Retro To Look At Films Left Out In The Cold War

“The Cold War” is the theme of the retrospective at Berlin this year, completing the trilogy started two years ago with “The Year 1939” and last year’s “The Year 1945.”

Over 60 films lensed between 1948 and 1984 as well as newsreel footage and docus will unspool at the Urania, Astor and International hardtops.

Many of the films have never been seen in Germany and include some classic B movies. The retro is divided into eight sections:

* Films set behind the Iron Curtain, such as Elia Kazan’s “Man On A Tightrope.”

* Pics that deal with McCarthyism, like Howard Hughes’ production of Gordon Douglas’ intriguingly titled “I Married A Communist.”

* Spy thrillers, such as John Huston’s “The Kremlin Letter.”

* Republikflucht – films that deal with attempts to escape from Communist regimes such as Will Tremper’s “Flucht Nach Berlin.” (Tremper is expected to attend.)

* Schauplatz Berlin – films that concentrate on the unique situation Berlin was in during the Cold War, including Andre duToth’s “Man On A String.”

* Science fiction – films that take the idea of Communist invasion and infiltration to the utmost alien extreme, including “Red Planet Mars” and “Invasion USA.”

* Visions – films that try to extend the logic of Cold War policies to the future, such as Stanley Kubrick’s “Dr. Strangelove” and the 1984 U.S. production “Red Dawn.”

* Love stories – films that examine relationships directly affected by Cold War politics, including another Howard Hughes production, “Jet Pilot,” made between 1950 and 1957 due to disputes between Hughes and the director, Josef von Sternberg.

A second, shorter retrospective organized by the Stiftung Deutsche Kinemathek takes the form of a homage to Jane Russell and Robert Mitchum. Some 25 films made between 1943 and 1975 are slated for the program, including two films in which the pair co-starred: “Macao” by von Sternberg and John Farrow’s “His Kind Of Woman.”

Mitchum and his wife, Dorothy, are expected guests at the fest, as are Russell and her husband, John Peoples, who knows Berlin from a former profession – he was a Berlin Airlift pilot in 1948-49.

American historian Daniel J. Leab will be in attendance to deliver a lecture on McCarthyism, and has also contributed an essay on the same subject to the book that accompanies the retro. The documentation is comprehensive, running into some 312 pages, and will retail for 25 marks during the fest.

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