‘The rats have eaten my set!’ Letters from a German film architect in 1930s India

By Eleanor Halsall On the 21st of March 1935, a young German stepped off the boat in Bombay. His name was Karl von Spreti and he had been offered a job managing set design at The Bombay Talkies, one of India’s newest film studios. ‘The task that awaits me is huge and I hope I willContinue reading “‘The rats have eaten my set!’ Letters from a German film architect in 1930s India”

Filmkinder: Children in German Films

By Eleanor Halsall Gerhard Lamprecht’s 1931 film Emil und die Detektive/Emil and the Detectives, is one of the most famous German children’s films. Adapted by Billy Wilder from the eponymous book by Erich Kästner, the film was greeted with enthusiasm in Germany where it was described as a ‘knockout’ by the Lichtbildbühne. Emil’s narrative was always likely toContinue reading “Filmkinder: Children in German Films”

Studios in the Festive Season

As the nights draw in and 2021 approaches retirement, this STUDIOTEC bumper blog looks at how the festive season was acknowledged by film studios in Germany, France, Italy and Britain. In Germany Seasons’ Greetings regularly appeared in film magazines listing a studio’s biggest films.   Here are two examples from 1930, illustrating the significance of Munich’s Emelka andContinue reading “Studios in the Festive Season”

Women behind the scenes in German film

By Eleanor Halsall As it did elsewhere, the German film industry exerted a magnetic pull on its public. Many women aspired to a career on the screen, only to be disappointed when intense competition meant that they were unable to secure work, even as extras. Film stars of both genders added glamour to the professionContinue reading “Women behind the scenes in German film”

Exit, pursued by a bear: Animals in film studios

You last read about Scruffy, this time Richard Farmer, Eleanor Halsall and Carla Mereu-Keating investigate the wider use of animals in British, German and Italian studios. Britain likes to think of itself as a nation of animal lovers, and the numerous stories in the trade and lay press would appear to give some credence toContinue reading “Exit, pursued by a bear: Animals in film studios”

Eating in the Studios: Dining with the Stars?

As we research the many maps, plans, images and contemporary accounts of the studios it becomes clear that as well as being factories of film production they were complex social communities employing a large, varied workforce. As well as practical workspaces including stages, workshops, stores and dressing rooms, many studios housed canteens, bars and restaurants.Continue reading “Eating in the Studios: Dining with the Stars?”