Der Student von Prag ()

directed by Henrik Galeen
featuring Conrad Veidt, Werner Krauss, Fritz Alberti, Countess Agnes Esterhazy, Sylvia Torf

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Considered the magnum-opus of filmmaker/screenwriter Henrik Galeen, and featuring actor Conrad Veit in one of his finest performances Student of Prague is considered an important work in German Expressionist cinema. It is also the first to present a dark exploration of the inner realms of the self that would obsess German filmmakers for years to come. The decidedly Faustian tale centers on a student (Veit) who encounters a minion of the devil and in exchange for the love of a woman and wealth, sells him his reflection. The ...

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Dec 18, 2008

The Student of Prague

This 1926/27 film version was produced by H Sokal and directed by Hennik Galeen and is an adaptation of Goethe's Faust. The college student, played by Conrad Veidt, is poor and longs for fame, fortune and a lovely wife. Enter the man who can give him all these things and more. In exchange the visitor wants something from the student's humble room. He wants the full length mirror which shows the student's reflection. When the student agrees, his reflection disappears. He has his money but has no reflection (soul?). What is so appealing about this film is the method used to show, for example, a very large party reflected in a mirror. The student and his friends walk past a mirror and you see the friends, the party, but no student. There are other examples of this image. It is truly amaxing to realize that this film was made in 1926 with a stationarey camea, in-camera editing and no computerized special effects. The story is ok, the film qujility could be better, but the effects are truly spectacular. For anyone like me who enjoys seeing films from this time period and to wonder at how it was done, I would recommend this film.

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