“The Female Gaze: Rediscovering the Films of Louise Kolm-Fleck,” Vienna International Film Festival, Oct. 24 – Nov. 6, 2019
At this year’s Vienna International Film Festival (Oct. 24-Nov. 6, 2019), there will be a section focused on Austrian director, producer, and screenwriter Louise Kolm-Fleck.
From the festival’s website:
Kolm-Fleck (1873–1950) established the first Austrian film-production company and, in 1919, founded Vita-Film, the largest studio complex in Europe at the time. Addressing themes such as rape, abortion and impotence, she introduced specifically female perspectives to the cinema of the silent-film era. Her films, which have now been rediscovered through international research and newly restored by Filmarchiv Austria, reveal a director who brilliantly mastered cinematic grammar and knew how to translate her stories in a virtuoso manner. Above all, they show her to be an author of surprising topicality whose emphatic gaze was directed at her female protagonists acting in a male-dominated environment.
Louise Kolm-Fleck was the daughter of Louis Veltée, owner of Vienna’s Stadtpanoptikum (an establishment presenting moving images, curiosities and attractions), and the granddaughter of a pyrotechnic showman. She wrote at least two dozen scripts and directed well over 100 films. The life of the first Austrian director reads like a parable of Austrian film history: the rapid rise of the silent film, the golden age in the 1920s, the transition to sound film, the expulsion of filmmakers by the Nazis, and obscurity after 1945. In exile in Shanghai, she still succeeded in making a film with her second husband, Jakob Fleck. In Austrian post-war cinema, her voice was lost.
In this first presentation of works curated by Filmarchiv Austria, the rediscovered productions reveal Louise Kolm-Fleck to be an impressive film artist whose legacy deserves greater attention.
DER MEINEIDBAUER (D 1926)
FRAUENARZT DR. SCHÄFER (D 1928)
DAS RECHT AUF LIEBE (D 1929)
MÄDCHEN AM KREUZ (D 1929)
DIE WARSCHAUER ZITADELLE (D 1929/30)