Retrospective

 

THE B-FILM
Hollywoods Low-Budget-Kino 1935–1959

A simple title whose simple goal is to shed light on the history and legacy of the low-budget filmmaking that was invented within the Hollywood studio system and long afterward pursued as ideal by such diverse filmmakers as Jean-Luc Godard, Seijun Suzuki, Hartmut Bitomsky, Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino. As this retrospective will reveal, the B-film was a historically specific motion-picture genre that flourished from the early 1930s until the so-called Paramount Decree of 1948 – thanks to the introduction of the double feature and the paradoxical ideal of the studio system as an “art factory” with the attendant high reputation. With the B-film, a kind of pure cinema was created by returning to the vaudevillian and “attraction” origins of cinema while following diverse avant-garde currents: from Surrealism and photogénie to Soviet montage. While Val Lewton and Edgar G. Ulmer immediately spring to mind, there are many equally important examples of extremely innovative yet lesser known B-films that are also on the program: from William McGann’s outlandish comedy-mystery SH! THE OCTOPUS (1937) to Joseph H. Lewis’ film noir SO DARK THE NIGHT (1946).
In the presence of Haden Guest (curator).

A RETROSPECTIVE BY VIENNALE AND AUSTRIAN FILM MUSEUM
October 26 - December 5, 2018
The Austrian Film Museum, Augustinerstraße 1, 1010 Vienna