9th of November 1918: Just a few days after the Kieler Matrosenaufstand (Kiel mutiny), Kaiser Wilhelm II. abdicated as German Emperor and in Berlin, Social Democrat Phillip Scheidemann proclaimed the German Republic. Only two hours after Scheidemann’s proclamation, Karl Liebknecht of the Spartacist League proclaimed a "Free Socialist Republic". From there, it didn’t take long for the spirit of the revolution to spread through the entire country.
Dyoka Bogdanović was no newcomer to cinema. Born to a lawyer’s family in 1860, he set up Belgrade’s first movie theatres in 1905. The experience of the First Balkan War (1912–1913) led him to the idea of re-enacting Serbian victories for the camera. In order to realise this plan, Bogdanović contracted two camera operators who were working for the Vienna outpost of Pathé, Europe’s leading producer of newsreels.
The Austrian Film Museum has recently published its flagship online video project: Kinonedelja – Online Edition. 14 of the original 43 issues of the early Soviet newsreel series “Kinonedelja” (Kino-Week) survive in the Austrian Film Museum’s collection. The newsreels, which date from the years 1918 and 1919, are not merely significant for their depiction of life in the young Soviet Russia during the civil war, but also because they represent Dziga Vertov’s first contribution to cinema.
For EFG1914, the Danish Film Institute is about digitise a total of 50 hours of film related to World War One. The following three films focus on the War in Italy and are viewable on the European Film Gateway now.
Background: Prior to the outbreak of war in August 1914, Italy had tended to side with Germany and Austria-Hungary. To begin with Italy kept out of the war. However, tempted by offers of large sections of territory in the Adriatic Sea region – Tyrol, Dalmatia and Istria once the war was won, Italy entered the conflict in April 1915 on the side of the Allies.
On the European Film Gateway, EYE Film Institute Netherlands has made an impressive amount of posters from the Desmet Collection available for the first time. 850 beautiful posters from the period between 1907 and 1916 can be viewed and enjoyed. These posters from the 1910s provide a picture of a lesser known period in film history, and many of them are the only remnants of films that have been lost.
On 7 May 1915, RMS Lusitania, a British ocean liner, was sunk by a German U-Boat, resulting in the deaths of 1,198 passengers and crew and eventually leading to America’s entry into the First World War.
In 1919, La Belgique martyre was the first post war film production to be made in Belgium and the first patriotic war film in a series of no less than 11 productions. All of them were produced between 1919 and 1924 and bearing pathetic titles like Ame belge, Coeurs belges, La revanche belge or Jeune Belgique. Although most of those films were results of individual initiatives, they are the embryonic results of an emerging cinematographic industry in Belgium.
An airship returns to its squadron. Unaware of the looming danger, a young man dreams of his future. He is a talented inventor who has perfected an astonishing flying machine, which he is about to try out. Suddenly, an invincible and inaccessible army of airships attacks with bombs and homing missiles.