait, prove to be unpredictable and pervert the system. Lang defended the film to a friend who felt the demonic aura of his pre-war films was lacking, explaining: that is the cold reality of today.  (...)

Lang cited a news item as the inspiration for the film. Planned by Albert Speer, along the north-south axis of Berlin/Germania, opulent state hotels were to be built, fitted with perfect audio surveillance systems. The bugging apparatus is developed in the film to include the advent of television. Lang’s two-way mirror walls are steeped in memory. Like in Cocteau’s films, they are reflective of the nature of cinema. They implicate the viewer as voyeur. (Frieda Grafe, “Film-Historical Hotel Guide”, 1991)

FRI, 10.12.21

8.15 pm

Kino des DFF – Deutsches Filminstitut & Filmmuseum