BERLIN — The Berlin Intl. Film Festival’s upcoming Luis Bunuel retrospective will open and close with special presentations of the Spanish helmer’s directorial debut, the 1929 silent film “Un Chien andalou” (An Andalusian Dog), which will screen with live musical accompaniment.
Pic will screen Feb. 9 along with Jean Epstein’s surrealistic 1928 Edgar Allan Poe adaptation “La chute de la maison Usher” (The Fall of the House of Usher), on which Bunuel worked as assistant director.
Both pics will be presented in restored versions at the Volksbuehne theater and accompanied live by Dutch musicians Maud Nelissen, Merima Kljuco and Frido ter Beek.
On Feb. 17, the final day of the fest, the 21 musicians of the Spanish Grup Instrumental BCN216 will accompany three successive screenings of “An Andalusian Dog” at the Volksbuehne with three different compositions.
Popular on Variety
In addition to Bunuel’s 32 directorial works, the retrospective will present eight films on which the filmmaker worked as assistant director, producer and screenwriter, including Epstein’s 1926 drama “Mauprat,” in which he also played two small roles.
During the 1930s in Spain, Bunuel produced four popular films for which he also went uncredited as co-director: the box office hit “Don Quintin el amargao” (The Bitter Mr. Quintin); “La hija de Juan Simon” (The Daughter of Juan Simon); “¿Quien me quiere a mi?” (Who Loves Me?); and “¡Centinela alerta!” (Guard! Alert!).
While in the U.S., Bunuel also worked on the screenplay for Robert Florey’s 1946 horror pic “The Beast with Five Fingers,” starring Robert Alda and Peter Lorre, and later penned the screenplay for Mexican director Julian Soler’s 1950 screwball comedy “Si Usted no puede, yo si,” as well as writing and directed the 1962 Mexican surreal satire “El angel exterminador” (The Exterminating Angel).
In addition to the comprehensive Bunuel lineup, the Retrospective section will present four recent restorations of silent films at special events: Carl Theodor Dreyer’s 1921 German film “Die Gezeichneten” (Love One Another), which depicts anti-Semitic pogroms and revolutionary activities in early 20th century Russia; Robert Reinert’s 1919 German pic “Nerven” (Nerves), about people traumatized by World War I; Willi Wolff’s “Schatten der Weltstadt” from 1925; and Harry O. Hoyt’s 1926 American drama “The Belle of Broadway.”
Nelissen and Joachim Baerenz will accompany the screenings on piano.
Following the Berlinale, the Retrospective program will head to Vienna, where it will showcase at the Austrian Film Museum, and then to Munich’s Film Museum, where the films will screen in March.
German-Austrian-Swiss pubcaster 3Sat will augment the Retrospective beginning Feb. 7 with a film series entitled “The Magic of the Surreal. Luis Bunuel and the Aftermath.”