Classics Screen for Pride Month

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Providing “virtual cinemas” for temporarily closed independent theaters, Kino Marquee presents restored versions of three German classics of early cinema for Pride Month. (Click to watch the trailer)

Pioneers of Queer Cinema will be available via Virtual Cinemas across the U.S. starting Friday, June 12, with Laemmle Theaters & Lumiere Cinema, and starting July 3 for the New York Film Forum.

The featured films are three classic German films restored by the Friedrich-Wilhelm-Murnau Stiftung, Deutsches Filminstitut, Danish Film Institute, and Bundesarchiv-Filmarchiv, feature new English translations. See the descriptions below.

In German with English subtitles.

A vital landmark in the history of queer cinema, “Mädchen in Uniform” is a remarkably brave and honest film about nascent love between women at a boarding school for girls.

Vulnerable and quiet, Manuela von Meinhardis (Hertha Thiele) struggles to adjust to the stern discipline of the heavily-regimented institution. In time, she gains confidence through a friendship with one of her teachers (Dorothea Wieck). But no relationship between women, no matter how chaste, is to be permitted, and under the constant threat of punishment or expulsion, Manuela desperately tries to keep hope and love alive.

Beyond its acclaim as a groundbreaking work in LGBTQ culture, “Mädchen in Uniform” has also been hailed as a timeless fable of the struggle of the innocent against the totalitarian forces of oppression-especially poignant since it was produced in Germany amidst the rise of the Nazi Party.

“Michael” (1924), directed by Carl Theodor Dreyer

German intertitles with English subtitles

Danish film master Carl Theodor Dreyer’s Michael is a mature and visually elegant period romance decades ahead of its time. Michael takes its place alongside Dreyer’s better known masterpieces as an unusually sensitive and decorous work of art and is one of the earliest and most compassionate overtly gay-themed films in movie history.

Collaborating with famed German cinematographers Karl Freund (Metropolis, The Last Laugh) and Rudolph Maté (Passion of Joan of Arc, DOA) Michael offers the first fully realized example of Dreyer’s emotionally precise, visually extravagant style that would be perfected in his subsequent masterworks such as Joan of Arc and Ordet.


“Victor and Victoria” (1933), directed by Reinhold Schünzel
In German with English subtitles

In this dazzling musical romance, a young woman (Renate Müller), unable to find work as a music hall singer, partners with a down-and-out thespian (Hermann Thimig) to revamp her act. Pretending to be a man performing in drag, Victoria becomes the toast of the international stage. But she soon finds that her playful bending of genders enmeshes her personal and professional life in a tangle of unexpected complications.

Produced in the final days of the Weimar Republic, Victor and Victoria received limited exposure in the United States, and is today best known by Blake Edwards’s 1982 remake and the 1995 Broadway production. Viewers will be delighted to discover that the original is every bit as charming and outrageous, reminiscent of the sly sex comedies of Ernst Lubitsch and Billy Wilder.

Kino Marquee: Local audiences can support their community theaters by buying a virtual “ticket” to watch the films. Ticket purchases directly support local art house as all revenue is being shared between distributor and exhibitor, just as if they bought their ticket at the theater’s box office. Kino Marquee currently works with over 350 art house theaters across the nation.

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