Movie Diary 1/8/2009

Backstairs (Leopold Jessner, 1921). Very simple story, incorporating Expressionist tendencies in the design of the handful of sets. The star is Henny Porten, one of Germany’s most popular stars of the era, who plays a maid with duties so repetitive they foreshadow Jeanne Dielman by 50 years.

The Unborn (David S. Goyer, 2009). Creepy-twin doings, with Gary Oldman as an exorcism-minded rabbi. Everybody’s in, right? (full review 1/10)

Berlin: Symphony of a City (Walter Ruttman, 1927). The classic city documentary, still classic, still haunting in that awful “what will all these people be doing in 15 years?” way.